2014 Friends of the Library Event: “The Archive of Seattle Pacific University: A Panel Exploring the Origins of SPU in Time and Place”

FOL Archives PanelOn Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7:30-9 p.m. in Upper Gwinn Commons a panel of historians and archivists will explore the origins of Seattle Pacific University through the history of Seattle, the Pacific Northwest, and educational institutions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

When the school that became Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Seminary, was founded in 1891, Seattle had recently emerged as the largest city in the new state of Washington and there was broad interest in establishing schools to prepare for the region’s future.

Inspired by a passion for mission and place, the seminary’s founders proclaimed their belief in “teaching for the future” and their ambition to provide a place where students would acquire a thorough “education for character.” In 1930, the school’s leaders wrote that they had witnessed the transformation of both their “great city,” “from a village in a deep and lonely forest … to the great metropolis of the Pacific Northwest,” and their “small denominational Academy located on a barren hillside into a leading liberal arts College, on a beautiful tree-covered campus.”

Each panelist will focus on a different facet of the content and nature of the historical record that enables exploration of these transformations and better understanding of the SPU that exists today.

The event is free and open to the public.

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.

New Library Discovery System for 2014

Dear Members of the SPU Community,

Beginning January 1, 2014, we will have a new search tool for finding materials in the SPU Library and Summit libraries. Our library is one of the 37 Summit libraries transitioning to this shared system, which will enhance the discovery and sharing of resources within the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

The new interface is similar to our current SPU WorldCat system and other search tools you may have used before: you search for books, articles, and more using a single search box and then select from various options to filter your results.

Here are some key changes to be aware of once the new system is live:

  • The “Classic Catalog” and SPU WorldCat will be replaced by the new system after December 31. Learn more here.
  • Signing in with your SPU username and password will maximize your search experience. Learn more here.
  • You will see new “Get It” and “View It” tabs under each title to help you access and request items. Learn more here.
  • Journals A-Z will become eJournals A-Z. Learn more here.

Additional information and guidance is available here.

If you have questions or feedback, please speak with the liaison librarian for your area or any member of the library staff.

Michael J. Paulus, Jr.

A Message from the Director: New at the Library

Dear Members of the SPU Community,

Welcome to a new academic year at SPU! The purpose of this memo is to highlight a few exciting changes at the SPU Library this quarter:

New hours: Beginning this week, the library has new, longer hours:

  • Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 a.m.-Midnight
  • Fridays, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sundays, 10 a.m.-Midnight

More information about hours, including Reference Desk hours, is available from our hours website.

New technology: We have mounted large computer monitors in all study rooms on the 3rd Level, including the Graduate Study Room, and new print/copy/scan devices are located on every level of the library. For more information:

Tech updates in study rooms.

New speaker series: Come to the library Reading Room to hear members of the SPU community share scholarly and creative works in progress. Speaking this quarter:

  • Jeff Keuss (Theology), “The Gospel According to Stephen King”: Thursday, October 24, 3-3:40 p.m.
  • Shannon Huffman Polson (MFA ’12), “North of Hope: Memoir, Memory, and Mercy”: Thursday, October 31, 12:10-12:50 p.m.
  • Ben McFarland (Biochemistry), “The Quickening: How Chemistry Shaped Biology”: Thursday, November 7, 3-3:40 p.m.
  • David Wicks and Andrew Lumpe (Education), “bPortfolios: Using an Open Blogging Platform for Reflective Learning”: Thursday, November 14, 12:10-12:50 p.m.

For more information about this series, see the Creative Conversation site.

To find out more about the library and the many ways we support your work and the discovery, creation, and sharing of knowledge at SPU, visit us in person or online at http://spu.edu/library.

 

Michael J. Paulus, Jr.

University Librarian and Associate Professor

Seattle Pacific University

From the Director: The Past, Future, and Present of the Library

by Michael J. Paulus Jr.

Last quarter I taught a University Seminar on the history and future of the book. Near the end of the course, we visited the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library, which opened in 2004, and we discussed the three major challenges the building was designed to address: First, what is the place of legacy print materials? Second, how should space be shaped for new and emerging technologies? And, finally, what types of spaces do library patrons need in a 21st century library?

These questions concern the past, future, and present of the institution that we call “the library”: How do libraries of all types bring historical collections forward in space and time? How do libraries construct spaces that incorporate new technologies and are open to future possibilities? And how do libraries create places where people in the present can interact with the convergence of past patterns and future potentialities of knowledge?

On the final exam for my class, I asked my students to articulate what would be important to them if they were to design a library. Collectively, they wrote about the need for a critical mass of resources (including books in various formats); the need for spaces to interact with knowledge and each other; the need for technologies with which to create; and the need for human guides to help them discover and use resources. These are the essential components of every great library that was, that is, and that is to come, and they are written into the mission statement of the SPU Library: “The SPU Library provides collections, instruction, tools, spaces, and personnel to advance teaching, learning, and scholarship at Seattle Pacific University.” Although that statement was written last year, it could have been written many years ago — or it could be rewritten many years from now.

This article was originally published in the Friends of the Library Newsletter, Spring 2013. Anyone interested in signing up for the newsletter should contact maassr@spu.edu.