Access to library resources is often a key to educational success.
In February, that love of learning is celebrated nationally during Library Lover’s Month—a tribute to the institutions that hold so much knowledge.
Here at La Salle, Connelly Library offers a plethora of resources to the University community. Heather Willever-Farr, Ph.D., Connelly’s special collections librarian, shares why the La Salle community should utilize them.
“La Salle’s special collections provide opportunities for students to actively learn about the past and how the past shaped today’s world through hands-on experiences with unique material, most of which cannot be found online,” she explained. “The wide array of people, topics, and events represented in these collections means that students from many different disciplines, from nursing to business, will find material that is relevant to their interests.”
Connelly Library houses a diverse group of special collections for visitors to browse, learn from, and explore.
The Life and Work of Bob Dylan Collection includes more than 750 items, including printed books, doctoral dissertations, conference papers, journals, anthologized articles, vinyl recordings, CDs, cassette tapes, DVDs, and VHS films. Then, of course, there are anthologies of photographs, interviews, collections of websites, and items like concert T-shirts and concert programs.
Willever-Farr said the collection also holds items created by fans, including art and written materials.
“The Bob Dylan collection is the brainchild of John Baky, La Salle’s University Librarian Emeritus, who started growing this collection in the early 1990s. Due to John Baky’s foresight, Connelly became one of the first academic institutions to curate a collection devoted to this influential musician. One of the unique aspects of this collection is its fandom material, which provides a lens on the personal and social impact of Dylan on the lives of people across the globe,” she said.
The University Archives also offers access to unique historic records. The Archives contain books, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, audiovisual materials, and digital files that document the history of La Salle, including collections that focus on student life, Heather Willever-Farr, Ph.D., Connelly’s special collections librarian said.
Another collection, the Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War, boasts the largest body of evidence in the world of creative interpretations of the Vietnam War, the era it took place, its evolution, and its influence of American popular culture. The collection focuses on works of fictive and documentary expression. Sources include novels, poetry, literary and publisher archives, artwork, films, music, and ephemera. The collection also includes press kits of over 350 movies, 1,700-plus films and videos, 275 unpublished movie screenplays, and 2,500-plus graphic art and audio items including comic books, graphic novels, movie posters, illustrations and drawings, music albums and tapes, movie soundtracks, and radio/music broadcasts related to the Vietnam War or Vietnam veterans.
Another gem at Connelly Library is the Wister Family Papers, a collection of materials from the Philadelphians associated with the estates of Belfield, Little Wakefield, Wakefield, and Wister in the Germantown area, on which La Salle’s campus is currently located, and the papers of Sara Yorke Stevenson, a friend of Frances Anne Wister and an early women’s rights activist.
The University Archives also offers access to unique historic records. The Archives contain books, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, audiovisual materials, and digital files that document the history of La Salle, including collections that focus on student life, Willever-Farr said.
Connelly Library is a spacious, quiet spot for students to study. Students can utilize the Learning Commons on the first floor to get work done in a quiet space and find other more-social areas in which to browse, collaborate, or conduct independent work.
Until recently, it also had been the central gathering spot for La Salle’s Neighborhood Tutoring program, where neighborhood school children congregated to receive academic support, either in group or one-on-one settings with La Salle students as their subject-matter experts and grab some afternoon snacks and engage in other activities outside of schoolwork.
Having the equipment needed to complete an assignment is vital. Not only does Connelly Library offer text resources, but students have access to a variety of technology to borrow, rent, or leverage. Items include laptops, printers, internet access, and the technology equip rooms.
Connelly’s website has more information on how to access these items.
Sometimes the hardest part of a project is knowing where to start. Luckily for La Salle students, Connelly’s reference librarians are available to assist with research, references, and more guidance. And this resource isn’t just for undergraduates, Willever-Farr said; graduate students may also find it helpful.
“La Salle librarians are willing to go the extra mile to help students find the resources they need whether it is for a course project, a presentation, or a dissertation. Connelly offers an array of ways to help students with their research, including 24/7 chat, in-person assistance, Zoom sessions with students, and online library guides,” she said.
The help tab on the library’s homepage includes more information on these services.