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  • Hillels of Georgia

New Little Free Library by Hillel Helps Tech Students Read Up On Cultural Diversity

February 18, 2022 (The Technique)

On Feb. 22, a new library will be revealed on Tech’s campus.

It will not be as large as Price Gilbert Memorial Library or Crosland Tower, but it will seek to serve a monumental purpose: to create an inclusive space for sharing and learning about cultural diversity.

The new library, named the Library for Peace, is a partnership between GT Hillel, one of Tech’s Jewish organizations on campus, and the Grace House, a Christian campus ministry.

“The goal of Library for Peace is to foster diversity and understanding on campus by creating a space for community members to share educational resources about a variety of cultures and global topics,” said Talia Segal, second-year BMED and vice president of Israel for GT Hillel.

Many of the books inside the Library of Peace to start will share Jewish culture and perspectives as donated by GT Hillel.

However, Segal hopes that, over time, students will introduce books from a variety of backgrounds.

“We want students of all backgrounds to submit requests for books to be added that share their perspectives or will help them learn about global topics they’re interested in,” Segal said.

The idea for the Library of Peace began last summer when Segal noticed the lack of students’ knowledge relating to global affairs or cultural issues abroad.

“Over the summer, the conflict in Israel escalated, and when I got back to school, I realized that students from Hillel could benefit from having a collection of resources to learn more about it. As I thought about it more though, I realized that making the library more inclusive to a wider range of ideas and perspectives would be more valuable and reach a bigger audience on campus” Segal said.

The Library of Peace will be located outside the Grace House due to the ministry’s positive relationship with GT Hillel.

“Grace House has been incredibly generous in sharing their space with Hillel for the past few years. As a place on campus that fosters a safe and inclusive atmosphere for students, particularly during their weekly coffee breaks, we felt that Grace House was the perfect location for our sidewalk library,” Segal said.

The Library of Peace will function like a Little Free Library where students can freely borrow or share a book.

Students can also request books through a QR code located on the library that leads to a Google Form.

The unveiling event on Feb. 22 will be the official launch of the Library of Peace at Grace House.

“At 11 a.m. … representatives from multiple organizations on campus [will gather] to open, dedicate and decorate the library,” Segal said.

The opening event will also include local Atlanta organizations, such as Java Joy, with similar missions to the Library of Peace.

“Java Joy, a local organization and coffee stand that employs people with disabilities, will be there as well to help celebrate and represent the inclusive environment that we hope the Library for Peace fosters,” Segal said.

Overall, Segal believes that the Library of Peace will be a significant addition to Tech as it will provide an opportunity for students to respectfully communicate about their varied backgrounds.

“My hope is that the library will serve as a safe space on campus where people can go to learn about and share cultural perspectives with one another,” Segal said.

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