January 15, 2024 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday first observed in 1971 and made a federal holiday in 1986. Celebrated on the third Monday of January, the observance honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of history’s most inspiring and influential civil rights leaders, Dr. King’s example of service sacrifice in the face of inequity reminds us that we can overcome injustice and create change when when we join together towards a common goal. Dr. King was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968; he advocated for voting, economic, and labor rights for people people of color in the United States through nonviolence and civil disobedience, rallying against Jim Crow Laws and segregationist policies. His influential “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered during the March on Washington in 1963, and he also helped organize two of the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to fight for voting rights for African Americans. Dr. King became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and has since received many posthumous honors. Though particularly present in the social and political makeup of the United States, his work and ideas have influenced fights for equality and civil rights across the globe.
One of Dr. King’s most repeated messages was to call others to service. He summed this up succinctly in a sermon given in Montgomery, Alabama in 1957: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” During this observance and throughout the year, we want to remind our patrons that the Library is here to serve your needs. Whether you need to research local history or your genealogy, connect to the internet, use a computer, find a job, or learn a new skill, the Lackawanna County Library System has educational and informational resources free and available to all. Our Libraries host relaxing, entertaining, and productive programs for all ages that help our patrons enjoy life, and we have a wide array of materials in our collection to meet your needs. Our service aims to strengthen our communities at every level in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so that we all have ample, equal opportunities and can tackle the persistent challenges in the world.
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Clayborne Carson
I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World edited by James Melvin Washington
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by James Melvin Washington
“I Have A Dream” (Recording)
Letter from Birmingham Jail, available on Libby or Hoopla
Selma (2014) directed by Ava DuVernay
I am MLK Jr. (2018) directed by Michael Hamilton & John Barbisan
MLK/FBI (2020) directed by Sam Pollard