February Reading List

Want to catch up on your reading list of works by and about African Americans in honor of Black History month? Drop by the SPU library and take a look at the book display adjacent to the Circulation Desk to preview some of our relevant items.

Book display organized by Stephanie Rubesh, Access Services

New books you might want to add to your list of must-reads include:

I have a dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr.Kadir Nelson
An illustrated edition of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.


Life upon these shores : looking at African American history, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates
African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture.


Unspoken : a story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
A wordless picture book.


For more items, including ebooks, owned by our library and related to African American literature, culture, and history, click here to view a WorldCat list.

Unique Library Collections

The SPU library has many unique collections featured throughout the building. Though some collection may have restrictions, knowing who to contact can make items in these areas more available to you. Here are a few specialized collections the library carries:

  • Northwest Regional Collection—Located on the second level of the library, along the wall next to the end room. The NW Regional books are secured behind a glass display case next to Seminar Room B. These are books about the Pacific Northwest, and a number of them are published by Ye Galleon Press in Eastern Washington. To view the books located in this collection, see this list. Most are available to be checked out for a normal four week period. Ask at the circulation desk to retrieve requested books.
  • Emmanuel Room Collection—Located on the second level of the library, at the end of the Administrative offices hallway. The Samuel J. Emmanuel Room houses the Wesleyan, Wesleyan Holiness, and Free Methodist Collection. Materials must be used in the room and may not leave the library except as approved by the Special Collections librarian. Contact Steve Perisho, Theology Librarian, to arrange access to the books in this room.
  • Work and Faith Collection—Located in the Graduate/Faculty Study Room on the third level of the library. These books relate to ministry in daily life, particularly focusing on faith and vocations. All patrons are welcome to enter Graduate/Faculty Study Room to retrieve items from the Work and Faith Collection. The items in this collection can be checked out for a normal four week period. To view the items in this collection, see this list. If you have any additional questions about this collection, contact Cindy Strong, Business Librarian.
  • Archival CollectionLocated on the lower level, in the far right corner of the building. The items in this collection document the rich history of Seattle Pacific University. Artifacts and papers of significance are stored in this secure repository, and can be accessed through appointment by contacting the University Archivist, Adrienne Meier. For more information regarding items in this collection, see this list.

To learn more about the unique collections featured in this article as well as additional collections found within our library, visit the Library Collections page on the website.

Revolving Book Displays

On a table next to the main level computers, you’ll find a collection of books focusing on a theme. Many times, the theme relates to current events or items of relevance to our campus community. Displays vary widely in topics. Over the past year, displays have included works on Politics and Social Media; movies on DVD and the books they are based on; works by local authors or about Seattle and environs; works on Lent and Easter; and many others. The November 2012 display contains books relating to Politics and Social Media. While some of the items on the table are printed books, there are also QR codes to ebooks in our catalog on the same topic. In addition, a full list of all display items is available. You can check any of these items out for a normal four week checkout period.

While this display routinely changes throughout the year, it is not our only revolving display. If you are searching in the online catalog and the item you find has a status of “New Book Shelf,” you will find it on a bookcase by the stairwell. These are recently added items to our collection, all published within the last few years, and ranging in subject. Like the thematic display table, any items on the New Book Shelf can be checked out for four weeks.

Don’t hesitate to drop by the library and view our revolving displays. We love to see these books checked out. If you see an item of interest and are unsure about the loaning policies, ask at the reference desk or inquire at the circulation desk.

Melody Steiner/Access Services Technician

Reading for fun at the SPU Library

“Excuse me. Where are the books for fun?” This is a question I am asked on a regular basis at the circulation desk, particularly at the end of finals week and during the breaks. While at times I’m tempted to ask what the individual’s definition of “fun” is, I am seasoned enough to know he or she is usually looking for some “pleasure reading,” a librarian’s term for reading for “fun.”

Patrons are often surprised to find that we do, indeed, have books that could be categorized as “fun” books. Depending on a book’s audience, year of publication, and cultural or scholarly relevance, enjoyable fiction books can be found in multiple locations in the library:

  • The Popular Fiction Collection — This collection is located on the main level of the library, on a table found in front of the main computer area and on a larger table located in the Library Reading Room. These books are New York Times bestsellers of recent years, all genres. It’s important to note that they can’t be found in the catalog, so patrons cannot place holds on these items. But feel free to drop by the library and browse—all of these books are available for check out to SPU patrons and alumni.
  • The Language and Literature section (PJ – PT) — More interested in classics, short story anthologies, contemporary lit, poetry, even books by SPU local novelists? You might be able to find what you’re looking for in the P section of the General Collection, located on the third level. It’s a fairly large section, so you may improve your success if you use the online library catalog to search for an item rather than browsing the area. If you choose to browse, try the PR and PS section for English and American literature and poetry.
  • The Juvenile section — For a wide array of picture books, middle grade, young adult books, and even some graphic novels, visit the Juvenile section. You’ll find popular YA, such as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Sara Zarr’s Once was Lost, and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker. Use the library’s catalog to place holds on these books, or drop by the library to browse. You’ll find the Juvenile section on the third level, left of the staircase, adjacent to the Curriculum section.

Between these three sections, the library has an extensive collection of books for “fun.” Don’t hesitate to call or visit to see what we have available. If you’re unsure whether or not we have a title, drop by the reference desk—a librarian will be more than happy to assist!

-Melody Steiner, Access Services Technician