Fall Election Political Display

In the Marketplace: Politics on Display

by Maura O’Neill & Margaret Mary Makowski, Library Circulation

fall 2016 marketplace political resources display

Courtesy of library work study students Margaret Makowski (left) and Maura O’Neill (right).

The 2016 presidential campaign has been rife with controversy, as both candidates have been the subject and cause of intense vitriol from all ends of the political spectrum. Donald Trump, a businessman and ex-reality TV star turned strongly opinionated politician, and Hillary Clinton, a controversial yet historic woman candidate with a background in politics, have been clashing on nearly every key issue this election. When two candidates have opinions that are such polar opposites, it can be difficult for impartial voters to decide where they stand on certain issues and which candidate they support. To make this decision easier, we created a display of politically themed books, CDs, and DVDs that will give unsure voters the tools they need to make an informed decision this November.


The first category will give readers a general background in American politics, with books such as Primary Politics by Elaine C. Kamarck that describe how the U.S election system actually works. Once you’ve got a decent background in politics, you can begin to understand some of our nation’s past presidents and elections by reading historical political books such as Franklin D. Roosevelt: The War Years 1939-1945 by Roger Daniels and The Stronghold by Thomas F. Schaller.

After reading about political history, you can move on to learning about some of the struggles for human rights that have been an integral part of our nation’s history. Books such as Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman, Forcing the Spring by Jo Becker, and After Roe by Mary Ziegler will give you insight into a wide array of human rights struggles.

Next, you can read books like Controlling the Message by Victoria A. Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn to learn how the media influences political elections, and you can read books like Prop Art by Gary Yanker to understand what messages political art is able to convey.

One of the biggest issues in recent U.S. politics has been health care reform; you can read books such as Health Care Policy and Practice by Cynthia Moniz and Stephen Gorin to get informed on this topic.

If you’re reading this blog as a student or faculty member, you are probably interested in the topic of education. Check out Degrees of Inequality by Suzanne Mettler about the political and economic factors that influence the education system.

Another one of the biggest issues this election has been immigration and racism. A Nation of Nations by Tom Gjelten and The Criminalization of Immigration by Samantha Hauptman explain immigration and its controversies, while race issues in America are explored in Who We Be by Jeff Chang. Intertwined with racial issues is the debate on America’s prison system and the mass incarceration of minorities in private prisons, which is explored in books like A Country Called Prison by Mary D. Looman and John D. Carl.

With the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS, religion has been an issue at the forefront of this election. You can read American Islam by Paul M. Barrett, Beyond Religious Freedom by Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, and other books to learn more about religious issues in America. The debate about religion has been catalyzed by increasing global violence. We chose books like What Changed When Everything Changed by Joseph Margulies and Citizen-Protectors by Jennifer Carlson to help readers explore violence, war, and gun control.

Another major issue in contemporary politics is our treatment of the environment, which is described in books such as Corporate America and Environmental Policy by Sheldon Kamieniecki.

Now that you’ve read up on politics, history, and the major issues the candidates are debating, you can finally begin to research the candidates themselves. Read up on both Trump and Hillary with The Art of the Deal by the Donald himself, A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein, and other books in the display.

Once you learn who the candidates are, you can follow their progress and opinions using some of the electronic resources listed below, which will give you up to date information on the 2016 presidential election.









so, what essential election reading would you recommend? visit us on facebook and LET US KNOW!

writer pausing to think

2016 Barbara Hoffman English 160 Award Winners

If you’ve already read librarian Annette Fisher’s post on the late Barbara Hoffman, you’ll know why winning this award is such an honor. This year, we awarded four awards (with a third-place tie) to students demonstrating writing excellence combined with library research, echoing Barbara’s perennial spirit of curiosity, inquiry, and literary pizzazz.

1st Place: Michael Smith

Michael Smith ('19), 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award Winner

Michael Smith (’19), 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award Winner

Michael’s winning paper is titled: “A Different Game: How Popular News Sources Addressed Violence in Video Games After the Sandy Hook Shooting”

Congratulations to Michael and his advising English 160 Professor: Helen Bittel.

