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Saturday, September 23, 2023

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Construction on the Malcolm A. Love Library in 1970 Construction on the Malcolm A. Love Library in 1970

SDSU Community Shares Books They Love

Need something to read? These recommendations won’t disappoint.
By Rebecca Williamson

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the completion of construction of San Diego State University’s Love Library.

Now home to more than 1.6 million books, serials and media titles in the library, with an additional 1.2 million and e-books and databases accessible to the SDSU community, the Love Library continues to evolve to meet the needs of students and SDSU’s aspirations as a research powerhouse.

The library is part of a legacy of expansion under Malcolm A. Love, who led the campus from 1952 to 1971 and retired just prior to its transformation from San Diego State College into the university of today. 

Amid booms in student enrollment, faculty, graduate degree programs and research grants, plans emerged for a great new library to house over one million volumes. Construction began in 1968 and was completed in 1970. The building was named for Love in May 1971.

To cap off this milestone, librarians and staff have created a list of 50 Books SDSU Loves. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff nominated their favorite books, and librarians narrowed down the candidates to 50. 

The list reflects the diversity of the SDSU community. While some of the expected literary classics, such as Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” (No. 7 on the list) and “The Great Gatsby” (No. 18) by F. Scott Fitzgerald are on the list, there are also modern novels by diverse authors. 

The top book, “Kindred,” by Octivia E. Butler, was written by a Black woman and explores the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy through the eyes of a young Black woman. 

The list also includes books written for younger readers such as Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” (No. 2), as well as books that are just fun to read such as “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” (No. 6) by Douglas Adams. Nonfiction works include “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (No. 14) and “Becoming” by Michelle Obama (No. 9).

Many of the books on this list explore issues of social justice in both fiction and nonfiction formats. The list includes timeless racial justice classics such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” (No. 3), by Harper Lee, as well as an intimate look at the impact of war in “A Thousand Splendid Suns” (No. 36), by Khalid Hosseini. Overall, the list is a splendid commentary at how much the SDSU community cares about social justice and the people injustice harms.

The library has electronic or paper copies of most books on the list, and the website links each book to the circulation page for easy checkout. Use Domeside Pickup to have library staff retrieve the book and have it ready for contactless pickup. For books the library does not have, the list links to Amazon for a quick purchase.