Books and Crannies: The Test-File Room

card_catalogThe 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…

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Books and Crannies: The Media Room

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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!

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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.

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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.

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.

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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