2nd Place: Kimberley Hagan

3rd Place: Hannah Docalovich and Althea Mae Fabi

3rd Place Winner: Hannah Docalovich

3rd Place Winner: Hannah Docalovich

The Barbara Hoffman English Award–Planets, Tea & Word Magic

by Annette Fisher, Information Literacy Librarian

Barbara Hoffman—I Knew You Well

For 13 years the Library and English Dept. have jointly awarded the Barbara Hoffman English 160 Writing Award to outstanding English 160 students who demonstrated the qualities of excellent writing dovetailed with excellent library research skills. As time goes on though, like the Swedish story of the King who won a great war and the people only knew the King’s name and nothing about the war itself, Barbara Hoffman will be entwined with the Award and people will wonder:

Who is this Barbara Hoffman? Bless her– I have just won $75. In her name.”

To begin, Barbara was a young woman of 26 when she joined the English faculty and she stayed for 39 years. She passed away in 2007, just a few days shy of her retirement. Quoting from her Presidential Scholarship Honoree citation: Barbara Hoffman was “an Assistant Professor of English, whose brilliant, imaginative, informed, ever-curious mind has inspired, encouraged, and spurred nearly two generations of students to discover and unleash the power of their own creativity.”

People majored in “Barbara Hoffman.” I did. It meant rearranging my schedule to fit in her Oriental Literature class, Poetry, or Creative Writing class. There was a lot of work, a lot of reading, and a lot of writing in the classes but the payoff was enormous—a whole new way of looking at the world. Take her “Planet Day.” Winners of the planet competition inspired the judges by taking creativity to the highest power. Extra points went to the planet that knew that gummy bears mixed with raisins and crushed graham crackers were the “best food ever.” Or, hip- hop interspersed with Gregorian Chant only assaulted human ears.

There were other lessons besides the powers of the planets’ senses; there was the sheer power of words. Pretty words like sizzling and sassy vs. their hard-core ‘b’ and ‘d’ alphabet brothers with hard sounds like brazen, dreary, and dungeon.  Words, just words. The whole political landscape is built on words. I often thought Barbara missed her calling—wordsmith to the presidential contenders or showing a political hack writer pundit how the game is really won.

Lucky for us, Barbara chose the trenches (as she called it), the slow, laborious process of teaching freshman how to write. In fact, her colleagues named the English 160 Award after her. Barbara shunned publicity and never came to the English Honor Society Teas where the winners were awarded, but knowing Barbara, I know she beamed inside knowing that writing, indeed the writing process, was recognized and would live on in this special Award.

Barbara’s credentials included: A.B. from D’Youville College, M.A. from the Catholic University of America, A.B.D. from Duquesne University, and a certificate from Jerusalem Biblical and Archaeological Institute of Israel. She was awarded the Sears Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award and was a Marywood CASE Professor of the Year in 2006. And for us old-timers, Barbara memory lives on at Hoffman’s Hollow, a.k.a. the ravine behind the science building where nature and literature joined forces to inspire the muse in each of us. And of course, when we sip tea, after all, the Tea Ceremony was a inspirational not-to-be-forgotten ritual in a Barbara class. Barbara studied the Tea Ceremony with a master in New York City and it showed.

Finally, Barbara loved books. Obviously. But you need to know that Barbara loved libraries with the smell of books, the card catalog made of wood, the big dictionary stands. So, what did she do when the library catalog went on-line? Why, she gave the card catalog a proper burial complete with a priest performing the last rites.

Barbara believed in the spirit of all creatures. Most of all, Barbara believed in each student. I am a better student because I was Barbara’s student. I value words and books and the spirit of students because Barbara, like the ever-wise teacher, inspired her students to claim the best in everything. And, this is why, winning the Barbara Hoffman English 160 Writing Award is so special; it is a manifestation of the best in the freshman student who values writing and library research.

Barbara would be beaming.

Barbara Hoffman

View this year’s 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award winners and first place essay.

For a taste of Barbara’s poetry, check out her (1979) Cliffs of Fall from the Marywood Library.

(Photo Image: Courtesy of Jim Frutchey, Marywood University Archives)

Rescued Books & Book Sale Treasures

by Annette Fisher, Information Literacy Librarian

Think for a moment:

What book(s) would I take with me if I only had five minutes to evacuate my surroundings or home?

Nicolas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie

Nicolas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie

On June 23, 1972, I made that decision when the Susquehanna River decided to make landfall in my house.  As the dirty water lapped the steps, all I could do was think and grab.  During those frantic moments of getting 9 people into an old red station wagon, I just knew I had to grab the latest book I took from the Wyoming Free Library, Nicholas and Alexandra, the massive tome by Robert K. Massie. I let my parents worry about grabbing the 18-month old and the 3-year old; I couldn’t get an overdue fine at the library—that would be mortifying!

