The Gustavian Weekly

Books in Bloom merges design with library resources

By Ben Miller Managing Editor | April 26, 2013 | variety

Books in Bloom is the annual library fundraiser bringing a creative display of flowers to library resources. <em>Submitted/Jenny Marquette</em>

Books in Bloom is the annual library fundraiser bringing a creative display of flowers to library resources. Submitted/Jenny Marquette

This year, the Folke-Bernadotte Memorial Library will be hosting its third annual Books in Bloom Event. This event, put on by the Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) is a fundraiser for the library, with all money raised going to increase the library’s endowment.

Funds are raised by individual sponsors who donate five-hundred dollars to sponsor a “bloom,” or a floral arrangement based on a book that is available in the library. This year, there will be 30 blooms which will provide fifteen-thousand dollars for the library.

This event is modeled after a program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts called Art in Bloom, where the Institute selects paintings and asks florists to create an arrangement that interprets the work.

“This year’s event is in memory of Marlys C Johnson, the founder of Books in Bloom, who passed away in March,” Chair of the Books in Bloom Committee Marisa Schloer ’09 said.  “Due to her creativity and passion for Gustavus, this event was made into a reality.”

“This type of event gets people to come in and see what our library is like,” Director of Communication Services and Special Events and College Liaison to the GLA Dean Wahlund said.  “Last year we had about five hundred people come through to see the blooms, and we hope to break 500 again this year.”

“This event also gives people encouragement to read some of the books on display because they are interested or influenced by the blooms,” Wahlund said.  “We give a brief synopsis of the book and ask the designer to put together a brief explanation of their use of certain colors or certain flowers in the bloom.”

The design for this year’s event was created by Gustavus Sophomore Jenny Marquette.

“I worked on this design last year in my Graphic Design class,” Marquette said. “I wanted to bring a change to the event publicity—something that was brightly colored and very simple in its design.  I was so excited when my Graphic Design teacher called me this year to let me know that my design had been selected.”

Members of GLA are especially excited for Books in Bloom because of the snowy spring weather.

“I’m looking forward to the simple idea of bringing a little bit of spring into the Library during a snow-covered April when it’s long overdue,” GLA Board Member and Books in Boom Planning Committee Member Sonja Timmerman ‘98 said. “During such a busy time of the academic year, I hope students and other guests will be able to enjoy the arrangements on a purely aesthetic level.”

“I also feel like Books in Bloom has hit its stride—designers know what the event is about and are incredibly creative with their designs,” Timmerman said.  “This year, there happens to be several titles from my list of personal favorites, so I’m eager to see these arrangements in particular.”

The Gustavus Library Associates is a Friends-of-the-College organization that was created in 1977 to promote learning, literature, and the Library.  Anyone interested in learning more about the organization or about Books in Bloom can visit

Books in Bloom 2013 will take place May 3 to 5 in the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  The event is open to the Gustavus Community and to the public free of charge.

A preview of blooms

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy
  • Because of Winn Dixie
  • Les Miserables
  • The Hobbit
  • Downton Abby