The Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Library was established in 1971 as an extension of the Department of African American Studies (AAS). It was developed by students, faculty and administrators to reflect AAS curriculum while illuminating the culture and life of Black people often excluded or limited in treatment within traditional academic libraries, including Syracuse University.
From these modest beginnings, MLK has continued to evolve by expanding its services, broadening acquisitions to accommodate new and emerging technologies, building outreach and partnerships (local, state and national) and responding to patron-driven needs that seek to explore linkages between diverse communities, their shared commonalities and future vision.
Today, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library is an integrated point of service as a Syracuse University campus hill library and the only accredited department library. By fulfilling its original mission, to highlight the African Diaspora through evolving information agencies and new technologies, MLK has been designated as one of Syracuse University’s most prized possessions. It is an indispensable part of the Department and supports both the College of Arts and Sciences and Syracuse University libraries.