By James Sauer, Library Director
This summer, I was able to attend the Association of Christian Librarians conference at Asbury University. You can imagine the wild goings on when 200 Christian librarians escape from the constraints of their academic institutions and are able to wander through the campus of a Wesleyan college in the metropolis of Wilmore, Kentucky (pop. 6,212). Why, some of us stayed up past 11PM and played Trivial Pursuit (Librarian’s edition), and then wallowed in the decadence of eating ice cream in flavors that cannot be described in mixed company!
Settling down to reality: it was good to network, attend meetings and workshops relating to librarianship and technology, and hear how other Christian universities and seminaries are doing. Like us, many are struggling with enrollment, aging facilities, limited budgets, and technological change.
Asbury University/Seminary, where the conference was held, represent two separate organizations right across the street from each other. They house two separate libraries, reflecting missions of the different clientele. The University Library contained many aspects of things we do here: books, media, study space, archives, special collections, and an art display. But it also contained some things we do not: a full Curriculum Lab, IT department, two full computer labs, a small chapel, and a special collection dedicated to a Congressman.
Another building besides the library which was interesting was a museum sponsored by their Communication department. It contained immense amounts of film and art memorabilia, full sets for filming, and an auditorium. Each year, they run the Highbridge Film Festival featuring student movie “shorts.”
The trip reminded me both of the great facilities we have, but also prompted me to imagine how we can grow and improve.