The Library Knows How to Make an Entrance
The Library Knows How to Make an Entrance

March 25, 2008


The Library is doing its part to make a good first impression.

The ever-changing displays in the glass cabinets in its entryway are designed to capture people’s attention within seconds of entering the Library. A variety of table displays just inside the entrance also run throughout the year.

As the creative coordinators behind the displays, Library Operations Specialists Mara Baldwin and Joanne Overn could be considered an unofficial welcoming committee.

“Our entrance is important because it’s the first thing people see. It’s nice when we can welcome people with colourful and topical displays that highlight various parts of our collection,” says Baldwin.

The inspiration for the displays comes in many forms, including suggestions, University and community events, the U of L’s academic programs and even current events.

In addition to books related to the chosen themes, the displays often feature items not typically associated with libraries. For example, a recent display that ran in conjunction with Native Awareness Week in March included artifacts on loan from the Native American Studies Department and photos taken by Records Manager Kathy Thornhill.

“The displays are a chance for the Library to work with units from across campus and showcase our faculty, courses and events. For example, the neuroscience display that we ran included the photos, biographies and books of several Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience researchers,” says Overn.

Level 10 of the Library also features a donor display, which is coordinated by Library Operations Specialist Wendy Romanchuk. Since it was established in 2005, the donor display has highlighted several donations that have helped to augment the Library’s collection.

“The list of upcoming donor displays will take us through the next three years, and we’ll keep adding to that list as donations come in. Some donors’ collections focus on one theme, while others had such eclectic tastes that their books cover a whole spectrum of subject areas,” says Romanchuk.

In March, the Library is featuring a photo exhibition by the South West Alberta Coalition on Poverty. The Library entrance will have a complementary display on poverty in Canada. In keeping with the timely topic, the display will showcase some of the Library’s most current resources.

Baldwin, Overn and Romanchuk have approximately 50 years of combined work experience in the University Library. They have seen the various displays attract interest from patrons, the community and other academic libraries.

“The main purpose of the displays is to encourage people to borrow the items. If people want to access an item from the glass cabinets in the entrance, they can ask staff at the General Services Desk to retrieve it for them,” says Overn. “We love it when people say, ‘We want some of your books.’”
To suggest a Library display, please e-mail the Display Team at

For more information on the Library displays, please visit:

More information on the donor displays is available at:

U of L Communications and Public Relations Contact:
Communications and PR Officer (403) 382-7173

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