The black and white pages of the library’s books are going to be livened up with some colorful floral decorations this weekend in the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.
Books in Bloom is a fund-raising event for the library led by the Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) in which local floral shops make arrangements to be displayed with thirty books and two movies. A sampling of the arrangements to be present are Swedish Kontur Imports sponsoring Unto a Good Land, with the design by Naomis Quimby, a Gustie almuna. Mark Braun, Barbara Kaiser and Kevin Byrne of the Provost’s Office will sponsor Millions of Cats, a children’s classic with Chuck Eggret designing the arrangement. The Glass Castle: A Memoir is sponsored by Susan Erickson, a GLA member designed by Mary Smith of Mary’s Flowers.
“A booklet is created with short descriptors of each display along with its placement in the library and its sponsor and designer,” Marlys Johnson, the chair of the event, said.
Visitors will be able to take a self-directed tour of the blooms following a map in the booklet, or students will be there if visitors want a guided tour. The student volunteers consist of student library employees and other student leaders.
Books in Bloom will be open to visitors on Friday, May 4 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, May 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“Our objective is for students, campus personnel and area citizens to see the library in a new light,” Johnson said.
The blooms will be placed throughout the library taking participants into corners they may not have seen before, giving the visitors an awareness of the extensive collections held within the library.
Not only is it a tour of the library and various blooms and their subjects, “It’s fun, interesting and an opportunity to connect with the campus community in a new and creative way,” Johnson said.
There will even be book signings by various authors of the books highlighted, a new twist in this year’s Books in Bloom.
The authors and their books include Dave Kenney, Gustavus: 150 Years of Images and Stories; our very own Joyce Sutphen, First Words; Kent Nerburn, The Wolf at Twilight, this year’s reading in common book; and T.F. Wicklund, along with illustrator, Marilyn Brown, The Christmas Pony. The book signing is on Saturday, May 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Last year’s event went over so well in terms of fund-raising and attendance that the Gustavus Library Associates decided to expand it for this year.
The Gustavus Library Associates mission is to “promote learning, literature and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the Gustavus campus,” Johnson said. “Since its inception, funds raised by GLA have been responsible for approximately 20 percent of the library’s acquisition annual budget. Its endowment is in excess of 2.5 million dollars.”
The selection process begins with the Books in Bloom committee looking at a list of about fifty books and other media with short descriptions shared with potential sponsors and designers. Each bloom sponsorship is 500 dollars and each designer supports the cost of his or her arrangement.
The opportunity to participate in Books in Bloom is extended to members of the Gustavus Library associates, alumni, local businesses and other people connected with Gustavus. All of the sponsorships go directly to the Gustavus Library Associates Library Endowment. In order to cover operating costs other sponsors are brought in, such as the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation, Kraus Anderson Construction Company, the Nicollet County Historical Society and Gustavus.
The artwork representing this year’s Books in Bloom was designed by First-year Thi Hoang. The Books in Bloom Committee reviewed 37 different designs created by Kris Higginbotham’s January Term graphics design class.
“The selection process was difficult. Our Gustie students are dynamic creators,” Johnson said.
If any students are interested in helping with future library events, “We cordially invite students to take advantage of the student membership rate and become a GLA member,” Johnson said.