After all, becoming a librarian was on my short list of college majors. Obeying the borrowing policy, I did return the Massie book one dry day. The librarian was surprised the book made its way home, something about the staff thinking the book went with the flood waters along with refrigerators and dryers.  So, I lost all my earthly possessions to the Agnes Flood but I would not surrender the Romanovs to Agnes.


The Prophet by Kahlil Gabrin

The Prophet by Kahlil Gabrin

44 years later I ask myself the same question.  Definitely not Nicholas and Alexandra (although I spied a copy at the book sale).  I don’t own that book and it would be bad karma.  My choice(s) now would be Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  For sentimental reasons I would grab my children’s “Write and illustrate your Own Book” books –these treasures aren’t found on Amazon—they are upstairs in the bookcase near the ski boots.

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke


Now, let’s hear your 5 minutes to flee, disaster-scenario book picks…

And…did you find any treasures at the Learning Commons Book Sale?

tree canopy

This Earth Day, Help Plant the Next Generation of Trees at Marywood!

by Amanda Avery, Librarian, Arboretum Committee Chairbest time to plant a tree proverb

It’s no secret that the building of the new Learning Commons required the sacrifice of a significant number of mature campus trees–trees that bore witness to many milestones in Marywood’s history.

Happily, through the efforts of the Sustainability Committee and the intrepid students of the Pugwash Environmental Club who raised nearly $4,000 and donations from community organizations and nurseries, 100 new trees will be added to campus, bringing new life to Marywood’s Arboretum and “putting the ‘wood’ back into Marywood.”

trees will be planted this Earth Day Weekend, April 22, 23, and 24. Anyone is welcome to come help plant!

  • Planting will happen each day from noon until 5pm.
  • Hate digging? Good news! Holes will be pre-dug by our wonderful grounds crew prior to planting. We will plant, backfill, water and fertilize.
  • We’ll plant about 35 trees/day.
  • President Sister Anne Munley will plant the first tree.

If you’d like to volunteer, just show up or contact:

Robin P. Ertl (Chair, Sustainability Committee; Faculty Advisor for Pugwash) | Phone: 570-961-4548 | Email: rertl@marywood.edu OR Zarlasht Abubakr (Student President of Pugwash, Marywood’s Environmental club) | Phone: 570-330-0162| Email: zabubakr@m.marywood.edu

Earth-Day-2016-Poster-Earth-Day-NetworkBesides the obvious aesthetic benefits of adding trees to campus, trees offer people the opportunity to “pay it forward” to the future, by increasing the capacity for CO2 sequestration, shade and cooling, as well as enhancing well-being, health and mental outlook, offering the community at large a natural respite, not to mention the multitudinous benefits to wildlife and ecological diversity. This project is a perfect demonstration in action of Marywood’s Core Values, as well as our contribution to Earth Day 2016’s “Trees for the Earth” challenge, which aims to get 7.8 billion trees planted before its 50th anniversary.

Many of the tree varieties to be planted are Northeastern natives, or support birds and other wildlife. They will also increase the diversity of trees in our Arboretum Collection.

Gallery of new tree varieties:

Thanks to One, Two, Tree Farm of Waymart, PA and Conifer Corners of Factoryville, PA!



Learning Commons #haikuphoto Challenge

Article by Sue Jenkins, Clinical Assistant Professor of Art

If you love poetry, photography and instagram, you’ll love taking part in the first ever Learning Commons Haikuphoto Challenge where students, faculty, staff, and the greater Marywood Community are encouraged to share their poems and images celebrating the Marywood experience. Before I tell you how to participate, though, I want to share a little about the creative side of writing poetry and making images.

On Poetry and Imagery: Haiku and Photography

As a designer and fine art photographer, I’d like to suggest that Haiku and Photography are both forms of poetry. Haiku, if you’ve forgotten exactly what it is or have never heard of it, is a type of traditional Japanese poem that consists of three lines with 5, 7, and 5 syllables each, in that order. Unlike regular poems, haiku forces the writer to condense ideas into their purest form.

Here’s an example of a famous haiku. Count the syllables as you read each line:

First autumn morning
the mirror I stare into
shows my father’s face.

– Murakami Kijo

As you read each line, a picture emerges in your mind, and as you reach the final word, the picture becomes clear, as if it were a photograph you could hold in your hands—or view on your smartphone.

