Question and answer with library administrative assistant

If you’re a frequent library patron, you may have noticed a table set up with information about National Library Week, which wrapped up on Friday.

If you haven’t stepped foot inside the library recently, you may have missed last week’s events hosted by the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library.

Julie Kimlingler, administrative assistant in the library, said the idea behind library week was basically like an open house.

“We want to let students know, as best we can, what we have here,” Kimlinger said. “We want to make you feel welcome here because every year things change, and we have new, better ways of searching for research materials.”

To show off what the library has to offer, Kimlinger and other library staff put together fun ways to get students involved and interested. The events included a book sale, online trivia questions and a “Who Wants to be a Librarian?” game show.

“It’s a beautiful building,” Kimlinger said about the library. “We love to have people come in and see what we have. A lot of people don’t know all the things the library can give them, as far as a place to get away.”

Students were also able to pay off overdue library fines by donating canned food items. The “Food for Fines” program allowed students to waive a total of $50, with each canned item equivalent to $2. The food is donated to the Franciscan Brothers of Peace food bank.

In celebration of library week, Kimlinger shared some little-known facts about the St. Thomas libraries.

What is the oldest book in the library?

“De Legibus” by Cicero, published in 1496. There are also pages from a couple of late 15th century medieval manuscripts.

What is the most requested book through interlibrary loan?

“Pray for Us Sinners” by Patrick Taylor. Over the past five and a half years it has been requested more than 110 times and sent out to various libraries around the country.

How many books are checked out every week?

About 2,000. Between April 1-13, the UST libraries have circulated 4,154 materials.

What are the most checked out materials?

Here are the top 9:

  1. “Motorcycle Diaries” (Motion picture)
  2. “Romero” (Motion picture)
  3. “Master the GMAT”
  4. “The Gospel According to John: A Theological Commentary” by Herman N. Ridderbos
  5. “Thank You For Smoking” (Motion picture)
  6. “A Short Guide to Writing About Art” by Sylvan Barnet
  7. “The Sources of Christian Ethics” by Servais Pinckaers
  8. “The Meaning of Man” translated by A. H. G. Downes
  9. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (Motion picture)

What books have an interesting history?

“Luxembourg” by Martin Hürlimann. Most of the copies of this book were confiscated and destroyed by the Nazis during World War II because the work promoted Luxembourg nationalism. This volume was saved only because it was hidden in the basement under the coal bin of the Dominique Bach family home in Esch-sur-Alette, Luxembourg, during the war. The book came to St. Thomas as part of the founding gift for the Bach-Dunn Collection of Luxembourgiana now held by the Department of Special Collections.

What is the most valuable book in the library?

Currently, it is the Book of Kells. Once the St. John’s Bible is completed, it will be the most valuable.

Kelly Trussell can be reached at