By: Jen Hasbun

The Mount Saint Mary community kicked off its 13th annual Library Week on Feb. 10, spearheaded by Barbara Petruzelli, director of the library.

The Mount’s first Library Week was held in 2007 with inspiration drawn from National Library Week, a yearly observance established by the National Book Committee to recognize the way libraries foster academic growth in American youth. While National Library Week is typically celebrated in April, the Mount’s Library Week is hosted in February to avoid conflicting with midterms.

Library Week 2020 centered around the theme of baseball, an idea initially thought of by Associate Librarian Denise Garofalo, who recognized that spring training typically occurs the same week as the event. Scott Russell, assistant professor of sports management, and Trevor Purcell, assistant director of athletics, collaborated with the library’s planning committee to ensure that this year’s event would run smoothly.

“The planning committee recognized that this theme offered a lot of opportunities to offer a variety of programming,” said Tiffany Davis, associate librarian for instruction services. “Most of our programming tends to be lecture or discussion based, so it was nice to do something a little different!”

Some of the themed activities – planned months in advance – included a wiffle ball tournament, a screening and discussion of the movie “Field of Dreams,” a panel discussion with Baseball Miracles (a charity organization based out of Marlboro, N.Y.) and an arts-and-crafts project in which participants decorated baseball caps and created stress balls.

To the committee, the event is a way of giving back. “We strive to provide a vibrant gathering place for the MSMC and Newburgh communities, and to facilitate learning and the sharing of information and ideas,” Davis said. “Library Week is one way we seek to fulfill that mission, and provide an exciting and interesting place for MSMC students, faculty, staff and Newburgh residents to meet and interact.”