2013 Friends of Library Lecture: “Presenting Culture: The Curator as Steward, Critic, and Provocateur,” by Gregory Wolfe

When: Thursday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Upper Gwinn Commons

The 2013 Friends of the Library Lecture will be delivered by Gregory Wolfe, founder and editor-in-chief of Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, writer-in-residence at Seattle Pacific University, and founding director of SPU’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. In addition to building a variety of literary programs and institutions, Wolfe is a prolific author of essays, reviews, and books, including Beauty Will Save the World. He will speak about the curator’s roles as a protector of artistic tradition, an arbiter of taste, and a creative force in his or her own right.

The Friends of the Library Lecture is an annual public lecture started for and sponsored by the Friends of the SPU Library. Members of this group contribute to an endowment that strengthens the library’s resources and enhances its ability to support the discovery, creation, and sharing of knowledge at Seattle Pacific. To learn more about Friends of the Library program, visit the library’s giving site.

FOL Lecture Poster 2013

Going to College in the Fifth Grade

Every year, the SPU campus and library host fifth graders from Dearborn Park Elementary school. The objective of this annual event is to introduce the students to a college environment early so they can begin thinking, planning, and preparing for their own academic possibilities and subsequent journey. The students participate in programs in the Physics and Physical Education department on campus, eat at our cafeteria, and hunt for information at the library to find resources for their State Report projects, in conjunction with their Social Studies class. Cindy Strong, the Education and Business Librarian, organizes the library portion of the event.

Today, fifty Dearborn Park fifth graders participated in the event with twenty-five SPU students assisting them. Many of our library staff also contributed their time and efforts to help make this event a success. It has been a highlight of our academic year for the past nine years, and this fall, a student who attended a past Going to College in the fifth grade day enrolled as a freshman at SPU.

To the fifth graders at Dearborn Park Elementary School – we hope you had a blast today, and will seriously consider Going to College in the “thirteenth” grade as well.

Book Review Tuesday: Special Collection Exhibit

Palmer, Walter C., M.D.  Life and letters of Leonidas L. Hamline, D.D., late one of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. . . .  New York:  Published by Carlton & Porter, 200 Mulberry-Street, 1866.

A month in which we have been reminded that the papacy, at least (if not, as in Methodism, the episcopacy), is an office, not an order, seems a good month to remember “Elder” Leonidas Lent Hamline (1797-1865), important for many reasons other than his precedent-setting resignation, not least his articulation of the principle that General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church had the constitutional authority to suspend a  bishop for slaveholding; the contribution he made to the foundation of Hamline University; and the support he gave to the Holiness revival led by Phoebe Worrall Palmer (1807-1874). This copy of the 1866 Life by Phoebe’s husband Walter (1804-1883) was given to the father of German-American Methodism, William Nast (1807-1899), by Leonidas P. Hamline, a son of the former bishop. It was given to Seattle Pacific by Dr. William Kostlevy.

Steve Perisho,Theology and Philosophy Librarian

Extended Hours Ends Tonight

The library blog will be on hiatus through Spring Break, so we will “see” you on the other end! However, If you need a last-minute study session before a big final tomorrow, drop by the library from now through midnight to take advantage of our Quiet Study Zone. Happy studying!

From the Director: The Past, Future, and Present of the Library

by Michael J. Paulus Jr.

Last quarter I taught a University Seminar on the history and future of the book. Near the end of the course, we visited the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, which opened in 2004, and we discussed the three major challenges the building was designed to address: First, what is the place of legacy print materials? Second, how should space be shaped for new and emerging technologies? And, finally, what types of spaces do library patrons need in a 21st century library?

These questions concern the past, future, and present of the institution that we call “the library”: How do libraries of all types bring historical collections forward in space and time? How do libraries construct spaces that incorporate new technologies and are open to future possibilities? And how do libraries create places where people in the present can interact with the convergence of past patterns and future potentialities of knowledge?

On the final exam for my class, I asked my students to articulate what would be important to them if they were to design a library. Collectively, they wrote about the need for a critical mass of resources (including books in various formats); the need for spaces to interact with knowledge and each other; the need for technologies with which to create; and the need for human guides to help them discover and use resources. These are the essential components of every great library that was, that is, and that is to come, and they are written into the mission statement of the SPU Library: “The SPU Library provides collections, instruction, tools, spaces, and personnel to advance teaching, learning, and scholarship at Seattle Pacific University.” Although that statement was written last year, it could have been written many years ago — or it could be rewritten many years from now.

This article was originally published in the Friends of the Library Newsletter, Spring 2013. Anyone interested in signing up for the newsletter should contact maassr@spu.edu.