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University Libraries

Ending Book Deserts: 3rd Annual Book Drive

By Ione Damasco

The University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Team is teaming up again with The Conscious Connect, and the student organization BATU (Black Action Thru Unity) to collect diverse books to end book deserts in Dayton. Many are familiar with the problem of urban “food deserts” — areas without adequate access to affordable fresh fruit, vegetables, and other whole foods. Book deserts are similar: A recent study at New York University has defined “book deserts” as high-poverty neighborhoods where access to children’s books is lacking.

The goal is to collect new or gently used K-12 books that focus on science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) topics and feature diverse characters. Books will be distributed to the West Dayton Strong initiative and other Dayton Public Schools. Recommended books can be purchased online at and shipped directly to the Conscious Connect.

You can also drop off books from Oct. 8-20 at the following locations:                                           

  • Curriculum Materials Center in Fitz Hall (sixth floor)
  • St. Joseph's Hall Room 433
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs lounge (Alumni Hall first floor)
  • Kettering Labs Room 545

Although access to a wide variety of literature is often taken for granted on our campus, we recognize that in the wider Dayton community, many children, particularly children of color, do not have that privilege. We hope that you will help us ensure the right of every child to be able to read by donating books to this book drive.

For more information about the book drive, please contact Karlos L. Marshall at or Ione Damasco at

Ione Damasco is coordinator of cataloging and chair of the Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Team.

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