Friday September 30th is the feast day of St. Jerome.
Why, you wonder, should you care?
Who was he? Jerome, who was born around 347 and died in 420, was a priest, scholar, historian, and translator. And he is the patron saint of librarians and libraries. We’ve blogged about him in the past on his feast day.
Why does he matter? Have you ever thought much about libraries and librarians? We are living in a time when we are surrounded by information, but much of that information is being privatized, where companies like Facebook and Google understand the value of information and try to dominate how you access it. Libraries give you access to information without shaping it or filtering it or censoring it.
How does this relate to being a student, faculty, or staff person at USF? Gleeson Library plays an important role in the life of USF. Last year, our turnstiles were used 433,325 times as people were coming in and out of the library. The Access Desk checked out 47,809 items. We lent 2,700 items to other libraries. We had 419 library classes, we answered 4,504 reference questions (2,742 were Instant Messages) Our collection is always growing. Last year we added 4,715 print books so Gleeson now has over half a million books and journals in print, another half a million ebooks and ejournals, and 46,490 streaming videos. All of this is available to you to help you in your research.
When the church made Jerome the patron saint of libraries, it was saying that information and research are important, they matter. And so do the institutions that save, maintain, and make the information available.
Celebrate libraries on the feast of St. Jerome!