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.

BWt6mwIIgAAyYwM

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.

A Message from the Director: New at the Library

Dear Members of the SPU Community,

Welcome to a new academic year at SPU! The purpose of this memo is to highlight a few exciting changes at the SPU Library this quarter:

New hours: Beginning this week, the library has new, longer hours:

  • Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 a.m.-Midnight
  • Fridays, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sundays, 10 a.m.-Midnight

More information about hours, including Reference Desk hours, is available from our hours website.

New technology: We have mounted large computer monitors in all study rooms on the 3rd Level, including the Graduate Study Room, and new print/copy/scan devices are located on every level of the library. For more information:

Tech updates in study rooms.

New speaker series: Come to the library Reading Room to hear members of the SPU community share scholarly and creative works in progress. Speaking this quarter:

  • Jeff Keuss (Theology), “The Gospel According to Stephen King”: Thursday, October 24, 3-3:40 p.m.
  • Shannon Huffman Polson (MFA ’12), “North of Hope: Memoir, Memory, and Mercy”: Thursday, October 31, 12:10-12:50 p.m.
  • Ben McFarland (Biochemistry), “The Quickening: How Chemistry Shaped Biology”: Thursday, November 7, 3-3:40 p.m.
  • David Wicks and Andrew Lumpe (Education), “bPortfolios: Using an Open Blogging Platform for Reflective Learning”: Thursday, November 14, 12:10-12:50 p.m.

For more information about this series, see the Creative Conversation site.

To find out more about the library and the many ways we support your work and the discovery, creation, and sharing of knowledge at SPU, visit us in person or online at http://spu.edu/library.

 

Michael J. Paulus, Jr.

University Librarian and Associate Professor

Seattle Pacific University

Extended Hours and Library Blog Hiatus

The Library Extended Hours ends tomorrow night, June 5, at Midnight. The Library will close at 6 p.m. on the last day of final exams, Thursday, June 6. On Friday, June 7, the Library will be open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m with a closure during the day for the campus Ivy Cutting ceremony. Saturday and Sunday, June 8 – 9, the Library will be closed.

The Library congratulates all our students for another successful academic year and wishes our graduating seniors well as they move forward into a new stage of life.

The Library blog will be on hiatus during summer break, to resume during autumn quarter, 2013. Enjoy the nice weather, and we hope to see you soon!

Is it time for a study break or a cram session?

Ready for a break from all of the intensive studying? Why not stretch those legs by walking to the SPU Library to take a look at our latest book display, peruse our Popular Fiction book collection, or tour the quarterly finals week 3-D artwork? And in spite of the mayhem that may overtake the rest of the campus during the finals week frenzy, the Library Reading Room offers a quiet place to kick back, relax, and read a magazine, newspaper, or book. Need to stock your bookshelves with summer reading? Our book sale cart, located by the Circulation Desk, has a variety of used books selling for 25 cents each.

Or, if instead of a break you need a cram session, come to the Library prepared for study and research by bringing your Sea Pac Card pre-loaded with Debit Dollars for printing and scanning, your group study room reservation in order, and the call numbers in hand for any library Course Reserve item you may need to check out. Take a look at our study tips for more ideas on how to study effectively at the Library. The Everyday Writer is a wonderful citation resource, call number PE1408 .L86 2009, and our librarians are trained to provide citation guidance as well. Also, don’t forget that the Library is on an extended hours schedule this week and next, so come and stay awhile anytime between 7:30 a.m. to Midnight now through June 5, 2013.