Different groups on campus came together to create a free library in the Atlas filled with many different kinds of books. Mitchell Powers, a junior theology major and the ASWWU spiritual vice president, explained that this library is open to all students and staff and works on the honors system: you may take any book at any time and return it when you are finished. The library consists of over 115 books, and so far about 45 books have been borrowed.
Once a year, ASWWU Spiritual hosts an event called Blind Date with a Devotional Book where students are allowed to take home a devotional book to foster their spiritual growth. This year, however, Powers explained that he was approached by the dorm chaplains who wanted to create a more lasting opportunity for students in the form of a free library. ASWWU Spiritual agreed to fund and help plan for the library, and Student Health and Wellness joined to help out and to add books.
Powers said they decided to advertise the grand opening of the library on February 24 under the familiar name Blind Date with a Devotional Book because students are still coming in not knowing what to expect or what book they will end up choosing to read.
Anja Sandholm, sophomore biochemistry major, participated in the opening of the event and said, “This project is important to me because it makes Jesus very relevant in our lives and centers God in a place where we can be reminded to take a break and focus on what is important.”
However, not all books are strictly devotional. The shelves hold books by Malcom Gladwell, philosophy books, books discussing physical and mental health, and “So You Want to Talk About Race,” the library’s most popular book so far. These books were chosen through polls so that, as Powers explained, “They hit the matters that people care about.”
Although students have access to the Peterson Memorial Library, most of those books are academic in nature, and therefore Powers, along with the other groups he worked with, wanted to create a space where students could have access to a broader selection of book topics.
Powers said, “I know some people are going to say, ‘Well, if you have a book and it’s not about the Bible, is it really spiritual?’ But we cannot separate the body and the spirit, and if we do it’s not a Christian idea. We have to talk about the body, we have to recognize the mind, we have to recognize philosophy, we have to know all these different things because they do play a factor towards spirituality. Really every book here, if someone grabs it, would benefit their spiritual lives and make them think deeper.”
ASWWU Spiritual wants to help students in their personal spiritual journey by not only providing ways for students to connect with God, but ways for students to better connect with themselves and with others. ASWWU Spiritual is planning more events and opportunities for spring quarter, but they are most excited about having Mack Brock from Elevation Worship come to WWU on April 14 and 15 to workshop with students and perform a worship concert with a student band.
To stay up to date with all that ASWWU Spiritual has to offer, follow the ASWWU Instagram @aswwu, check your emails, or go to the ASWWU website.
Posted on April 15, 2022