Creative Conversations: Winter Quarter Recap

Creative Conversations is the library’s new speaker series that highlights scholarly and creative work begin done by members of the SPU community. We continue to focus the program on the creative processes that go into their work with the aim of stimulating conversations about these processes among students, scholars, and others at SPU.

This quarter Rob Wall and David Nienhuis started us off by presenting their work on their new book A Bite-Sized Introduction to the Whole Bible, a collaborative work that will ultimately include most of the Theology faculty. Each chapter in the book will focus on a different book or collection of books of the bible and will be written by a different faculty member. Slated for becoming a new textbook in the core curriculum, the aim is to provide a book for students (and edited by students) that provides a foundational big picture look at the whole biblical story.

Executive editor of Image Journal, teacher, and author Suzanne Wolfe presented the following week, sharing from her latest novel in progress, The Iron Ring: The Confessions of St. Augustine’s Concubine. She talked about her research process – including her adventures abroad, the process of seeing characters come to life, and the ups and downs of being a writer. Suzanne read the finished epilogue which was rich and beautifully written and is very promising of things to come.

We welcomed Myrna Capp as our third speaker, a gifted pianist who also teaches piano at SPU. Myrna and her husband spent a significant amount of time in Namibia, during which she conducted a great amount of research on Namibian music and musicians. Her book, Namibian Soundscapes: Music of the People and the Land, gives us a glimpse into a fascinating culture so different from our own, and an introduction to a musical people committed to keeping that culture alive.

Don Yanik rounded out this quarter’s Creative Conversations with a talk on scene design. Don has designed sets for a prolific amount of plays in his time, at SPU and outside of it. He shared a little about the process of design as a process that includes collaboration between the director, designers, and actors. It is a process that creates a world for the play to live in and not detract from it. It accomplishes a purpose. To show his work, Don brought along to-scale models of the stage at SPU.

After a successful Winter quarter, we’re excited to welcome Dr. Kimberly Segall, Dr. Jennifer Maier, Dr. Kevin Watson, and the alumni behind SHEP Films in the Spring. Times and dates to come!

2014 Friends of the Library Event: “The Archive of Seattle Pacific University: A Panel Exploring the Origins of SPU in Time and Place”

FOL Archives PanelOn Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7:30-9 p.m. in Upper Gwinn Commons a panel of historians and archivists will explore the origins of Seattle Pacific University through the history of Seattle, the Pacific Northwest, and educational institutions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

When the school that became Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Seminary, was founded in 1891, Seattle had recently emerged as the largest city in the new state of Washington and there was broad interest in establishing schools to prepare for the region’s future.

Inspired by a passion for mission and place, the seminary’s founders proclaimed their belief in “teaching for the future” and their ambition to provide a place where students would acquire a thorough “education for character.” In 1930, the school’s leaders wrote that they had witnessed the transformation of both their “great city,” “from a village in a deep and lonely forest … to the great metropolis of the Pacific Northwest,” and their “small denominational Academy located on a barren hillside into a leading liberal arts College, on a beautiful tree-covered campus.”

Each panelist will focus on a different facet of the content and nature of the historical record that enables exploration of these transformations and better understanding of the SPU that exists today.

The event is free and open to the public.

Creative Conversations

creative conversations poster 2014-01

Creative Conversations is the library’s new speaker series that highlights scholarly and creative work being done by members of SPU community. The intent of this program is to focus on the creative process and stimulate conversations about this process among students, scholars, and others at SPU.

This quarter, we are really excited to have Rob Wall, David Nienhuis, Suzanne Wolfe, Myrna Capp, and Don Yanik join us for the series.

Rob Wall and David Nienhuis will kick things off with A Bite-Sized Introduction to the Whole Bible, followed by Suzanne Wolfe, presenting from her new novel The Iron Ring. Myrna Capp will talk about her work with Namibian music, and Don Yanik will finish out the series this quarter with a discussion on scene design and the process that goes into creating the worlds of plays. Go to our Creative Conversations website for dates, times, and more information.

