The test-file room sits in the bottom corner of the library, past a card-catalog cabinet of large proportions, under lock and key. Dominated by the hum of elevator shaft machinery, a ticking clock, and the smell of hospital floors & hot cardboard boxes, the room is a safe deposit for psychological tests and mental measurements and stores the library’s phonograph record collection. Do you have a record player and a desire to explore various popular, world, and classical musics? If so, avail yourself of this massive resource! Check out grooves from Iannis Xenakis, Jefferson Airplane, Eskimo folk traditions and way beyond. You can savor leafing through the card-catalog for titles, or browse this online list. Bring us the call numbers for records you’d like to try, and we’ll retrieve them from the room. There’s nothing like that warm vinyl sound…
One of my favorite spaces in the library is the media room, nestled in the southwestern corner of the lower level. The room is dominated by a 46” flat-screen monitor, a DVD/VHS combo-player, and hookups and cables allowing you to connect most any computer or audiovisual device to the screen. Four comfy chairs surround a rolling table, whose surface is just the right height to take notes or rest mugs of tea. Reserve this room online and have your own private screening room for anywhere from half an hour to three hours. Contact the Tech Desk if you need help setting anything up. Fully equipped and private, it’s a perfect spot for you and some friends to screen class projects, view assigned media, or watch that Polish art-film loaned from Summit you’ve been dying to see. Happy viewing!
Jo Krogh joins the SPU Library staff as our new Budget Manager and Administrative Assistant. Learn a little bit about her below in our Q & A interview:
What are some things you are responsible for in your new position?
I am responsible for managing the library’s budget, which can range from counting cash in the cash registers to making sure we are all squared away financially for any major projects we have coming. I absolutely love working with numbers so although I am up in a cave crunching away- I’m happy!
What is your favorite thing about living in Seattle?
I love how each neighborhood in Seattle has its own unique identity. The MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) is one of my favorite places to visit. It is right next to The Center for Wooden Boats where you can take sailing lessons. There are old retired boats parked that you can take tours through, and the museum itself is full of Seattle history. There is also a little park surrounding that area that is full on any given weekend, with the growing neighborhood of South Lake Union just a 5 minute walk away.
One of my favorite things about Seattle is the weather! I do enjoy the sun but I also like cloudy days and the light rain that Seattle is known for. I want to get good use out of my new raincoat, so wouldn’t mind if it was rainy all the time!
Any new book recommendations?
I mostly read fiction novels, and right now I’m bouncing around 5 different genres. I just finished reading ‘A Natural History of Dragons’, by Marie Brennan and really enjoyed it! It’s a fictional (dragons aren’t real, disappointingly) but relatable tale about a young woman trying to study a relatively new form of science that has always been a man’s subject. As a woman in mathematics, I can definitely relate to her struggles. I’m currently reading ‘The Good Lord Bird’ by James McBride, on pre-civil war social issues. For a much lighter suggestion, I recommend ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ by Mindy Kaling, one of my favorite people in comedy right now. The book is great, but the audio book is even better since Mindy reads it herself!
Jo is located on the second floor of the Library in the Administrative offices. Drop by and say hi!
The first advent candle has been lit, twinkle lights are starting to grace houses and trees, and temperatures are continuing to plummet. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. After our successful Halloween book round-up, we knew we had to follow up with the Library staff’s favorite Christmas volumes as well. Pick up something to read for your travels home, or where ever you may be going this holiday season. These books and films will also be on display on the main floor of the Library for your festive reading (and viewing) pleasure.
It’s a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra
Amahl and the Night Visitors, by Gian Carlo Menotti
The Legend of the Poinsettia, by Tomie DePaola
Nine Days to Christmas, by Marie Hall Ets
The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
The Father Christmas Letters, by JRR Tolkien
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson
The Oxford Book of Carols, edited by Percy Dearmer
The Legend of the Christmas Rose, by Ellin Greene
For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio, by W.H. Auden
The Tomten, by Astrid Lindgren
O Holy Night: Masterworks of Christmas Poetry, by Johann Moser
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
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