With the popularity of social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, where users share images with astounding frequency, I think there has been a recent positive cultural shift in what constitutes a good photograph. In the past, the average person would take a snapshot without regard to composition, light, color, or any other formal element. Today, by contrast, these aesthetic choices are embedded directly into image making and image sharing processes. For instance, on Instagram users must only use a square format instead of portrait or landscape, which forces the image inside an even 9-slice grid. Users are also presented with options to scale, crop, apply a filter (Mayfair, LoFi, Hefe), and manually adjust image qualities like brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows, and highlights. The results—with minimal effort—can be downright stunning!

Now, I have a question for you. What happens if we combine the sense of beauty that constrains the haiku poem and marry it with the visual impact and storytelling qualities of a photograph? Well, we get the #haikuphoto

5linepoem by Sue Jenkins

water-poem-VI by Sue Jenkinswater-poem-IX by Sue Jenkins

In exploring this concept on my own while pursuing my MFA in photography, I decided to create photographic poems. I called my multipart photos Quatrains (four images) and Quintains (five images) after the terms used for poems. Here are some examples of my work from a series that focuses on water, motion, and respite.

Since that time, I’ve become more intrigued by the idea of photographic storytelling that captures the poetry of a moment in a single narrative image. I’ve also been dabbling with the idea of writing haiku for each poetic image I share on social media. Here’s some examples of my recent #haikiphotos

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Now it’s your turn! I cordially invite you to take the Learning Commons #haikuphoto Challenge

Here’s how you’ll do it:

  1. Capture a photo that tells a Marywood story either inside the Learning Commons or somewhere else on campus. Or, use a photo you had already taken.
  2. Write a haiku for it.
  3. Share your haikuphoto(s) on your Instagram feed with the hashtags #haikuphoto and #learningcommons and include your haiku poem as your photo’s description.
    NOTE: If you don’t use Instagram please submit your #haikuphoto by posting on the Learning Commons Facebook page.
  4. Submit as many images as you like. The more the merrier!
    Here’s an example of how it might look on Instagram:#haikuphoto by Sue Jenkins

In honor of National Poetry Month the ‪#‎haikuphoto‬ submission period is now open for the entire month of April. Then, in May, we’ll share the best #haikuphotos here on the Learning Commons blog.

Ready, set, go!

Got questions? Write Sue Jenkins at suejenkins@marywood.edu


Photo of sunset from LC

View from the Commons: “A Colorful Sky”

by Arwa Alibrahim

At the beginning of 2016, while looking through the Learning Commons windows at the colorful, beautiful sky of February, I stopped for a moment to think: What do I really need to be accomplished? What must I do to be satisfied?

Especially as an international student who left home and family behind on the other side of the earth–the “Middle East”–I asked myself is all that distance and longing for my people back home worth it? Then, I suddenly smiled as I see my dreams coming true.

Honestly, I am so happy, and perhaps one of the happiest people around at least. I can’t believe that I am now striving with one of my biggest dreams; studying abroad. Although I am achieving it a little late at thirty years old, I truly can’t suppress my good feeling and how proud I am to be here at Marywood and get the opportunity to have such an experiment. All I want to say right now is a few words:

Do not tell your dreams to those who are pessimistic…

If you have to tell somebody, tell those who can build them up with you, or at least to those who encourage you to do so…

Sometimes you really do not need anyone, you just need you…

Because you have the strongest power…

More significantly, no one understands you as you do… No one loves you as you do…

All you need is to believe in yourself, then, GO!


Arwa Alibrahim is an international student perusing her master degree in Higher Education Administration program at Marywood University. She enjoys reading, writing, and drawing. She originally has a scholarship from Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission. She expects to complete the degree in May 2017. One of her objective to study abroad is to learn a new educational systems to be part of the educational development in Saudi Arabia in the near future. 

Reflections on the LC’s First Semester


As the end of its first semester wraps up, Learning Commons faculty, staff, and students reflect on the use and impact of the new space.

We asked ourselves:

What aspects are working really well or have been particularly successful? 

How do we think the LC is impacting students, faculty and Marywood in general? Surprises?

Ideas for changes or improvements in how the LC is utilized?  What would you like to see in the coming year?

Here are some thoughts:

“…Librarian offices are located in a busy hallways on the main floor, allowing students to drop-in on their way to the printing area and restrooms. This proximity makes us more accessibly to students.” -Librarian

“I do think the LC space could be used much more efficiently and effectively.”

