Saturday, January 14, 2012

Theology Library Opens to Sound of Shofar

I'm back in school, a place or state of mind where withdrawal from the world and into one's ivory tower sometimes seems essential. I think I made it through my previous four years of college without knowing what the US president looked like: engrossed in my studies and relationships on campus, I hadn't been watching TV. Television is still my least-favorite news source I confess, yet I'm quite confident I could pick out President Obama in a crowd.

Several years ago the Christian university where I'm doing my graduate studies suffered a massive fire in - of all places - the library (!). What volumes that survived were moved off-site while extensive renovations were conducted. A temporary structure was erected to shelter some study carrels and a few librarians who alone had access to the "stacks" and fetched books for students on request. (At least, books that hadn't been lost in the fire. I know: breaks your heart, doesn't it?)

Repairs to the library are finally complete. Next week, on the first day of classes, it is scheduled to open for the first time since 2009. Sophomores (they've never used the library!) organized a special "occupy" style event. The CIU website reports:

"Students will camp out overnight in tents in a quad area outside the library and wake up to a celebration featuring music, games, and an outdoor breakfast. At 7:30 the library will officially open with the blowing of a shofar, a ram’s horn used in ancient times to signal a celebration. [The CIU mascot is the ram.] Once the library opens for business at 7:30, students will enter and be given a ticket for a drawing for Kindles and gift cards."

Since I'm on campus for two weeks I could actually join this library opening gala sleepover! No, I don't suppose I will. There is some question about whether my Tuesday class starts at 7:00 am (gasp!) or 8:00 am. And I'm getting most of the books I need for my classes in their Kindle editions, so I am less dependent on paper. All the same, I'm enough of a library nerd to be excited about getting the tour...

5 comments:

a life without walls said...

cool i love libraries and books...I heard that the coded sound of the shofar was the same as that of DNA?? An urban legend? Probably..I'm not sure...

Marti said...

That does sound a bit fishy. But it my class doesn't start 'til 8 I'll try to mosey past at 7:30 and hear them blow the horn!

Megan Noel said...

Have fun! do you remember how exciting it was when Vashon got a bigger library? (I did think the little brick one was cozy and charming, though.) I have many library memories growing up but I think the fondest are of the Northeast branch. I'm a bit amazed that Ballard has gone through 3 libraries! I sort of wish they'd moved back to the Carnegie building last time they moved (I presume it was probably retrofitted by subsequent occupants and would now be up to code) but the new library w/ the green roof is pretty neat and in a perfect spot to anchor downtown, kitty corner from the big main park. I often go sit in the park and read after a library visit -- not today, though, it's snowing!

I think I am going to end up getting a Kindle one of these days! But I'll still go to the library too!

a life without walls said...

ha ha...let us know if you have an epiphany or something DNAesque happens!! I'm not even sure where I read that...anyhow...I had a hunch you'd have a good perspective!!

Art Finkle said...

The shofar was sounded at least 64 times a day in the Holy Temple. However, after the destruction of the Temple, the rabbi’s kept four times the shofar would be sounded: Rosh Hashanah; Yom Kippur; Call to Sabbath rest; and Fasts.

http://afinkle221.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/shofar-signs-and-religious-symbolism/