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.

Halloween Book List

DWCityWith Halloween around the corner, we decided to ask around the Library and see what the staff are recommending for a chilling read. If it’s classics you’re after, we do, of course, have options from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, to volumes by Edgar Allan Poe – but here are some outside the coffin box suggestions.

Snow White, Blood Red, by Ellen Datlow

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

— Christina Nofziger

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

— Carrie Fry

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson

— Johanna Staman

All Hallows’ Eve, by Charles Williamspumpkin pumpkin

— Michael Paulus

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, by Jeane Titherington

— Natalee Vick

(More) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell

— Jo Krough

Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories, by Michael Sims

When the Lights Go Out, by H.W. Wilson Co.

— Stephanie Rubesh

Also available through Summit:

Salem’s Lot, Stephen King

— Jake Crammer

House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski

— Kevin Kayahara

Last but not least, check out this book by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, for a real Halloween scare.

Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill

200px-HSBHill

 

The View (from Downstairs)

Here is the latest message from Ryan Ingersoll, Head of Library Technology at the SPU Library:

As the Tech Desk continues to evolve, we want to keep you up-to-date on all the new services and products we’ve added.

Last year, the Tech Desk added multiple items for check out including iPod touches, audio recorders, Flip cameras, and MacBook Pros for use within the library. This year, we’ve extended the list to include a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR camera that is available for check out for three days at a time.

In addition, every study room on the Third Level is now equipped with a 46-inch LCD screen that connects to your mobile device (tablet, computer). They are perfect for collaborating on projects where everyone needs to see the screen. If you need HDMI or VGA adapters, they are available for check out at the Tech Desk. Each study room also has mobile furniture – feel free to configure tables and chairs to meet your specific needs.

screens

Our staff is trained to provide assistance with many of the technology tools we provide, and our knowledge base provides helpful tutorials and tips on these tools also. We are also here if you need help using the new printers (including scanning JPEG images or PDFs), or setting up wireless printing on your Mac or PC.

Visit our website for more information or schedule a one-on-one consultation by emailing librarytechdesk@spu.edu

Books and Crannies: The Juvenile Section

The Juvenile section of the library, with its broad tables and big windows, feels like a well kept secret. Study areas are tucked away on the third floor between stacks of childrens books and green filled windows that allow enough natural light in to make the space feel warm, but block enough of campus below to make the space feel private.

juv3

What’s more, the Library heating system decrees that the Juvenile section shall be warmer than all others. With gray, rainy days around the corner, this is always a plus. And, of course, if a study break is called for, titles from The Hobbit to Goodnight Moon and everything in between, are just an arm reach away.

juv4

Any study areas you are excited about?

Gold Stars on the Honor Roll: Remembering Then and Now

One of the larger sized items in the SPU Archives is the Honor Roll, or, more correctly, the Honor Roll of Seattle Pacific College Students in the Armed Service of Our Country.  It is a list of the students who served in various military branches during the Second World War.

Honor Roll

The top portion of the Honor Roll plaque held in the Archives – some of the letters have been lost

Looking for a way to honor their fellow students who had left school to fight for the United States, SPC students held a donation drive during the 1942-43 school year to fund a lasting tribute to those who served. An article in the May 27, 1943 Falcon newspaper states:

“The realization of the small part we [students still on campus] are playing in this great struggle for freedom as compared with the hardships you[students who enlisted] are enduring, has created a feeling about the campus that we must do more for you – honor you to the best of our ability.”

Out of this feeling arose the plan for a permanent plaque in your honor.That plan led to the plaque that is held by the Archives today. Subsequent issues of the Falcon mention adding names to the plaque as more students were called to serve.

Plaque Names

Some of the names of students who served – both men and women are recognized on the plaque

During the summer of 1944, the plaque was placed in the main hall of the Administration Building (Peterson Hall today) to help students remember their fellow students who were serving.

The Falcon, Nov 2, 1945The plaque on the wall in Peterson Hall, photo from the Falcon November 2, 1945.

Unfortunately, not every SPC student who served returned alive. Those who gave their lives had a gold star placed next to their names. Of the 309 names on the plaque, 10 names are accompanied by a gold star.

Names with Star

Some of the names on the plaque, including one gold star

The plaque is no longer in Peterson Hall; it is now housed in the University Archives. But the students’ vision of a permanent honor of those who served is still present on campus. The Chapel on the second floor of Alexander Hall has a memorial to all Seattle Pacific students who gave their lives in military service.

Alexander Chapel Memorial

The memorial in the Alexander Chapel – the bottom lines read: In honor of Seattle Pacific Veterans of Foreign wars/In Memory of Seattle Pacific Alumni who died/in defense of Liberty and Justice for All

– Adrienne Meier, Social Sciences Librarian and University Archivist