The floral smell permeating from the library signals the fourth Annual Books in Bloom. On May 2-4, the Gustavus library showcased 26 floral arrangement interpretations of different books, films, or academic resources picked from the library’s collection.
Associate Professor in Library and Library Chair Dan Mollner describes the idea behind this event.
“It’s modeled on one they do at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and other art museums where they have art in bloom, and they pair works of art with floral designs, so they brought that here and its been very popular,” Mollner said.
The purpose of this event is to raise money for the library’s endowment. It has been the most successful fundraiser for the library due to its low cost and high yield.
Sonja Timmerman who is a member of Gustavus Library Associates (GLA) helps plan the event each year. She laid out the steps in which the books are chosen in order to highlight the library’s vast assortment of books.
“We start off with a list of suggestions from library staff and faculty… But ultimately, it is the sponsor’s choice, and many of them choose titles with which they have a personal connection. We’ve always ended up with a broad selection of materials highlighting our nuanced and carefully cultivated library collection,” Timmerman said.
Mollner describes the vast variety of books as a way to spark interest in all the viewers and designers.
“They are all over the board, and they try and find things that are really current. Often, they try and pick titles that will resonate with designers and that will resonate with people who will be looking at them,” Mollner said.
The different designers donate all the flowers, and they are given the opportunity to design the exhibit in the way they feel moved to. Each arrangement is unique to the designer’s interpretation for all to see.
This event was open to the public, but also attracted a number of Gustavus students. First-year John Baron was suggested by friends to view this showcase for the first time and was pleased with what he found.
“A couple friends had recommended it to me, and I thought it would be interesting to walk around because I didn’t really know what it was… It’s really cool to see how they make the books come to life,” Baron said.
One of the more popular books being showcased was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This New York Times Best Seller has been a huge hit mostly among the younger population. It is coming out in theaters this summer, therefore was a well-visited exhibit throughout the weekend.
The GLA’s purpose is to promote learning, literature, and the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library. This event highlights this mission statement, through the variety of books and the display of literature for all to see.