Check it out: Dance to help celebrate Schaffer Library’s 50th anniversary

Publication Date

Get ready to ditch the library card for some dancing shoes.


As part of an ongoing celebration of Schaffer Library’s 50th anniversary, the atrium of Schaffer will be turned into a dance floor Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. The campus community is invited to the dance, which features refreshments and live music from Hoosick Street Hoot, a five-piece jazz ensemble that performs swing-era jazz standards. David Gerhan, reference librarian, is a member of the group.

The night also includes the opening of a new exhibit, “Union’s Library: A Home of its Own,” in the Thelma and Kenneth Lally Reading Room. Curated by Ellen Fladger, head of the College’s Special Collections, and Annette LeClair, librarian and head of technical services, the exhibit features a collection of historic photographs, rare books and manuscripts dating back to the College’s founding in 1795. Also on display will be a print from one of the library’s most prized possessions, John James Audubon’s “Birds of America.”

Winners of a contest to create an artistic project using recycled card catalog cards will be announced.

Schaffer Library opened in 1961, the first permanent home for the College’s vast collection of books, periodicals and treasured documents. Before that, the library shared space in the Nott Memorial and other places on campus.

“Schaffer represents the vision the College had in recognizing the importance a library has in the education of students,” said Fladger, who has worked at the Library for 32 years.

The anniversary celebration kicked off last spring with an exhibit, “The Union College Campus: More than the Brook That Bounds.”

In October, Belle of the Books, a one-woman play about the life of Bella da Costa Greene, will be performed in Yulman Theater. Da Costa Greene (1883-1950) was the prominent African-American librarian at Morgan Library in New York City who corresponded with John Bigelow (Class of 1835). There will also be a panel discussion of the play’s themes, as well as class visits by the author, Juliane Hiam, and Andi Bohs, the actress playing da Costa Greene.

In addition, “Mrs. Perkins’ Union College” will showcase the Library’s digital initiatives, including the launch of a new interactive website and guided campus tours based on the recent gift to Union of more than 700 letters written between 1896 and 1904 by beloved campus figure Anne Dunbar Potts Perkins. The wife of Chemistry Professor Maurice Perkins, she established Mrs. Perkins’ Garden.