By: Anne Alix, Library Staff
The University Library is a hub of activity throughout the day, always open regardless of any campus closings. Activity starts around 7:30 AM and goes on until 2:00 AM, Sunday through Thursday (6PM on Friday, 8PM on Saturday). During the daylight hours, when you step into the Library there is a buzz of activity and chatter… lots of people stopping in between classes, printing, meeting up with classmates to compare homework just before a class, ideas being born out of group collaborations on projects. It is a hub of social activity… but stick around as the sun starts to set and the transformation begins.
So, what really goes on “after hours” in the Library? One could compare this to the movie “Night at the Museum.”
After the dinner hour a new place begins to evolve as a more determined crowd starts to slowly file in. Backpacks are full, coffee cups replenished, uniforms of pajama pants and sweatshirts are worn, lots of snacks are on hand, study rooms come alive, books find their way off the shelves and projects are born. This crowd is serious–this crowd is here for the long haul.
Starting on the first floor, you will see many groups working together with intensity. It is no longer the social hub seen earlier in the day as students hunker down with white boards and markers mapping out project plans. As you make your way around the first floor, you will see students filing into seats to use computers, arduously working their way through homework and research. The printers light up with activity as papers are completed and a look of relief washes over the faces of students as they gather their final projects. The Mary Tefft White Center fills with students working together on group projects or occasionally with interesting guest speakers and audiences.
Media Tech stands on guard to “save the night” and calm the panic when a late night laptop dies or a deleted paper needs to be retrieved… and then there is the Information Desk where dedicated staff stand by ready to assist with finding a book, an article, research material or to simply offer an encouraging word to break up the intensity of the night.
While traveling slowly up the center stairs the still of the night is noticeable as you make your way to the second floor. There you will see folks tucked away in cubicles writing, reading, and studying. Tutorial Support Services is a buzz of activity as peers assist with final reviews and editing of papers or tutoring in Math and Science. This will start to quiet down as they prepare to close their office at 8 PM (3 PM on Fridays).
As you climb the final steps to the third floor, there is a sense of calm as you feel the silence of that floor. When walking down the aisles between the bookshelves, overhead lights methodically turn on with each step. There is a stillness among the bookshelves as students peppered around in cubicles and all along the outer walls, focus and concentrate. When you stop to take notice, you can hear a pin drop. Everyone around you is intent on their task. You become unconsciously motivated by the concentration around you and it is easy to get “into the zone”.
As 2 AM nears, there is a slow exiting of students from the library, some often expressing that they wish they had just a little more time to finish their work. But it is time to close up shop and let everyone get some rest. It is time for the library to be locked up and to wait once again for the morning crowd to stroll on in.
Philip Williams is the Technical Services Specialist for the University Library. He was interviewed by Mary Wu, Digital Scholarship and Metadata Librarian.
How did you get your start in libraries?
I began working in libraries as a student assistant in the Phillips Memorial Library at Providence College. After graduating, I decided to continue working in libraries because of my positive experiences in them, and because I wanted to learn more about the field.
What do you like best about working in the library?
I really like being surrounded by books and other library resources, and I enjoy working in an academic environment.
What drew you to RWU?
I saw the position of Technical Services Specialist at RWU as a unique opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of libraries. I’m excited to be able to assist the University Library behind the scenes in the Technical Services Department.
What does a Technical Services Specialist do in the library?
As the Technical Services Specialist, I help facilitate the Cataloging Department workflow through the cataloging and processing of new acquisitions and I assist with library digital services in areas of metadata creation, digitization, and digital asset management.
Do you have a favorite genre of books or media that you enjoy the most?
I like to read fiction, history, philosophy, and religion. I’ve recently read the Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick, and I subscribe to National Geographic.
What book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Zen in the Art of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel.
Outside of work, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy?
I really enjoy reading, playing the guitar, cooking, and walking.
by Adam Braver, Author-in-Residence and Coordinator of Literary Programming (University Libraries) Associate Professor (Creative Writing)
The fifth annual Bermont Fellowship in Fiction and Nonfiction took place over April 2-3, 2017. The program, administered through the University Library and endowed by an alumnus, brings a distinguished visiting writer to the campus community for two days–both to give a workshop to students who have been selected through a blind submissions process, and to give a public reading.
The 2017 Visiting Distinguished writer was Rick Moody.
Hosted by Kathy Quinn, Moody worked with four students (Nicole Andresen ’19, Alexis den Boggende ’17, Hannah Little ’20, and Adrienne Wooster ’19), as well as alumnus Bradley Bermont. The following evening, in partnership with RWU’s Talking in the Library series, Moody gave a public reading at Rogers Free Library.
In addition to the generosity of the Bermont family, the fellowship weekend also was supported by Kathy Quinn and the Anthony Quinn Foundation, the Mary Tefft White Talking in the Library series, and Rogers Free Library’s Friends of the Library and their Jane Bodell endowment.
See Rick Moody’s full reading below:
Video Courtesy of RWUEDU
The spring semester Talking in the Library event was held on Tuesday, March 28th at 5:00 PM in the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center. The Library hosted a lecture by the author, comic book cartoonist and playwright, Manjula Padmanabhan. She won the 1997 Onassis Award for Theatre, for her play HARVEST. In addition to writing novels and short stories, Manjula created Suki, an Indian comic character, which was serialized as a strip in the Sunday Observer. She lives in the US.
This lecture was held in association with the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation.
To read more about Manjula Padmanabhan please see: http://rwu.libguides.com/c.php?g=619019
Please view Manjula Padmanabhan’s lecture below
Video Courtesy of RWUEDU