“In memory of Jonathan Worth Daniels”
“I was a terrible strain on the library—I did much more reading outside of class than inside.” So claimed Jonathan Worth Daniels (1902-1981) in an oral history recorded at the University of North Carolina in 1977.
If the statement is a true one—hardly a given to anyone acquainted with Mr. Daniels’ usual wit—it certainly would not be the first time that the treasures in a good university library set a bright person on a great path. White House press secretary to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, long-time editor and publisher of The News & Observer, and author of twenty-one novels and books of history and cultural criticism, Jonathan Daniels left a strong legacy of tough-minded, progressive work that any library would be proud to claim.
The Josephus Daniels Charitable Foundation has made that legacy part of the Hunt Library by naming one of the four robots in the bookBot in memory of Jonathan Daniels, who served as president of the Friends of the Library in 1967-68.
Frank Daniels, Jr.—Jonathan Daniels’ nephew, 2012 North Carolinian of the Year, and himself a long-time N&O editor and force in the economic and cultural life of North Carolina—explained the thinking of the Foundation as they chose to honor his uncle:
Our principal thrust is in education, and we primarily give in eastern North Carolina and the Triangle. I knew we wanted to give to the Hunt Library; my uncle Jonathan was always involved with the libraries at NC State. And I was fascinated by the bookBot. It’s just the sort of innovative technology that should be strongly associated with our engineering school.
Citing the boon a great university is to the economy of a community, especially if the school is located in a state capital, Daniels sees the Hunt Library as an especially effective way to raise the profile of the College of Engineering: “we need to do what needs to be done to accomplish that.”
Asked what his uncle’s response to the library might have been if he had been around for the Hunt Library opening, Frank Daniels, Jr. concluded: “Well, his first reaction to this grand building would have been to make a smart aleck comment to bring folks down to earth. But then he would have had something to say about how the building uplifts Centennial Campus and provides a center for it, how it is almost like the sun with its planets and satellites surrounding it—a point of inspiration.”
Jonathan Worth Daniels was named in honor of his grandfather, Jonathan Worth, North Carolina governor from 1865-1868. His father, Josephus Daniels, was editor and publisher of the N&O, which he acquired in 1894, as well as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of the Navy during World War I and United States Ambassador to Mexico during the Roosevelt administration.
In addition to editing the N&O, serving in a number of positions during the New Deal era, and gaining a national reputation as writer and historian, Jonathan Worth Daniels wrote for Fortune magazine, published a weekly column in The Nation, won a Guggenheim Fellowship, and served on the United Nations Subcommission for the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities.
More importantly, the Virtual Paul’s Cross installation in the Teaching and Visualization Lab at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library is a prime example of how innovative scholarship can use simulation, display, and audio technologies to invigorate teaching and research as the digital humanities come of age.
Launched on November 5, the Virtual Paul’s Cross project allows us to step into a virtual recreation of the church yard of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1622 as John Donne delivered his famous Gunpowder Plot sermon.
The project is the work of Professor John Wall from the English Department, Professor David Hill of the College of Design, John Schofield, the cathedral archeologist at St. Paul’s, and more than fifty other researchers, artists, and technicians, many of them here at NC State. Combining the talents of experts in literature, history, design, simulation engines, acoustics, linguistics, and architecture, Virtual Paul’s Cross not only allows us to step back into the past— it presents a great model of the cross-disciplinary work that is becoming a hallmark of research at NC State University.
To ensure that the university community has a chance to enjoy, learn from, and be inspired by the project, Professor Wall will provide demonstrations in the Hunt Library Teaching and Visualization Lab at the following times:
- Monday November 25, 9-10 a.m.
- Tuesday November 26, 4-5 p.m.
- Wednesday December 4, 9-10 a.m.
- Wednesday December 11, 9-10 a.m.
Almost everyone who enters the Hunt Library immediately loves the chairs. Now NC State Institute for Advanced Analytics grad students Peter Baumgartner and Jake Frost, as well as Erica Shirts Frost, have created the Chairs of Hunt Library blog to explore their stories.
Where else are you going to learn that the Lyra stool appears in The Big Lebowski or that the Sayl chair takes its name “from the resemblance of a ship’s mainsail when you look at the chair from the side”?
Updates every Wednesday!
According to The News and Observer, the Virtual Paul’s Cross Project in the Hunt Library’s Teaching and Visualization Lab has “created a new approach to scholarly research that employs a host of disciplines and technologies.”
The project provides students, scholars, and the public with a 270-degree virtual experience of this central place in the religious, literary, political, and social life of 17th century London.
“We wanted to create new research tools – new tools for considering events of the past, new tools for, in effect, bringing words off the page – and for reintroducing ideas like performance and hearing instead of reading,” concluded Professor John Wall.
Drawing comparisons to the work of Thomas Jefferson and Stanford White at UVA, Inform: Architecture + Design in the Mid-Atlantic cites the Hunt Library “as a symbol of how long-held plans can be turned into lasting inspiration.”
The James B. Hunt Jr. Library was conceived and designed to provide a bold icon of NC State University’s commitment to educational innovation and to the transformational research and learning that happen on our campus.
Since its opening in January 2013, the new library has significantly raised the profile of the university through hundreds of articles, hundreds of thousands of interactions on the web, and a lively, inspiring conversation about the new space in the international social media.
