EKU Libraries Remember Charles Bracelen Flood

What Bracelen loved about
this library– first of all– I think is the people here. He had relationships
with people. He got to know us. He became a member
of our family. We would help him with research. That was the obvious thing. He liked to sit down and chat
and talk about ideas, talk about what he was learning. He was a lifelong learner. I think that’s why he liked the
library so much because that’s what we’re all about here. He felt that for its
size and mission, EKU’s Crabbe Library was
one of the best research libraries in the world. And having an office
in the library made collaborations
with research librarians particularly easy. But we also provided for him
that conversational aspect of what he needed. It was sort of his
process as a writer to talk through
what he was doing. And all of us did that for him. This library
environment provided him with much more than a
place to do research. This is a place that had a
profound impact on his life. First of all, he found it an
incredibly stimulating place to be. I can recall that on one of
our last trips to the library, we were wandering around the
periodical section upstairs. And he was just pointing to
the vast amounts of information that this library holds and how
proud he was of the library. If you look around
this room, what you see is not a traditional
library space. It’s a place where
students come together. We designed it to
reflect what students need from the new ways faculty
are teaching in the classrooms. Students are in charge
of their own learning as much as faculty
are in guiding them through that process. So all of this that you
see is about that idea. This is a room designed
around human interaction because Bracelen was so
concerned that our students did not have venues where they
could go and talk to each other. So we sort of designed the
space with that in mind too. We have to phase
in the furniture. We have two phases
of furniture in. We have two more to go. So if it looks a little
Spartan right now, it’s because we
haven’t completely filled it up with all of
the furniture that we want. What you see missing
here, you do not see a whole lot of computers. And you don’t see
a whole lot of ways students can access computers. So what we hope is to build
some bigger units of furniture that will support technology. You will definitely
see more technology in the third and
fourth phase here. As I look around at this new
space that you have built, I can’t help but
hope that this will be a place where people
will solve major problems and create breakthroughs
in intellectual domains. But I hope that it will also be
a place where people will form the kinds of friendships
and working relationships that will transform their
lives and the lives of others for the better, as was
the case for my father. I feel that he
would be incredibly pleased to know that this space
is being dedicated to him.

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