Books live at the Butler Center

By Chip Perri

January 16, 2013

Dominican’s Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences (GSLIS) keeps the power of the book alive on campus at the Butler Center.

The GSLIS has been on the rise in recent years with a growing department and expanding facilities.  Its mission is extensive, but one aspect shines above the rest in the Butler Center: keep people reading hard-copy books.

Those at the Butler Center and GSLIS believe that hard-copy books have the power to change a child or adult’s life much more so than iPads, Kindles or Tablets.

At Dominican, the Butler Center located on the second floor of Crown Library since 2009, has been a beacon for children’s literature. Curator Thomas Barthelmess came to DU to be a part of the book mission.

Barthelmess is a strong advocate for the promotion of story-telling and reading in the home, schools and libraries for all people – no matter how young or old.

“The world would be a much better place with access to stories,” Barthelmess said.

The Butler Center extends beyond just a place to read or hear stories. It also functions as a children’s literature examination center, a reference center and a source of not-so-obvious connections, according to Janice Del Negro, a GSLIS assistant professor.

At the Butler Center, GSLIS students practice story-telling skills and learn great ways to be a better storyteller at the Butler Center.

Dean professor of GSLIS Susan Roman, is a large reason for the additional facility as well as the new programs at the GSLIS.

“Roman has a sense of what’s needed in the larger world and focuses that in a tangible way for a career path,” Director of the GSLIS doctoral program Tonyia Tidline said.

Famous author, storyteller and librarian Ellin Greene even donated her own personal story collection to the Butler Center to promote its mission to encourage reading.

The GSLIS has participated in many events like the Illinois Storytelling Festival where all different cultures of children and families listen to stories around the Dominican campus.

“It was the most culturally diverse group I’ve ever seen,” Del Negro said.

Besides the festival, The GSLIS hosts every second Saturday, a story-telling event in the Lewis Lounge for people of all ages to come, listen or tell stories of any kind, promoting the beauty of stories and books, just like the Butler Center

By influencing lifelong reading skills, the Butler Center helps all students of Dominican to remember the importance of a story.

“Not having books can change people’s lives, too,” Barthelmess said.