Return of the typewriters! Letter-writing social, Weds 9/26, 2:15 pm

Have you ever been irritated by the sound of someone typing at a computer while you are trying to study in the library?

It could be worse. Much worse. Come and see!

On Wednesday, September 26 at 2:15 pm (after Dedicated Hour), Student Life and the Library will be hosting an old-fashioned letter-writing social in the Library Reading Room (300s).

Resurrect the art of letter writing! Imagine the surprise and delight that someone in your life will feel upon receiving a handwritten or typed epistle from you. A friend; a family member; your Plan sponsor…

Many people have generously lent and donated a selection of fine vintage writing instruments for you to try out, including several models of manual typewriters from the early and mid-twentieth century; quills; fountain pens; ink; and sealing wax. If you have a typewriter, bring it! Bring fancy paper and envelopes if you have them; we’ll have some on hand, too.

There will be snacks, tea, soda in little glass bottles, and a fine selection of vinyl (pre-Beatles) to provide musical accompaniment.

If you’d like inspiration before sitting down to inscribe or type a letter, try these links:

No RSVP necessary, handwritten or otherwise. Just come with your friends for an afternoon of epistolary fun. We will wrap things up by 4:15 pm, at which time the Reading Room will turn back into a sanctuary for reading, reflecting, and blessedly quiet laptop typing.

Thanks to Amherst College for the original idea for this event

Vote for some fun things for the library to buy

David Pierce was a Marlboro College student whose death on October 1, 2003 shocked and saddened the entire community, Many on campus still have fond memories of David, and a bench and apple tree outside of the library commemorate his life and time at Marlboro.

David’s family established a fund for the library to purchase items that are not necessarily for academic purposes, but rather for fun. Think graphic novels, movies, TV series, current popular fiction….

Each year, the library buys a few more items using the fund established in his memory. This year, we are asking for your help in choosing what to buy.

Between now and 8:30 am on Monday, 9/24, email (or call, or stop by, or comment below…) with the titles of any movies, books, graphic novels, or other items you’d like the library to add. Remember: fun, not work (though the two aren’t always mutually exclusive!).

We’ll make a list of all your suggestions, then put them to a vote. Students will be emailed a link to a survey; voting will be open through the end of the day on Friday, September 28. When voting is over, we’ll rank the selections, start buying with the top vote-getter, and continue down the list as far as we can.

In the meantime, stop by the library to see some of the items that have been bought with David’s fund in past years. They’re on display on the entrance level, across from the Service Desk. You can also find them in the library catalog, where they are tagged “David Pierce Fund.”

Emily Alling
Library Director

Banned Books Read-Out – September 12th

We need your voices!

Come observe Constitution Day (Wednesday, September 12) in the library. In honor of the library’s favorite constitutional amendment (the 1st), we will be hosting a Banned and Challenged Books Read-out in the Reading Room (300s) during Dedicated Hour from 1:15-2:15. We are looking for volunteers to read selections from banned and challenged books. We’ve made a list in our library catalog of some books that we own that have been banned or challenged in the United States.

Here’s how to prepare:

  1. Choose a book from the list. Come check it out it from the library (books are on display near the Service Desk — ask if you need help finding them).
  2. Before the event, identify a passage you’d like to read aloud (no more than a few minutes worth) and record your name, the book you will read, and the passage you’d like to read on the sign-up sheet near the library display.
  3. If you can, do a little research to find out when/where/why your book was challenged or banned and be ready to talk about it briefly. The ALA has compiled a list of the circumstances behind many books’ banning or challenges. Here are a few resources that might help you learn more about why your book was banned or challenged:
    Reasons for challenges to many of the classics on our list

    Google Map of book bans and challenges in the US from 2007-2011

Everyone is invited to this event, whether or not you plan to read.

Prefer to read from a banned or challenged book that’s not on our list? No problem! Just let us know what you’ll be reading. Sadly, there is no shortage of titles from which to choose.

Questions? Contact Amber Hunt, Librarian, at x579 or