Last quarter, Fall 2013, saw the debut of Creative Conversations, and we were delighted to see it be a success. We were privileged to have Jeff Keuss, Ben McFarland, David Wicks, Andrew Lumpe, and SPU MFA alum Shannon Huffman Polson speak about their various works. We witnessed a clear shift of focus from the presenting of finished works to the sharing of ideas, processes, and choices that go into creating finished works. Ben McFarland, for example, discussed the collaboration of art and science and the inspiration that he finds in the world around him. David Wicks and Andrew Lumpe talked about creating bPortfolios (blog portfolios) to meet the evolving needs of students who must have up-to-date portfolios in a world of technological progress. Jeff Keuss shared his musings on how Stephen King draws more parallels with the gospel than one might think. Shannon Polson read from her highly acclaimed memoir North of Hope, and talked about the emerging genre of memoir as creative non-fiction, as well as her journey through grief after the loss of her parents.

Join us this quarter for another intriguing series brought to you by scholars in our community.

 

 

From the Director: The Library as a Place of Memory, Perception, and Expectation

In his Friends of the Library lecture last April, publisher Gregory Wolfe discussed how those who mediate or curate cultural works are stewards, critics, and provocateurs. These roles are oriented, respectively, toward the past, present, and future.

In last spring’s Friends of the Library Newsletter, I wrote about how the roles of a library are oriented similarly to the three dimensions of time (see “From the Director: The Past, Future, and Present of the Library”). Augustine famously described how the past, present, and future are present to us through memory, direct perception, and expectation. Libraries help preserve and present these experiences of temporality for individuals as well as cultures. As an archive, a library sustains memory by bringing historical collections forward in space and time. As a site of discovery, creation, and sharing, a library is a place of dynamic activity in the present. And through this activity, directed toward anticipated outcomes, a library is a space that opens to the future.

In his lecture, Greg also shared his personal motivations for becoming a publisher, which included a desire to create community through communication. Here, too, the work of the publisher is consonant with the work of a library: a library is created for and sustained by a community. All the things that constitute a library—collections, staff, services, spaces, and systems—function to mediate these resources to a community for its formation.

An early publication for the institution that became Seattle Pacific University boasts of its proximity to “city libraries and markets” (see Thirteenth Annual Catalogue of The Seattle Seminary, page 11). But when the founders drafted the institution’s bylaws, it was assumed that the school would have its own modest library (books on hygiene and foreign missions are mentioned as particular needs). Throughout the following century, the SPU Library grew to become an essential resource for developing the community of learners and scholars at SPU.

This year’s Annual Report documents the many ways collections, instruction, tools, spaces, and personnel make the SPU Library a place that sustains memory, perception, and expectation for the community at SPU and beyond (see “SPU Library Annual Report 2012-2013”).

Michael J. Paulus, Jr.

University Librarian and Associate Professor

Seattle Pacific University

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2013 Friends of the Library Newsletter. If you would like to receive this biannual newsletter, send an email to Jo Krogh at kroghj@spu.edu.

Day of Common Learning

The 12th annual Day of Common Learning welcomed Dr. Thomas Maridada, director of National Education Policy, Practice, and Strategic Initiative for the Children’s Defense Fund, and a renowned leader in the world of education. This year’s theme was “Helping Youth to Flourish”, addressed by various afternoon showcases, a film screening of Girl Rising, and the keynote address “Transforming Our Youth – Transforming Our Nation: Partnering in Service to Invest in the Lives of Our Nation’s Youth”.  Forums covered topics from troubled youth to cultural backgrounds to volunteering to teaching.

This is what Maryann Shaw, Serials Specialist at the Library, had to say about Girl Rising:

Girl Rising was full of harrowing facts and statistics about life in developing countries for millions of girls, as well as personal first hand stories from the nine girls featured. But it also showed that by giving girls an education, their opportunities open up, and the change not only impacts them, but their families, culture and local economies as well. It reminded me how privileged I was to grow up in a community that values girls and supports their education. I loved that each of the girls were paired with a female writer from their country to help them tell their story, sometimes through song, dance, or poetry. Occasionally movies like Girl Rising can leave one feeling disheartened and powerless in the face of so much heartache and injustice, unsure of the best way to help. But Girl Rising shows how the gift of education for girls in the developing world—through advocacy and/or financial support—empowers the girls to be the agents of change in their own story, and in doing so create change for their communities.

The Library also sent out its first ever roaming Circulation Desk.  Related materials and a couple laptops were taken down to Royal Brougham to check books out to interested staff and students after the keynote address.

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If you are interested in more information regarding this year’s Day of Common Learning theme, our Librarian for Business and Education, Cindy Strong, created a reading list of available library resources and the book display on the main level of the Library will carry some of these books until the end of this week.