Luther College Chips

National Library week

Jedidiah Nixon (‘17) flips through a book at the the book sale.

Jedidiah Nixon (‘17) flips through a book at the the book sale.

Julia Curtis (‘17) | Chips

Julia Curtis (‘17) | Chips

Jedidiah Nixon (‘17) flips through a book at the the book sale.

Julia Curtis, Staff Writer

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Preus Library celebrated the American Library Association (ALA)’s National Library Week with different events, including a book sale, a student library worker appreciation lunch, a video created by the library staff and READ posters. The celebration is designed to send the message, “Libraries are for everyone.” The events took place during the week of April 10 at the same timas as the ALA’s annual celebration, a tradition since 1958.

The book sale is an annual event that Preus Library hosts during National Library Week. It offers hundreds of library books that are out of circulation or donated from alums and retired Luther professors. St. Benedict’s Catholic Church and retired Luther alums donated the vast majority of this year’s books, which ranged in publication, year, and subject. Biology major Jedidiah Nixon (‘17) purchased books written by Jean-Henri Fabre, a 19th century entomologist.

“I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember,” Nixon said. “PDFs are more convenient, but books are a full sensory experience.”

The book sale also draws Luther students and professors, and community members because of the range in topic and low prices. As the week passed, book prices dropped even more. Public Services Coordinator Eddy Atwell said the library sold about two-thirds of the donated books. Atwell also mentioned that proceeds from the sale go toward purchasing new books for Preus’ collection. Preus library raised $2,140.25 through the book sale this year.

“When people donate, I say, ‘Either we’ll use your books, or more likely, it will go to the book sale’ and [the proceeds will] go to books that we do use,” Atwell said. “It feels nice that [the money] isn’t lost and goes into new books.”

The video for National Library Week showcased Luther students and what they appreciate most about libraries and Preus Library, such as senior carrels, the Research Help Desk, and places for students to gather and study or work on projects. Student library worker Pharez Monney (‘17) said he and Technical Services Assistant Emily Mineart (‘10) wanted to show how welcoming libraries are to all groups of people.

“I feel like the fact that we have spaces where you can just come in and get access to information is important,”  Monney said. “Information comes with liberation and the more informed you are, the more liberated you are.”

The inspiration for Preus Library’s READ posters came from the original National Library Association’s READ posters. The original posters featured international celebrities; the Preus Library posters featured ‘Luther celebrities’ like President Paula Carlson and Writing Center tutors.

“In addition to the READ posters, we put up a bunch of posters that said ‘read’ and ‘welcome’ in multiple languages to fit the ‘Libraries are for everyone’ theme,” Mineart said.

Julia Curtis (‘17) | Chips
A poster promoting National Library Week from Preus Library.

ALA sets up an agenda for the week at the national level for public and school libraries. Every year the ALA makes a kit of materials these libraries can use, but the way each library celebrates the event is based on their community.

“On our social media channels, we’ve been celebrating and advocating libraries as inclusive, welcoming community spaces,” Mineart said. “Everyone is free to encounter ideas and each other and not just get work done, but also feel included in the space.”

Honoring National Library Week is a way to celebrate and remind others what libraries can offer, including informational resources, smart information access, and a love for reading.

“National Library Week is the kick-off week for the series of events that happen between National Library Week and the end of the year,” Head of Library Operations and Digital Initiatives Librarian Ryan Gjerde (‘99) said.

Some of the upcoming Library events include the senior paper ice cream social and “Geocache for College Cash” which teaches students about navigating the world and paying back loans. Preus also offers study break snacks and treats during finals week.

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