Drama, Drama, Drama!

Have you ever wondered what's involved in preparing for a stage production? Look no further than the library's Bring Yourphoto of Theatre display World Into Our World display, where we're featuring the  Theatre Department now through Fall Break. You'll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a director's notebook, costume renderings, set design, and of course, some recently-used, recognizable props (does anyone here know a poor sap named Yorick?). There's also an impressive array of photographs from past Hilltop Player Stage Productions and a video clip of scenes from Tartuffe. Most importantly, however, are interviews with Bernie Belisle and Jared Cole, in which the professors discuss what it means to be a dramatist and a Christian and how the act of doing theater helps believers step into others' shoes. As Mr. Belisle says, "[Theatre is] about connecting with individuals, learning to identify with people different from ourselves culturally, generationally, philosophically, religiously." Stop by the library soon to see this great display!

New Look: Part II: Books & DVDs

As we said in last month's newsletter, our primary goal during the recent web site reorganization was to make our library's home page layout simple and intuitive, using as few clicks (or action steps) as possible to get to the desired information. One of the means we used to move us toward this goal was to prominently feature a dynamic, tabbed box (see screen shot below) on our front page, which allowed us to show our users what broad types of information are available to them at a glance. Our many thanks to Ryan Harrell of the web team for coding this box for us! 

Our Books and DVDs tab (which is the primary default for our home page) allows users to search the library's  catalog, which includes records for our physical (on-site) book and DVD collections, as well as access to two of our subscription eBook collections. Underneath the search box are image links to three other collections not included in our catalog: WorldCat, which strives to be a world-wide catalog of libraries' holdings and is customizable by zip code, and two other subscription eBook collections (which require a Bryan ID and password to access): ACLS Humanities eBook and ABC-CLIO's eBook Collection.  If you can't find the book you want in our online or physical collections, you can request it through interlibrary loan using the form at the bottom of the box.

screenshot of library's home page


Need to Organize?

The library has moved many of our periodicals online and we are offering our leftover cardboard periodical boxes to all faculty and staff for their private collections. If you keep magazines, workbooks, unbound papers, really anything that needs a little help to stand up straight on your bookshelves, these are a great way to manage such things (I use mine for organizing recipe magazines in my kitchen) . They are about 3” wide, can be labeled with the years/volumes contained, and come in standard sizes to fit most journals or magazines. If you want one or several, email Polly Revis (revispo@bryan.edu) with a request for the number and size you need (approximate dimensions of the journal issues) and we can have a student assistant deliver them to your office. Or if you prefer to come and look at them and pick out your own, come to the library and Polly will show you what we have.

From the Director

In defense of a “kinder, gentler” library (to use the words of the senior President Bush), Maria Shine has written an article in Inside Higher Ed that extols the virtues of academic libraries and their staffs. Of course, I find her observations quite complimentary, but I also find one of them, in particular, astute. I am referring to the observation that most library personnel have vast intellectual curiosity.
I think that is one of the major reasons I became a librarian. I remember one of my library school professors who seemed to recognize this quality in me commenting on how I wanted to take every course in the library school curriculum, including all four tracks for the four major types of libraries. To put that in perspective, he had bachelor degrees in physics, chemistry and math; master degrees in library science, physics and math, and PhDs in physics and math, and he liked library science the best. (Incidentally, his wife obtained her MLS degree at the same time I did, having, with that, equaled the number of his degrees.)
But my broad range of subject interests goes back even further than that. Before I even got to college, I played the drums (unmistakably an intellectual endeavor), did star gazing, learned German, read my Bible through several times, grew a large garden, learned the state histories of most of the states I lived in (as an Army brat), and wanted to be a research chemist to find a cure for cancer. I started my college career as a psychology/social-work double major with music and German minors. After switching to a drama/ biblical studies double major and learning modern Hebrew and some biblical Greek, I had to concede that I couldn’t be everything, and satisfied myself with fact that my drama major (Communication Arts, Drama Concentration) required me to take courses in advanced communication theory.
It is interesting that librarianship is a second career for many of us. I think we just had to go through other careers like my library school professor did, until we found something that let us touch on many subject areas. What this boils down to is that I, like most of my fellow academic librarians, am sold on the idea of a broad liberal arts education because it fits my specific interests: everything. So if any of your students are having a difficult time narrowing their career choices to just one, tell them that there is a career that fits their interests. They can be librarians!

Dr. Gary Fitsimmons
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