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October 2010

A Library’s Suite Dreams

The library is a great place with all of its resources, programming and friendly staff.

But have you ever felt compelled to spend the night in one?

Well, someone in New York City loves the library this much!

The Library Hotel has taken its admiration of libraries and its classification system to another level. Each of the ten floors is dedicated to one of the major categories of the Dewey Decimal System: Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion.

The guest rooms are decorated to reflect one of these ten categories and also houses a collection of corresponding books and artwork.

For example, the 11th floor, History, is comprised of guest rooms named Biography, Geography & Travel, Asian History, Oceanography, Ancient History and 20th Century History.

For a full list of the guest room names by floor please click here.

The Wheelock Library, Frank Benson, and John Singer Sargent?

As most of you are aware, the Wheelock College Library has seen a number of changes in 2010—from a newly designed 1st floor, to new computers, to additional group meeting space, to the relocation of the Archives.

But what do we know about the building’s history?

According to the our archival collections, the building we now call the Wheelock College Library was originally an art studio space. But it took some detective work to really uncover this building’s past.

In her study of American impressionist Frank Benson, Faith Andrews Bedford notes that, in 1915, Benson and a number of his friends and colleagues built a structure “located on the marshes of the Charles River” that they used for art studio space. A 1925 Boston City Directory lists the address for this building (under Benson’s name, among others) as 132 Riverway.

Benson, an American impressionist painter as well as a graduate of and professor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, is known to have closed his Riverway studio in 1944. The following year, Wheelock College purchased a building on the Riverway for use as office space, art studios, and a library. Around this time, Wheelock publications and reports from the office of the president variously refer to this new building as the Art Building, the Riverway Studios, or the Riverway Studio Building.

This purchase is mentioned in the October 5, 1945 edition of The Fliterary, the Wheelock student newsletter at the time, but the building didn’t officially open as the Art and Library Building until autumn 1947. Because administrative offices were also located in the building at first, 132 Riverway served as the College’s administrative address for a number of years.

In the December 8, 1950 issue of The Fliterary, Fran Daly (class of 1952) penned an article about the “studio building” in which she writes:

The Studio Building, which serves as an art studio, a library and an administrative building, has a very distinguished past … Designed and built by Frank W. Benson and Joseph DeCamp, this building was formerly used as artists’ studios. In addition to its famous designers and builders, this building has housed artists of both local and international repute. For example, there were such artists as William James, Gertrude Fiske, Charles Woodbury, Fritz Kellogg and William M. Paxton. Even the famous John Singer Sargent is believed to have worked in the building at one time.

This list includes a couple of important figures from Boston’s art history – and perhaps no one more noteworthy than John Singer Sargent. But did Sargent ever use the Riverway studio?

Keep checking the Wheelock College Library’s blog for more information about (and images of) the Library building’s expansion over the years – and for further information about Sargent’s connection to the building. I have the answer, I promise.

-Andrew Elder, Archivist

New Home for the Center for Career and Professional Development

The offices of the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) are now housed in the Library, Ground Floor! The CCPD offers individual appointments on a variety of topics including: self assessment, major exploration, resumes/cover letters, job search strategies, interview techniques, applying to graduate school, and more. Look for a collection of reference materials, including major specific guides and career based books. The CCPD Resource Center (#005B) also contains employer contacts, tip sheets, and periodicals. Check out our website, which is full of valuable online resources, including career development presentations, access to Optimal Resume – a resume writing guide, and Wheelock Works – a job listing database with part-time, full-time, volunteer, and internship opportunities:

Stop by during Walk-In hours or schedule an appointment at!

Monday & Thursday 9am-5pm
Tuesday & Wednesday 9am-7pm *Extended Hours*
Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

Walk-In Hours: Have your quick questions answered or a short resume critique!
Wednesday 2-3pm
Thursday 12-1 pm

We look forward to seeing you!

Library Code of Conduct (a.k.a. Shhhh

Yes, we have one.

For many years we have not advertised or explicitly reminded Library users of the standards for behavior, believing self-regulation and peer enforcement to be the preferred methods for ensuring a safe, secure, and welcoming environment conducive to study and research. But the survey of students we conducted last spring told us otherwise. It was very clear from your comments that many of you did not find the Library conducive to study and research because it was noisy. And that you wanted Library staff to do something about it.
To make the expectations of appropriate behavior explicit and clear, we have posted the Code of Conduct on the Library’s webpage and physically in the building, and staff members are actively working to rebuild a culture of respectful peace and quiet. We invite you to join us. The easiest way to make the Library quieter is for all of us all to be quiet; simple, but not necessarily easy. So we may at times remind you of the community’s need for the Library to be a quieter place, a.k.a. Shhhh…

Shhh… Librarian image copyright Farmington Public Library Foundation; used with permission. Order your own Shhh…Librarian Gear today!

Searching for Peace and Quiet?

Last spring, the Library conducted a student satisfaction survey. Many survey respondents asked for more quiet space in the Library. You asked, we listened!

Starting this fall, the following areas in the Library are Quiet Zones:

  • Basement computer labs
  • Floor 3M
  • Floor 4
  • Floor 4M

Conversations in the Quiet Zones need to be brief and– you guessed it– quiet. Cell phone use is prohibited. If you need to watch a video or listen to music on a computer, you must use headphones.

The Quiet Zones are places for you to study and work on class assignments in peace. If you need to do group work or have a conversation, you are welcome to do so on Floors 1-3, or in the conference rooms on floors 2M and 3M. Even in these “Non-Quiet Zones,” though, the noise should be kept to a respectful level.

If you’re ever bothered by noise in any area of the Library, Quiet or Non-Quiet, let a staff member know right away! We are happy to help.