English major Lauren Brunetti reads selections of Shel Silverstein's writings during the "SHEL-ebration". (Photo by Joseph Mastando)

by Amy Rice

Library Week: the celebration of learning, creativity, and coming together on the Mount Saint Mary College campus. From March 26th to March 29th, Mount Saint Mary College was booming with excitement as this event brought new excitement and flavor to the library each day.

Some frequent library goers may dread this week, seeing as it is filled with so much noise and entertainment that it interrupts their precious studying hours. However, Library Week is much more than a series of performances meant to amuse students. Library Week is a celebration of the student body and faculty, which strategically takes place in the one area on campus where the innovation and learning of all majors manifests. This week is a time for all members of the Mount Saint Mary College community to come together and realize, in the words of Library Director Barbara Petruzzelli, “Wow, this is a really creative campus.”

Mount Saint Mary College students observe the anonymous secrets of students as inspired by the book series Post Secret. (Photo by Joseph Mastando)

The Library Week tradition began at Mount Saint Mary College in 2006, making this year’s celebration its sixth annual event. Originally, Library Week was a part of a national celebration known as “National Library Week.” This event usually takes place in mid-April, but this year, Mount Saint Mary College’s library staff decided to make library week earlier, seeing as mid-April is generally a very busy time of year for students. For the first time, Library Week was no longer termed as “National Library Week,” and it took on the more personal name of “MSMC Library Week.”

Every year there are changes to Library Week’s agenda. For example, every year a different food is served such as tacos, country food, and this year’s giant cake. This year proudly features new performances, such as excerpts from “RENT,” an open mic preview of original stories and poems, a Shel Silverstein reading marathon, and also a feature on Mount Saint Mary College’s amazing faculty who have published works in 2011. As Barbara Petruzzelli explained, the library is the perfect venue to feature Mount Saint Mary’s faculty achievements, seeing as many had done research right in our very own Curtin Memorial Library!

There are also favorites that return every year, such as the talented bagpipe player Brett Bondar from Mount Saint Mary College’s IT Department, as well as the Library’s own singing sensation Evangela Oates.

The library is intended to be a place of relaxation where all members of the Mount Saint Mary College community are welcome. Even young students of Bishop Dunn Memorial School came to celebrate the wonderful world of Shel Silverstein deemed the “SHEL-ebration.” Amazingly, Shel Silverstein published his new poetry volume Every Thing On It twelve years after his death. Silverstein’s work was enthusiastically read out loud by members of Mount Saint Mary College, including students, such as Lauren Brunetti, and faculty members, such as the spirited and animated Dr. James Cotter. No student could resist smiling when listening to such wonderful work read with Dr. Cotter’s enthusiasm. The “SHEL-ebration” is truly what MSMC Library Week is intended to do: to bring all members of the community together and simply rejoice in the name of learning.
Mount Saint Mary College has a lot to be proud of, being a campus that finds achievement in all areas such as academics, athletics, and, as Library Week highlights, art. Curtin Memorial Library is an active asset to Mount Saint Mary College’s Creative Campus Initiative. Barbara Petruzzelli tells that the Creative Campus Initiative strives to highlight the great creativity that is already going on at Mount Saint Mary College.

There is not a lack of creativity on campus, but it is important that it is recognized and shared amongst Mount Saint Mary College’s community. Creativity is a part of every Mount student’s life, and it flourishes not only in the classroom, but in the library as well. Every student has creativity and imagination flowing through their veins. Library Week puts the spotlight on these talents and invites all to come be a part of this great celebration.

Seeing as Library Week is meant to celebrate Mount Saint Mary College’s wonderful faculty and students, the Curtin Memorial Library would greatly appreciate your feedback on what you liked, didn’t like, and any suggestions you may have for next year’s Library Week. Help make this celebration all that it can be by emailing the library at library@msmc.edu, emailing Library Director Barbara Petruzzelli, or visiting Curtin Memorial Library’s homepage and click on the feedback link to share your thoughts and suggestions!