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Just for Fun, Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Comedy, Music, and Improvisation! Noonartsound in the Library, May 7

Noon to 1pm    Tuesday, May 7, 2019     O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Room 108    University of St. Thomas

This final presentation of the 2018-2019 noonartsound series, Let’s Play! Comedy, Music, and Improvisation, will focus on the concept of improvisation in daily life and its importance as an agility-based life skill. Interactive exercises along with musical demonstrations will be featured!   Free and open to all, we hope you will join us!

About our presenters:

Since 1984, Dr Chris Kachian has directed one of the largest guitar programs in the USA at the University of St Thomas where he is professor of music. He has lectured in music of Europe, the Americas, the Twentieth-Century, the World, the United States, Film, Protest, Mathematics, and Guitar Pedagogy and Guitar Literature. He is also head of the UST Music Business, Recording Arts, and the Popular Music degrees. 2001 – 2005, he became the Director of Guitar Studies for MMTA for whom he lead – authored and edited the nation’s first comprehensive, multi-genre guitar pedagogy syllabus. In 2011, he wrote the film score for Per Bianca, which won Best Film at the Minnesota 48-Hour Film Festival and won a screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Dr. Kachian is concert touring this summer to Sweden, Greece, Israel, Jordan and Italy.

Professor Bernard Armada came to St. Thomas in 1997 and teaches rhetoric, public speaking, and argumentation in the Department of Communication and Journalism. He has studied and performed sketch comedy, improvisation, and music around the Twin Cities for over fifteen years. He is a staunch believer that the fundamental principles of improv can greatly improve people’s personal and professional lives.

Just for Fun, Libraries, Library Week, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Play with Eastern bookbinding techniques!

picture of stab binding

We invite you to register for a workshop on Japanese Stab Binding!  Experts from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts will help you create a journal that you can use as you wish!

Come to the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Room 102, on Wednesday, April 10 at 10am for an hour-long class.  Materials will be provided for you at no cost.

Limited space is available so be sure to RSVP to to Merrie Davidson by noon on Wednesday, March 27!


Just for Fun, Libraries, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Library hosts successful Therapy Pets Night, March 14

All tucked in and ready to go home after a fun night cuddling with Tommies!

O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library student worker, Hongwei Cui, helps nine bunnies and one Guinea pig snuggle into their wagon for a ride to their vehicle and a good night’s sleep.  The animals had been busy befriending students at the March 14th Therapy Pets Night in the Library!

Bunnies, Guinea pigs, and dogs will be back at the library on Thursday, May 16th, from 6-8 pm.

Open to all  – we hope you can come!

Art, Just for Fun, Libraries, Music, News & Events

noonartsound: Art & Music as Contemplative Experiences

All are invited to attend the March 5th noonartsound presentation, featuring Drs. Craig Eliason (Art History) and Vanessa Cornett (Music), speaking about Art and Music as Contemplative Experiences, at noon in the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Room 108.

“How do human beings experience the arts?  Specifically, how do we direct our attention when perceiving a piece of art or music?  Can a more contemplative encounter with an artistic or musical work enlighten our intellectual understanding of it?  Join us as we explore the distinct processes of analyzing the arts (by assessing, scrutinizing, contextualizing) and simply experiencing them with an attitude of open mindfulness (without judgment, in the present moment).”   – Dr. Vanessa Cornett

About the presenters:                     

Dr. Craig Eliason




Dr. Craig Eliason is a professor in the Art History department and teaches courses on modern art and design.  He researches the history of the design of printing types, and is a practicing type designer as well.


Dr. Vanessa Cornett



Dr. Vanessa Cornett teaches piano performance and other courses in the Music department.  An advisor for the UST Project for Mindfulness and Contemplation, she enjoys exploring the applications of mindfulness in the performing arts, and contempative practices in higher education.


About noonartsound:

Chris Kachian, Music department professor, started moderating noonartsound 8 years ago with Shelly Nordtorp-Madson. It began as a demo-lecture series of music performance and talks by art historians, and has morphed into everything from politics and propaganda, leadership and motivation, music and monuments, etc.   Hosted by the Library in the O’Shaughnessy Room at noon six times throughout the academic year, all are welcome to bring lunch and enjoy a light dessert.

As Dr. Kachian says, “It’s way cool.  Just to give you an idea about how diverse this has all become, Bernie Armada (the UST linguistics prof and a standup improv comedian) and I are talking about “improvisation as an apocalyptic life skill” later this spring semester.”

Please plan to join us!  Bring your lunch if you wish – light dessert will be provided.

Black and white photo of two students sleeping by a window in the library stacks
Just for Fun

Library Naps: A Brief History

Many have said that just being in a library, surrounded by the walls of books within, invigorates the academic spirit and makes one feel smarter. It is also said that power naps have the potential to unleash creative thoughts. Therefore, it is no wonder why a student would want to put his or her face in a book and allow knowledge to seep in while journeying though such an imaginative state of sleep.

Studying can be exhausting but quick naps can be invigorating to the mind and spirit as well as breeding grounds for thought, ideas and, “Aha!” moments. Even Thomas Edison, who detested sleep calling it a waste of time, would take power naps in his lab, library, or even outside.

So what is the history of napping in libraries? I dunno, there is probably a study on that somewhere, maybe. If I were to venture a guess and make up a theory, I’d say it most likely goes back millennia. If I were to put some minimal effort into this essay by doing a Google search on “napping in libraries” it will reveal it is perhaps a widespread craze. With a little more effort by digging into our university photo archives online I at least know library napping is nothing new and is probably a bigger tradition than kissing under the Arches.

I’m sorry to disappoint if you thought this was going to be an intellectual and informative post citing research studies, psychology, and Greek literature, but at least I brought along some visuals—and they’re in authentic black and white which gives them a sense of credibility.

From 1955 we see a student napping in the old library located in what is now the basement of Aquinas Hall.

Note the open book. It was probably not an intended nap, but with the leather couch, warm clothes, lamp, and stack of books beside him, the library was just the perfect, cozy spot to catch a few Z’s.

Today, students set timers on their cell phones to make sure they don’t oversleep for exams. Back in the day, as evidenced in this photograph from 1962, students had to bring their own alarm clocks to the library and, since we don’t loan out pillows to patrons, his own pillow as well.

Student napping in library with pillow with stacks of books and an alarm clock

Word of caution: we do not recommend stacking books this high so close in proximity to your head. It appears the stack on the right could cause injury if it were to topple. Note that this is in the O’Shaughnessy Room (aka Leather Room) of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, an ever-popular place to rest as evidenced in the archival photo from a 1993 St. Thomas Bulletin newspaper.

Photo from a 1993 St. Thomas Bulletin showing students napping in the O'Shaughnessy Room.

You don’t always have to nap alone in darkness, you can do it as a pair or in teams by a window.

Black and white photo of two students sleeping by a window in the library stacks

While it is always good practice to give your body enough hours of sleep each night, a quick power nap in the library can be just what you need to get through finals. Just don’t oversleep for your exam.

What is your #whythelib reason? Let us know by posting #whythelib to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.