Gifts from Japan

The Ross Pendergraft Library wishes to say “Domo arigatou gozaimasu” to the Read Japan Project for the donation of 162 books about Japanese studies to the library’s collection.  The books were received last week from the Nippon Foundation through the Japan Science Society as a token of friendship between the United States and Japan.

Dr. Kae Hashimoto Reed stands next to Philippe Van Houtte with award letter from the Nippon Foundation

Philippe Van Houtte, Systems librarian and visiting French instructor, applied for the book grant with Dr. Kae Hashimoto Reed, visiting instructor of music and Japanese.  Together, they worked on a proposal which highlighted Arkansas Tech University’s current efforts at showcasing Japanese culture to the Nippon Foundation by including examples such as the International Film Festival and the Light the Night Festival.  Their efforts culminated in the recognition of the Ross Pendergraft Library as a recipient of the Read Japan Project.

The books cover a wide range of subjects including literature, art, science, history, economics, and culture.  Most of the volumes are in English, though a few Japanese language titles were also included.  This collection is meant to promote the understanding of Japan around the world through the donation of books.

A row of books on Japanese history and culture

As books are added to the library, they can be searched in Find It by using the phrase “Read Japan Project”.  You can also find a list of some of the donated titles at the Nippon Foundation website:  Once the books are processed, they will be available to the entire campus community for borrowing.

For more on Japanese culture, be sure to check out the next installment of Dr. Kae Hashimoto Reed’s Manga Lecture Series: “Demon Slayer” on November 15th at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300A.



Unjudge Someone: Human Library Coming to RPL

people on a book shelf like booksThe Ross Pendergraft Library and the Social Movements class are working together to bring a Human Library to Tech. This is happening at the library in room 300B on Thursday, November 4, 2021. This will be the fifth Human Library to take place here since 2015.  Our inaugural event included one of the first Black students at Arkansas Tech, Barbara Lackey. Zach Stone who titled his book Zach the Deaf Trans and Bshaer Ahalrazi, an international student who lives with physical challenges, were also “books” at the first human library at Tech. 

You may be wondering what a Human Library is. It is an event where the “books” are people. People who have defied stereotyping. People that you may not get to meet and talk to every day.  The “readers” are the people like you who attend the event and “check out” a book. The book then talks about their unique experiences in life as part of a subculture or marginalized community.  There is time at the end of the session for the reader to ask questions.  The purpose of holding this event is to promote inclusion by getting people, that may not ordinarily sit down together, to talk in a safe environment.  The Human Library provides a place for open conversations about sometimes difficult subjects. 

The very first Human Library or “Menneskebiblioteket” as it is called in Danish, was held at a festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. After the success of the first event one of the founders, Ronni Abergel, realized the potential of such a feat and subsequently formed the Human Library Organization (HLO).  The non-profit organization lends its name and provides guidance to other groups interested in hosting a program. Over the last 19 years, Human Libraries have taken place in 85 countries and 6 continents.  We are honored to be part of such a positive experience. 

Stop by and check out a book.  This event is FREE and open to the public. 


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