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Carolina Latinx Center partners with University Libraries on Latinx stories project

OverDrive Collaboration
Second year Global Studies and Political Science major Léa Ferre, a member of the Latinx community, poses for a portrait while browsing the new OverDrive collection at the Carolina Latinx Center on September 27. "One thing that is exciting about the OverDrive collaboration is accessibility. I think that as UNC students, we often take for granted all that we have access to."

The Carolina Latinx Center's latest project to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month is a collaboration with University Libraries, compiling a collection of 85 audiobooks and ebooks that highlight the Latinx experience. Many of the books are written by authors from the Latinx community.

The books are available online via UNC Libraries' OverDrive collection, a digital platform that provides access to ebooks and audiobooks for UNC affiliates. The Latinx collection includes novels, biographies, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, and other genres.

The project was created by CLC Assistant Director Marcela Torres-Cervantes, along with UNC Libraries' Media Center Manager Katelyn Ander, Acquisitions and Serials Coordinator Melissa Salvanish, and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Director of Wilson Library Maria Estorino.

“From the start, we (Melissa & Katelyn) have focused on building an inclusive OverDrive collection that reflects the diversity of our campus population,” Ander said in an email. “We try to anticipate needs by listening to campus groups and reading reviews from a variety of sources.”

Ander said the collection features works about underrepresented groups or by authors from underrepresented groups. It includes books on personal and financial wellness, race and antiracism, and other stories reflective of diverse experiences.

Ander explained that the selection of material is a part of the University Libraries' commitment to fostering a library and campus environment "where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and seen.” 

Nationally, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The UNC Office for Diversity and Inclusion named this month-long celebration Latinx Heritage Month at the University in order to offer more inclusivity of the experiences and identities of staff, students, and other community members.

Torres-Cervantes said the CLC and UNC Libraries' collaborative collection was not only created for students of the Latinx community, but also for anyone interested in learning about Latinx culture and literature.

The literature within the collection includes stories and perspectives from different countries and cultures that showcase the vast diversity of Latinx identities and cultures, she said. 

“It’s not only important to explore other cultures, but also see the overlap,” Torres-Cervantes said. 

She said that there is an important emphasis throughout the collection on understanding Americans from different cultural backgrounds.

Senior Jackie Santillan is the chairperson of the CLC's 2021-2022 Latinx Heritage Month committee. Santillan, who has read some of the books in the new collection, spoke about the significance of the collaboration.

“It is important for students to look at the collection because we are celebrating Latinx Heritage Month, and honoring and getting to know the richness of our cultures and all the contributions that Latinos have made to the United States," she said. 

UNC’s Carolina Latinx Center is also hosting workshops, movie nights, and guest speaker events throughout Latinx Heritage Month. More on the CLC’s upcoming events can be found on their website.

The UNC Libraries' Latinx Heritage Month OverDrive collection is accessible here. |

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