The Collingswood Public Library aims to be a space where individuals of all backgrounds are respected and welcomed.
The library is committed to community engagement by offering the tools, materials, programs, and open discussion spaces to promote education and understanding among our neighbors.
More information about the library’s Mission and Vision can be found here.
This page is an ongoing project for the library’s Equity Team, and we will continue to add to and adapt its contents over time per the needs and interests of our community.
Resources accessible via Collingswood Library:
Library staff have compiled lists on various themes related to race and equity that can be accessed directly through our catalog.
While these catalog lists represent physical materials within our collection, many relevant titles are also available online as eBooks and audiobooks. We have created Google Spreadsheets to indicate which titles are available in a given format. Click here to access the spreadsheets. Please note that access to Hoopla titles is only available temporarily through a digital Camden County Library Card.
How can we grow?
- How to be an Effective Ally: From EpicReads, this blog presents simple methods to start bringing inclusivity and allyship into your daily life.
- This List is Anti-Racist: If you’ve read all of our books, can’t wait for one on hold, or you want to add to your anti-racism home collection, here’s a list of books to continue your education! Purchasing from this list supports Brain Lair, a black, woman-owned bookseller.
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
By Peggy McIntosh from the Racial Equity Tools Library
- Anti-Racist resources for Caregivers, Educators and Youth: By our very own Kaley Iacovetta, Youth Services — This presentation contains lists of books, links to online information, starting points for individual and community action, educational tools, and more
- What it Takes to be Racially Literate: This Ted Talk, given by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo, aims to provide tools to understand, navigate, and improve a world structured by racial division. It is just over 12 minutes long
- RaceWorks Toolkit: This is a series of videos focused on “undoing” racism by “doing” race. It was created by the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. “People often think about race as something that people “are” rather than as actions that people “do.””
- Camden County Slave Ships: Documentary about the 18th century Delaware River slave trade in Camden, NJ.
- irresistible: Collective Healing and Social Change
Podcast formerly known as Healing Justice Podcast
- About Race: With Reni Eddo-Lodge, Podcast
Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that led to the politics of today.
- The History of American Slavery: Podcast
From Slate.com, Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the history of American slavery and examine how the institution came to shape our country’s politics, economy, and culture.
- Seeing White: Podcast from Scene on Radio. Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?
- Code Switch: Podcast from NPR. Hosted by journalists of color, this podcast tackles the subject of race head-on, exploring how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports, and everything in between.
- Serial, Season 3: Podcast from NPR. Season three explores the entire criminal justice system through one courthouse in Cleveland.
- Kids Rap about Racism: “If you don’t look like me, would you still have my back?” GRAMMY-Nominated young artists rap about their experiences with racism.
- Woke Read Alouds: Young readers learn about difference and inclusion through narrative. Videos engage readers by posing questions and include resources and strategies for parents.
- Podcasts that Help You Talk to Kids About Race: Includes resources for parents and children.
- How to Make Black Lives Matter at School: Library Talks podcast episode.
- Zinn Education Project: Explore By Theme : An educational resource aimed at teaching accurate history to young people. Themes include the Civil Rights Movement, African American History, and Criminal Justice and Incarceration.
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Racism: Resources Roundup: Resources for educators and caregivers to start conversations about race with youth.
Places to Visit
- African American Heritage Museum of South Jersey : The Atlantic City and Newtonville locations are home to unique permanent collections that focus on generations of African American history.
- Eastern State Penitentiary : This historic prison in Philadelphia features an exhibit on race and incarceration. The Collingswood Public Library offers a visitor’s pass for checkout to cardholders in good standing. Please call the library for pass availability: (856) 858-0649.
- African American Museum: The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major United States city to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans. It is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but you can access a virtual tour. Check back at a later date for visitor passes from the library!
- Peter Mott House : Revisit history at the Peter Mott House, a station along the Underground Railroad, in the historically African-American town of Lawnside, N.J.
- Saddler’s Woods : An original land grant by Cy Evans (Quaker) to Joshua Saddler (former slave from Maryland). Joshua did well in the area and purchased plot and built a small house on a wooded lot. As word spread of the new haven, other African-Americans came and built homes. In time, a town was formed and named “Saddlertown” in honor of Joshua Saddler.
- Camden Slave Markers: From the Camden County Historical Society
- Abigail and Elizabeth Goodwin House (Salem, NJ): This house was the residence of Abigail and Elizabeth Goodwin, two members of the abolitionist movement and participants in the Underground Railroad.
Local Groups & Resources
Collingswood Conversations : A series of projects and programs from the Collingswood Borough to discuss issues around race in our community.
Embracing Race – The Conversation : A local group that meets monthly to discuss complicated and painful topics related to race and racism in an open, honest, and judgement-free environment.
Salvation & Social Justice: This NJ-based organization seeks to liberate public policy theologically by building Black faith-rooted communication strategies, advocacy, and public education campaigns. Their mission is to lift up poor, underserved, and traditionally oppressed communities with a particular focus on racial justice through abolition, restoration, transformation, and coalition.