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Rochester Hills Public Library

Contact: Amanda Harrison Keighley

Phone: 248-650-7124

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For Immediate Release                                                                                 

July 25, 2018




Donation to Rochester Hills Public Library Helps Diversify the Bookshelves


(ROCHESTER HILLS- July 25, 2018) Rochester Hills Public Library received a generous donation of books representing women in the Muslim community.

The gift was made possible by The Girls of the Crescent, a non-profit organization started by local students, Zena and Mena Nasiri.

“We are avid readers and spend a lot of time in school media centers and our local public library. However, we could rarely find books with female Muslim main characters that we could connect with, and grew up longing to see ourselves in literature. To address this issue, we held a book drive in our community to increase the number of books with female Muslim roles in our school media centers. We decided to expand our reach and started this nonprofit organization. Our goal is to make sure that children like us will be able to read books with characters like themselves and to increase diversity in literature,” The Nasiri sisters said in a statement.

The Rochester Hills Public Library’s collection development policy supports acquiring materials that reflect diversity in race, gender identity and ability, and this well-researched and curated donation will be an excellent addition to the collection.

“A public library is a space for everyone, and we firmly believe everyone should find the book they want, and everyone should find themselves in the books they read,” said Youth Services Manager Betsy Raczkowski, “The work Zena and Mena do shows how powerful books and stories can be for readers of all ages. It shows that representation matters - when you find yourself reflected in the stories you read, you see what’s possible.”

Research shows that representation through literature enables readers to envision things possible for their own life, helps marginalized people feel visible and showcases cultures a reader may not have been unfamiliar with otherwise.

To find one of these new books, or a book representing your own culture or identity please ask one of our friendly librarians or visit rhpl.org to search the catalog.



Rochester Hills Public Library serves 100,485 residents of Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township. Cards are free to anyone who works or lives in the library service area. The library is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.