Almost there!

The library’s last day of extended hours is tonight. We’re open until midnight, so if you need to take advantage of the extra study time, feel free to drop by and instantly reserve a room for study time or to work on a project. If you’re looking for help finding resources, our librarians are at the reference desk until 8 p.m. In celebration of Advent and Christmas, come see our Christmas tree in the reading room and browse our Advent book display on the main floor.

The SPU Library blog will be on a brief hiatus during winter break and Christmas, but check back on the first Tuesday of the new quarter for more posts.

Work hard on your finals, and enjoy the break ahead!


Thursday Food for Thought recap

Last week was our wrap up for our autumn quarter library Thursday Food for Thought sessions. We’ve had a great run, with subjects ranging from movies to theology, from essays to visual literacy. Here’s some of what the final three speakers shared:

  • October 18: Daniel Castelo and Michael Langford, faculty from the School of Theology, read from the book Holiness as a Liberal Art, edited by Castelo with essay contributions from additional School of Theology faculty. Conversation revolved around the implications of holiness infusing all aspects of education. The book is available at the SPU library with the call number BX8331.3 H64 2012.
  • November 1: Julia Siemens, editor of etc magazine, read from multiple articles, discussed the process of writing true stories about SPU alum, and invited comments from current students who had pieces written about them in the magazine. Staff from University Communications also shared their perspectives on the production aspects of etc. To access the magazine, subscribe or view the current issue online.
  • November 8: Karen Gutowsky-Zimmerman, associate professor of Art, read from the book A Primer of Visual Literacy, by Donis A. Dondis, and spoke about the messaging and impact of visual literacy. You can access the featured book through our catalog. Other books highlighted by the speaker are Principles of Form and Design by Wucius Wong (call number TA345 .W66 1993), Visual Literacy by James Elkin (call number LB1068 .V567 2008), and Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving by Judith Wilde and Richard Wilde (call number NC845 .W55 1991).

We hope you enjoyed our lineup this quarter! Visit our Thursday Food for Thought website for updates and to view the list of speakers for next quarter.

Thursday Food for Thought

During Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, the SPU library hosts a reading program that features campus faculty, staff, and student writers. This event is one way we highlight the scholastic achievements of our community, bringing people from across campus together in an informal session to listen to portions of articles and books written by our very own.

This quarter, we launched on October 11th with Todd Rendleman, professor of communication, who packed a full house in our library’s Reading Room with his book Rule of Thumb: Ebert at the Movies. During the engaging Q&A session, Rendleman discussed his personal interactions with Ebert. While his book analyzes Ebert as a movie reviewer, it sounded relatable and gracious in its approach. The library call number for this book is PN1998.3 .R46 2012.


Last week, we again welcomed professor of New Testament and theology, Jack Levison, to the library, where he read from his new book Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life. The book takes a more personal approach than other works Levison has published, written in a narrative style that incorporates aspects of himself as scholar, father, and Christian. The call number for this book is BT121.3 .L48 2012.


We’re two fantastic weeks in already, but there are three more weeks of TFFT to come. Today, October 25th, we’ll hear from Daniel Castelo and other School of Theology faculty members who contributed to the book Holiness as a Liberal Art. Pack a meal, join us, and prepare yourself for stimulating lunchtime discussion at the library!

Library Staff Reflections on the Day of Common Learning

This year’s theme for the Day of Common Learning was Modeling Civic Engagement. Across campus, students, staff, and faculty engaged in seminars, forums, and panels as a form of community learning. Discussions ranged from issues related to human trafficking, orphans, and race issues across the globe, to energy in developing countries, micro-credit as a way of building economies, topics of Christianity in our modern world, and more.

Library staff participated in the events of the day as well. Here’s what some of our colleagues had to say about the sessions they attended:

  • “Dr. Miroslav Volf presented a succinct, yet compelling framework of three principles for Christians’ public engagement in a pluralistic world: allow for equal rights of expression for all; always honor the other, but not necessarily their deeds; focus on using ethical means when pursuing goals. He nicely elaborated on these points during the luncheon that followed as he answered faculty questions. In the afternoon session “Do This in Remembrance of Me,” Dr. Baine Craft, Associate Professor of Psychology and Biology, reviewed current psychological theories about memory in light of Volf’s call, in his book The End of Memory: remembering rightly in a violent world, for Christians to use memories  in ways that facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation. The library call number for Volf’s book is BV 4597.565 .V65 2006.” -Gary Fick, Librarian for the Sciences and Psychology
  • “As Christians, how can we best engage with Muslims? In the session Talking “Grace and Truth” with Muslims, this question was discussed by two speakers, Blake Wood and John Coghlan, one who has spent time in the Middle East, and one who has worked with Muslims in the US. Their answer: Christians can best engage with Muslims by focusing on Christ, and by divorcing the Gospel from Western culture, civilization, and government.  A similar (and more general) discussion can be found in Leslie Newbigin’s Foolishness to the Greeks: the Gospel and Western Culture, which is located in the library with the call number BR115.C8 N467 1986.” -Adrienne Meier, Librarian for Social Sciences and University Archivist
  • “In his keynote address, Dr. Miroslav Volf mentioned two competing ideas of religion from early American history. One was Roger Williams, who founded Providence Plantation in 1636 as a colony in which anyone could worship in the way they chose. Volf contrasted Roger Williams’ view religious freedom with Massachusetts governor John Winthrop’s rigidly Puritan community, which Winthrop described using the well-known image of a “City upon a Hill.” Although Dr. Volf mentioned these two ideas in passing, they are both rich ideas that merit deeper understanding.  he library has a new book that might be of interest for further exploration of Roger William’s ideas, Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty. The call number for this item is BX6495.W55 B37 2012. For a recent treatment of John Winthrop, see this biography: John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father, found under the call number F67.W79 B74 2003.” -Natalee Vick, Technical Services Coordinator/Librarian

We hope you also benefitted from the Day of Common Learning! If you’re interested in more information regarding today’s theme, our Librarian for Theology and Philosophy, Steve Perisho, has created an additional reading list of library resources.