“…The Cafe’s cold brew and late nite menu.” -Student

“The building is GORGEOUS and being inside is like sitting in a glass atrium. All the windows and natural light make for the perfect meeting spot whether its to hang out with friends, browse for books, grab something to eat, study alone or with a group, or meet for a class, being in this building FEELS GOOD. I think it gives students, faculty, and staff a sense of pride while also providing a sense of history, being a part of history, because the building is so new and high tech.” -Faculty

“I’m amazed that everything is working as well as it is and how relatively smooth transition was…as well as there being minimal complaints about the retrieval system and browsing.” -Librarian

“I like the idea of a scavenger hunt, [it] is fun and interactive-also have a book reading (not club) but [with] rewards for reading and reviewing books.” -Student

“The students love working in the space. I also think the lobby space for tables has been a nice surprise. It gets more students in the building.” -Librarian

“I … don’t know where to go to search the catalog to even request a book. Do we need to make a kiosk and video? –Faculty

“The cafe, I’ve heard, has taken traffic away from Nazareth which is both a blessing and sometimes a curse when the noise can sometimes make it hard to hear in that vicinity.” -Staff

“A Learning Commons is for the students and the students should be able to have some ability to manage the space and develop the culture in the building. Furniture is used and is moved. Rooms shouldn’t be on “lock down” if they don’t need to be.” -Librarian

” [I’d like to see] adding a 1-credit information literacy course, or adding an official info literacy component to Univ 100.” -Faculty

“…the LC has definitely become a central area for students to congregate, meet, rest, and convene before and after class–they literally can pass through it on their way to anywhere on campus and in doing so, grab lunch or pick up a book, print something, or even make an appointment with one of us. So I think it is already the student social heart of campus and I also look forward to the outside spaces being expanded next year.” -Librarian


Students are making use of the space in ways that suit them best. Without a doubt, the LC is the new hub of activity on campus (and we suspect there’s more to it than the novelty). We’re delighted how quickly our students and community members have adopted the LC. The volume of foot-traffic and use of the space has grown steadily, especially during finals, where we saw upwards of 250 students studying, especially after 10pm.

Students are taking advantage of the ubiquitous technology and connectivity. Every other student (and probably more)are using their own personal technology; phones, laptops, tablets–when in the LC, using the provided charging stations and network individually in carrels and study rooms and in groups at large tables and cafe areas.

taco catPeople are really USING the features of LC, and not just for study. They are rearranging the furniture and kicking back, they are creating and developing projects in the media rooms, hosting events and promoting club fundraisers and initiatives. Classes are taking place in the computer lab and alcoves, Socrates Cafe has migrated to the 2nd floor wingback chairs, and faculty are meeting with students here over coffee instead of their offices.  Remnants of studying and gathering are on the writable surfaces–sometimes a whole wall will be filled with notes or equations–it is really impressive! And then other times there will be the random quote or messages, which we like to collect on Instagram. Check out the hashtags: #marywoodlearningcommons and #whiteboardart and our student bloggers who are documenting the use of the LC space.

The Book Retrieval System is working remarkably well. These are the early days of a huge shift in information access and technology. Despite the steep learning curve and some outages early on, the retrieval system has been quiet reliably zipping to and fro, delivering requests in a timely, accurate, and safe fashion. We basically brought the system online with the start of the semester, so we are particularly proud of our circulation and OIT staff for making this transition in such a short amount of time. In terms of online browsing, there are exciting changes afoot in terms of what we have planned for our catalog interface and virtual research experience in 2016…

Online Engagement. The new space has also inspired an uptick in our pageviews and “Likes” just this past semester (+150! since last semester), and people are interacting with us online more as well. Students are “checking in” at the Learning Commons on Facebook to tell others that they are there and continue to look for answers to building, as well as research questions online–which is great because we are working towards a more social catalog, research platforms, and outreach.

We’re even making an impact in the larger library world! Marywood Librarians had a chance to talk with Library Journal columnist, Stephen Bell, who in a recent post, mentioned Marywood as an innovator in ASRS and library architecture.


  • No more “Study Room Roulette.” For those that might have been frustrated with the  first-come-first-serve availability of study rooms, the launch of the room reservation system 25Live, in January 2016, will provide time-limited access to groups of students of two or more.
  • A new and improved catalog and virtual shelf browse. 🙂 We are happy to be working with Koha, an open-source (woot!) catalog platform which we’ll launch mid-2016.
  • Storage Lockers. Did you know they are located on every floor, including terrace, and have outlets to power stashed devices? You will be able to program the lock with your own code–no keys to lose!


