Procession of the Books
Juniors Kailyn Zanella (left) and Tyler LoMeli (right) passing books towards the new Mount Saint Mary College library. (Photo by William Biersack)

by Katrina Avila

On Thursday, Jan. 30, Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) said its final goodbye to the place that students, faculty, and staff have called their home away from home for many years past: The Curtin Memorial Library. On a frigid afternoon, members of the MSMC community formed a human chain extending from the Curtin Memorial Library to the Dominican Center, with the goal of passing the final 25 books from the former location to the latter. There were both smiles and tears as familiar faces said one last goodbye to their old friend.

The Procession of the Books both symbolized and honored when MSMC students and faculty moved the library from the Villa to Aquinas Hall in 1963.

“I thought it was worthwhile to find a selection of books that represented our academic programs, and would let us think back to the early days of the college and realize that we’re connected to those folks and the things that happened then,” said Barbara Petruzzelli, MSMC Library Director, in a recent interview with the college.

While the wind chill wasn’t ideal for a book procession, some students realized how important the event was for the college. “I was honored to take part in such a historic part of history for this campus,” said senior Anthony Krueger. “It’s not every day you get to do something like that.”

Another unique opportunity was presented to the students earlier on in the week. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, over 450 students attended the Dominican Center Grand Opening. Students had an exclusive opportunity to tour the entire building, viewing the new library, dining facility, and residence hall.

“It was amazing seeing the Dominican Center for the first time with the ability to discover all of its secrets for myself,” said Krueger.

As students toured the building, they came across giveaways sponsored by different departments on campus, as well as free food from Mount Merchants such as pulled pork sliders from Billy Joe’s Ribworks and cheesy pizza pies from Randone’s.

A handful of lucky students walked away with more than the complimentary reusable water bottles and full stomachs. Student Activities sponsored raffles, giving away an iPad mini, a flatscreen TV, a blu-ray player, and Campus Store gift cards.

“I’m sad that the Curtin Memorial Library won’t be [here] until after I graduate. I spent a lot of my time there, and it really felt like home,” says Krueger. “But I am excited for the Dominican Center to open. Even though I won’t be here, I think it’s a really important and exciting step for the Mount.”

While many are sad to wave goodbye to the Curtin Memorial Library, many of the MSMC community are ready to welcome the Dominican Center with open arms, and maybe one day the Dominican Center will become that old friend.