Since its creation in 1989, the Art Tatum African American Resource Center has acknowledged African Americans’ cultural heritage and lived experiences through books, materials, public programs, and art exhibits. Located inside the Kent Branch in Toledo’s Old West End neighborhood, the Art Tatum African American Resource Center contains approximately 4,700 books along with specialized encyclopedias and bibliographies, standard literary works, scholarly journals and periodicals, audiovisual and streaming materials, and full-text databases. The depth and range of the Art Tatum African American Resource Center Collection positions the Toledo Library as a lifelong learning community partner.

The Resource Center was named in honor of Art Tatum (1909-1956), an internationally known jazz pianist and Toledo native who is widely regarded as one of the giants of jazz piano. Extensive local and regional research in the 1980s revealed the need for an African American cultural center for the residents of Lucas County. At the same time, jazz pianist Art Tatum had yet to be formally recognized by his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. These two threads would come together when, in December 1989, the Art Tatum African American Resource Center was established within the Kent Branch.

The Art Tatum African American Resource Center continues to grow and advance its mission. The Resource Center hosts quarterly public programs for Library customers and highlights the work of local artists within Kent Branch’s public art spaces. Most of the Collection’s materials are available to lend to Toledo Library cardholders.

  • Toledo born jazz virtuoso, master solo pianist and improvisational provocateur Art Tatum was a renowned 20th century musician. Discover these 3 books to learn more about him for Disability Pride Month!

  • Have you started a reading challenge yet this year? Maybe you need a little inspiration to log a few more books for TLCPL’s Winter Read. Maybe you want to challenge yourself to “read harder” this year. No matter what, the team at Kent Branch has you covered! We have curated a list of challenges to diversify your reads this year, and our staff has provided suggestions of some of their faves to match!

  • Our country has been called to challenge the racism that resides amongst us and within us. Part of meeting that challenge is educating oneself and seeking a greater understanding of the experiences and history of Black Americans.

  • See what the Art Tatum Resource Center has to offer for our youngest patrons.

We currently do not have any programs scheduled at this time. Please check back soon.