Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This blog was written by Rebekah Gonzalez.

There are few leaders in American history as memorable as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Born on January 15, 1929, he is highly regarded as one of the most influential people to take part in the Civil Rights Movement. His commitment to racial equality and his unparalleled gift for oration have made a lasting impact on our nation, and his words have resonated long after his tragic death in 1968.

As we reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I invite you all to revisit the words of his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech through the lens of today's current events. The tumult and divisiveness we face as a nation feels insurmountable, but Dr. King's words remind us that even a country divided has hope for a better future.

Upcoming Events

MLK Day of Service: January 20

In honor of Dr. King’s message of leadership and community togetherness, we will host a service activity on Saturday, January 20, 10:30–11:30 AM at all SJPL locations. Our Day of Service activity also serves as a Volunteer Away Your Fines event, removing $20 worth of fines per person.

The event is free, and anyone can participate, regardless of whether they have fines.

Register Today

More MLK Events

We also offer additional events honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy. Please join us!

View Events

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection

For more information about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we encourage you to visit our special collection curated in his honor and/or browse more titles in our online catalog.

Recommended Reading

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?, book cover

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Lisbeth Kaiser

Designed specifically for preschool comprehension, a board book introduction to the influential civil rights activist and speaker chronicles his early years, religious leadership and history-shaping work to promote equality for all people.

I Have A Dream, book cover

I Have A Dream

An illustrated edition of Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech.

Sitting In, Standing Up, book cover

Sitting In, Standing Up by Diane C. Taylor

Sitting In, Standing Up: Leaders of the Civil Rights Era tells the story of one of the most tumultuous and important eras in American history through the lives of five major figures of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s: Thurgood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, and John Lewis. Hands-on activities, essential questions, text-to-world connections, and links to online resources encourage readers ages 12 to 15 to explore how the work of these people sparked the passion of a nation and helped change the tide of social injustice in a way that reverberates to this day.

The Sword and the Shield: the Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., book cover

The Sword and the Shield: the Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. by Peniel E. Joseph

The Sword and the Shield is a dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King that transforms our understanding of the twentieth century's most iconic African American leaders. Peniel E. Joseph reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define.

Additional Reading

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, book cover
Martin Luther King, Jr. for Armchair Theologians, book cover
The Three Mothers, book cover
An Act of State, book cover
I Am Martin Luther King, Jr, book cover
Heroes for All Times, book cover
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?, book cover
Strong Voices, book cover
A Place to Land, book cover
Martin & Anne, book cover