WWU Hosts Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians

8 Different Countries Represented

“The bedrock of Seventh-day Adventist Librarianship: What never changes or what should never change” was the theme of the 33rd annual Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians (ASDAL) Conference held at Walla Walla University June 25-30. More than 40 librarians attended the conference, representing 22 colleges and universities and eight different countries, including England, Nigeria, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, India, Canada, and the U.S.  

The association was formed to enhance communication between Adventist librarians, as well as to promote librarianship and library services to Adventist institutions. The conference served as a time to exchange ideas through lectures and informal networking.

Keynote speaker Drew Harrington, dean of the library at the University of Portland, discussed the core values of librarians and librarianship with education as the center in her presentation “Does Anything Tangible Remain the Same?”

Paulette Johnson, library director at Oakwood University, reported on the differences between Adventist libraries and non-Adventist libraries. Adventist libraries differ from non-Adventist libraries mainly in their mission. The result is Adventist libraries bridging faith and learning with “collections that explore multiple points of view, but will promote a distinctly Adventist perspective,” says Christie Scott, reference and interlibrary loan librarian at WWU.  

The Adventist Digital Library (ADL) was the focus of a number of sessions. “The ADL is designed to provide Adventist university students and faculty, not only in the North American Division but around the world, access to rich Adventist historical resources they may currently not even know about,” explains Carolyn Gaskell, director of libraries at WWU. “Also, the education department is eager to provide digital theses and dissertations, done by Adventist students in Adventist institutions, to overseas students so that those students may improve the quality of their research.”

According to Gaskell, current members of the ADL are digitizing and preserving resources with the intent of making widely available historic and other rare books, pamphlets, and resources, as well as developing a database search engine for ease of use.

The conference also provided the opportunity for librarians to connect during educational and social events. Attendees explored the history of area with visits to the Fort Walla Walla Museum, the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, Whitman Mission, and a Sabbath tour of the Oregon Trail. 

Published June 25, 2013.


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