    The Bayleaf will kick off our first Archives reading and exhibit with artwork and excerpts from the 2015 Cenntennial issue: Wed 1/20 at 9pm, 2nd Floor LC.

  • Events, exhibits, and happenings! Starting in January 2016, we hope to offer many more activities, speakers, curated displays, book reviews, contests and lectures in the future.
  • A “Menu of Ideas:” interactive faculty, student, and visitor pathfinders. We hope to offer some personalized ideas for utilizing LC spaces, resources, and partners in the coming semesters. Gaming, resource apps, scavenger-hunt type tours, faculty displays and browsing kiosks are ideas on the horizon. We want to inspire faculty to model the best use of the LC for their students–and to see more of them explore the building.


  • Climate Control. There seems to be two settings: savanna hot or arctic cold. Hopefully, as we learn the “personality” and quirks of our new building, we hope to find a happy medium in terms of temperature and comfort. Brrrrrr!
  • Expanded 24-hour access and additional security is directly determined by staffing, though we would love to see increases in both.
  • Faculty engagement and collaboration. There are many ways to get involved and partipicate in shaping the direction of the LC. Whether it’s joining the Learning Commons Committee, hosting a lecture, or curating a themed resource display for a course, we want to help facilitate ideas!
  • A permanent home for our fledgling Seed Library. Though relatively new, our Seed Library is one of the few in the area–not only a University, but community resource. We’d like to see the Library (and its vintage card catalog home) integrated into the Learning Commons proper, so that everyone can conveniently take advantage of this great and unique “library.”


knowledge bar

How do you like your Knowledge served?

We hope now that many students, faculty and staff have had the opportunity to use the LC that we’ll continue to proactively develop its direction from the ground-up.

In sum, for those of us that reside in and facilitate the LC, there are already clear signs that the LC is on its way to being a great academic resource and the “intellectual and social heart of the university”–which will really just depends on the desire, creativity and collaboration amongst our community.


We invite you to share your thoughts here on the Learning Commons Blog, where librarians, faculty, staff, and students write about a variety of topics we hope will be interesting to everyone in our community, including LC technology, libraries, research, book reviews, or whatever comes to mind!

Join us on FacebookTwitter @MarywoodLC, and Instagram @marywoodlearningcommons.


Marywood Bibliophiles: Show Your Shelf!

Ahem. Hello! You there, under that pile of books. 

Do you:

  • Keep an office or dorm room “library” or personal book collection?
  • Have your own organization system?
  • Have an epic collection on a particular subject that is the envy of your peers?
  • Or, maybe you keep a few treasured companions on an esteemed shelf for inspiration that no one is allowed to touch, especially your roommate or significant other?
Is this your office, apartment, or dorm room?

Is this your office, apartment, or dorm room?

We suspect there are many of you that do–and we’d love to hear about what takes up space on YOUR shelves.

“Sharing your shelf is sharing yourself – showcasing the building blocks that have crafted your knowledge, personality, and identity.”

-Peter Knox. The Guardian, “What Does Your Bookshelf Say About You?”

The Learning Commons Blog is scoping out Marywood’s faculty and student libraries to share and celebrate on the blog. We’re exploring the questions:

What does your library say about you? Is it descriptive or  aspirational? Is it the library of a former self, an alter-ego or autobiographical? What insights would it provide a stranger about you? What % have you read? How do you organize and collect books? And more!

Submit a photograph or a manifesto of your collection to: aavery@maryu.marywood.edu with the subject: “Show My Shelf!” We’ll contact you with a few questions and highlight it on our blog!

If your library is notorious, we might come knocking anyway. 

Instagram: #marywoodlearningcommons #showyourshelf

Say a little, say a lot–or let your shelves speak for themselves!


Meet the Learning Commons Committee


The Learning Commons Committee was formed in Fall 2014 as a Faculty Senate-initiated committee, in collaboration with the Marywood Library.

Membership consists of library and departmental faculty, staff, and student representatives, each offering unique ideas, insight, perspectives derived from their respective areas and expertise.

If you are interested in joining or speaking with the members of the Learning Commons committee, or have an idea you’d like to present at an Open Forum, please contact Amanda Avery at aavery@maryu.marywood.edun or send a note using our Suggestion Box.  We’d love to hear from you!

Read more about the committee charge here.