March 2011

nota bene: the newsletter of the Bryan College Library
March 2011 Volume 3, Issue 6

In This Edition:

Mrs. Stephanie Wood

Stephanie Wood, with a portait of William Jennings Bryan
How long have you been at Bryan? This will be my 11th year working in CORE as the Origins Research Assistant, but it's my first full year at the library.

What's your role at library? I'm the Archivist. Dr. Livesay encouraged me to pursue archival studies several years ago (I have an archival certificate from ETSU). At the time, it helped that I worked with Dr. Richard Cornelius (he had an office in the CORE museum), because I felt like I already had a vested interest in preserving all of the Bryan College/ WJ Bryan historical artifacts and documents he'd collected. It was a natural fit for me.

What do you do as an archivist? I curate the college's Special Collections (housed in the library), which means I work to preserve them and make the information in the collections available to researchers. I'm in the process of organizing our special collections and transferring them from harmful enclosures to appropriate, protective (acid-free, lignin-free, PVC-free) materials. I research and design historical displays (for instance, I'm currently working with the Rhea County Historical Society to develop an exhibit on F.E. Robinson during his time as trustee of the college, to be displayed at the Rhea Court house). I'm also working with Connie Sanders to interview individuals for the Bryan College Collective Memory project. We select local individuals who have or had a significant role at Bryan either as students, faculty, or staff (or all of the above). The purpose of it is to preserve Bryan College's history, to know more about the day-to-day life at Bryan, and to learn about past presidents and their wives.

What's the best thing about your job? Discovering fascinating tidbits of information! I enjoy being able to learn more about Mr. Bryan, about his character and personality; he's very different than I thought. I really respect him a lot more than I did before. I also love delving into Bryan College history to learn about the founders of the college and how God brought the college into existence (at the beginning of the Depression!): seeing how money was promised then the Depression happened and pledges were lost, but the school managed to get up and running. I love talking to and seeing photographs of people going to school here when it was still cinder block and yet they were still willing to come and learn, because they could see beyond the buildings (or lack thereof). It is amazing to see how God has preserved the school over time.

Anything else you'd like to tell the faculty/ staff? I'm interested in gathering any historical artifacts or documents related to the college or Mr. Bryan. If you find old documents in your office, don't throw anything away without contacting me first!

Student Evening of Readings a Success

Thirteen budding student writers took the floor last Monday night to read their original works of fiction and familiar essays to a sizable audience. We were quite pleased with the interest and enthusiastic participation in this first foray into showcasing student writing (this was our third in this year's series of Evenings of Readings).

Our final EofR will be April 25 and will feature juvenile literature. If you would like to read a favorite children's book or two, contact Keri-Lynn Paulson.



Here are just a few of the items we added to the library last month:

Main Collection

Rouner, Arthur A. Jr. My father, my minister. 253 R760m

Burge, Gary M. Whose land? Whose promise?: What Christians are not being told about Israel and the Palestinians. 263.0425694 B91w

Rouner, Arthur A., Jr. Beyond the pulpit, a journey to the world to heal the broken heart. 266.0096757 R760b

Ledewitz, Bruce. American religious democracy: Coming to terms with the end of secular politics. 322.10973 L498a

Stapert, Calvin. Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's people. 782.23 St271h 
Wallace, Earl W. Called home: screenplay. 791.4372 W155w


Vander Laan, Ray. God heard their cry: 5 faith lessons. AV 225.9 V282g

Vander Laan, Ray. Fire on the Mountain: 6 faith lessons. AV 225.9 W282f

Walking with God in the desert: a Focus on the Family Films presentation. AV 225.9 W282w


Spring Break Hours

The library will only be open Monday -Thursday (March 7-10) from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. more details


Mrs. Polly Revis attended an online webinar on Resource Description and Access (RDA) entitled "RDA: Ask-The-Experts" on February 17.

Coffee and Conversation with
Frederica Matthewes-Green

February 28 (Monday)

The Library and The Office for Spiritual Formation will host a time of coffee & conversation with Frederica Matthewes-Green on the Second Floor of the Library, with refreshments to follow in the Spoede Lounge. 7:30-9:00 p.m

Annual Library Survey

The library will run its annual online survey from March 21-31. This is your chance to tell us what you think! Watch for more details via e-mail after Spring Break.



I decided I was not going to write another one of those “wow, look at how the semester is getting away from us” laments this month. Instead I would like to focus on where we go from here.

As has been often noted in recent years, the only constant these days seems to be change. But that should be a call to us to consistently upgrade our methods and style, not our core values. The Bryan College Library staff still prizes the values of good service, being considerate of the real needs of our constituents, and just trying to be the best we can be. Those core values are a expressions of what “Christ Above All” means to us in our workplace and should never change if we are being true to Bryan’s motto.

But our methods and style, and even our choice of the services we offer will continue to evolve, a change driven by the values themselves. Those values are why we try new things, add new programs, move to new software systems, change the appearance of our facility, etc. The call to place Christ above all, to be the best we can be is a call to change as we are being transformed and conformed to His Image.

We thank you for your godly patience with us as we try to “get it right” knowing that even when we finally do, the new “right” will only be a foundation for more transformation. In this life, and particularly in library services we will never get it totally right because “right” is a moving target and we are constantly running just to stay within range. But that’s okay. It means job security for us, both in our chosen field and in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Thanks for the privilege of serving you!
--Dr. Gary Fitsimmons

© 2011 Bryan College Library
Please direct your comments or questions to
Dr. Gary Fitsimmons (Library Director) or Keri-Lynn Paulson (editor)

Past Issues: Jan/ Feb 2011December 2010November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | April/ May 2010March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010Nov/ Dec 2009October 2009 | September 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009