Contrary to the depictions of shadowy stacks, dusty books and ancient librarians shushing patrons, modern libraries are places of light and life. Big or small, libraries concentrate on serving their users as best they can and disseminating information across the communities they serve. New ideals call librarians to be interdisciplinary, technologically savvy and focused on social justice and access to information for all while breaking barriers and providing a space of inclusion and equality. From recent initiatives, to collection development, to working with faculty and students, we are always trying to make the library inclusive, a place where everyone can come to get the information they need for their work and to inform their personal lives as well. Hiebert Library works to create a community that allows faculty, staff, students, alumni and the surrounding area to connect with the information they crave.
This craving for more information isn’t something that dies in us. Students and faculty in our nursing and education programs—to name but two—understand that research begins at the start of our lives and evolves as we do. Babies research what new foods they like (and don’t!), students learn to research throughout their K-12 education and move into universities like Fresno Pacific expecting to know more and be better by the time they’re finished. A lot of students think it ends here. College is over, so they don’t need to worry about research. Soon everyone realizes how firm a place research holds in life. Research, the search for information, is after all a necessary human experience. If we are not researching for our work, then we may be researching in our personal lives. The search for information takes many forms. It may be as simple as reading through technical manuals to troubleshoot something at your job or using Google or recipe reference books to figure out what to substitute when you are missing an ingredient for your dinner, or as difficult as collecting data and locating information to write a grant or a new article for a peer-reviewed journal. This is possibly what makes research such a nifty endeavor: the way it evolves along with our lives, our needs and our knowledge.
The Fresno Pacific Idea sets this search for information up as an integral part of the experience here. Research runs like lifeblood through our campuses and the Hiebert Library is a nexus of those channels. It is a pleasure to work in a library, to work in a university that so clearly shows us the connection between information and the real and spiritual lives we all lead. In a world so recently torn by turmoil, our ability to find relevant, reliable information, to critically analyze it and to incorporate it into how we move through our lives is incredibly important. It has the power to move us forward, make us more inclusive, more intelligent and more caring than we had been before. FPU’s commitment to marrying these concepts of faith, life and information is a bold and beautiful movement in the right direction.