- In April, the Hunt Library will be featured in the new PBS primetime series Cool Spaces (www.coolspaces.tv) as an iconic building driving educational change.
- Over 250 articles on the Hunt Library have appeared in print, television, and online media in local, national and international venues:
- Associated Press: Hunt launch covered globally in print and TV
- Sunday edition of Boston Globe: one of the world’s “five novel libraries”
- Complex magazine: ranked near the top of the 25 best academic libraries
- Ploughshares magazine: Hunt as prime example of how libraries stand poised for “a digital renaissance”
- Paris Review: discussion of the bookBot
- Time magazine: “the library of the future”
- Architect magazine: an “iconic social monument” capturing “the arc of the imagination”
- Forbes.com: “reinventing libraries for the future”
- The Globe and Mail: “the university library of the future”
- Library Journal: the Hunt Library as cover story—“Tomorrow, Visualized”—for annual Library by Design supplement
- News 14: the Hunt Library “giving North Carolina worldwide appeal”
- Campus Technology: NC State’s “next-gen library”
- Consejo Profesional de Arquitectura y Urbanismo: featured as a “biblioteca del mundo”
- Full-age ads from NC State’s marketing team, featuring Hunt Library as the face of innovation and proof point of NC State’s determination to shape the future in high-profile outlets such as Time Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, PC Gamer, and The Smithsonian.Over 156,000 views of the “Discovering the Hunt Library” social media page that collects the wave of tweets, posts, and other new media that fans are using to talk with each other about the building.
- Over 250,000 visits to the Libraries’ Hunt Library website.
- Over 44,000 views to the university’s Hunt Library mini-site from 39 countries including Brazil, Spain, the UK, China, and India.
- Almost 97,000 views of Hunt videos on the Libraries’ and the university’s YouTube channels.
- Almost 3000 of Hunt photos posted to My#HuntLibrary from 1200 NC State students and visitors from around the world.
- Scheduled tours for over 10,480 visitors—including every faculty member recruited by the university, as well as governors, legislators, diplomats, alumni, athletic directors and their recruits, architects, and educational innovators, not only from the U.S. but from France, Russia, Muldova, the Ukraine, Japan, China, Mexico, and Israel, just to name a few. Thousands of others have taken the Hunt Library self-guided mobile tour or just explored on their own.
- Site for 2nd international “Designing Libraries Conference,” hosting 250 library leaders, higher education leaders, architects, and others from the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
- Prestigious design awards:
- 2013 AIA/ALA Building Award for distinguished accomplishment in library architecture
- American Libraries’ “2013 Library Design Showcase”
- City of Raleigh Green Design Award
- Steady stream of social media activity with special emphasis on how the Hunt Library is an inspiration in recruiting and retaining students. Some representative samples:
- “I can’t wait to go to State because I hear the Hunt library is on point. I’ll probably end up living there…” Tweet
- “Seriously though—the NCSU Library makes me want to attend the school. It’s that awesome.” Tweet
- “So psyched to go to #NCSU, the Hunt Library is one of the coolest buildings in existence.” Libraries’ Facebook page
- “Hunt Library . . . Proof of why NC Sate is the best school in the country.” Tweet
- “Back at Hunt Library. I feel energized to study when I enter the doors.” Tweet
- The students of NCSU have a true gem at their fingertips and I have never been so impressed with a facility. It is incredible.” College Confidential blog
- “New Hunt Library on Centennial Campus single handedly making me want to be in college again.” Tweet
- “I graduated in 1974 and have never been more proud of our university.” Facebook comment
- “That’s me in 2 more years!” Tweet from high school student commenting on Hunt Library video
- “ The Hunt Library sure does make it easy to work hard.” Tweet
- “My first time in the Hunt Library—Is this Google headquarters?” Tweet
Canada’s premier news outlet, The Globe and Mail, explores the Hunt Library as the “university library of the future,” a space where “books are important but people are central.”
It started with a medieval manuscript in a shoebox and ended with an endowment that will support some of the latest in modern library technologies. From an early book to the bookBot—that is the arc of the story of the Hunt Library’s new “Turlibot.”
Linda Turlington’s family had long treasured a fifteenth-century book of meditations that has been passed down from generation to generation. And that family is, as Turlington explains, “completely red and white.” Her husband of almost 40 years, Jimmy, is a 1968 NC State graduate in civil engineering. Her son Ryan obtained his B.S. from the College of Textiles in 2001. Daughter Courtney earned her B.A. from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2007.
So when the family decided that the Latin manuscript—once laboriously copied out by Carthusian monks—needed a safer long-term home where its treasures could be available to scholars throughout the world, the NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center was a natural choice.An extension of the family
It was the start of another deep relationship, one that Turlington—CEO and owner of Pura Vida Promotions, a Kernersville-based advertising specialties company focusing on logoed merchandise—insists also feels like an extension of the family. Though the Turlington family had long supported the Wolfpack Club, this was their first real exposure to the work of the NCSU Libraries. “Everybody has just been so wonderful,” says Turlington. “And from the very beginning we felt like we belonged with what was going on with the Libraries.”
Now a board member of the Friends of the Library, Turlington has thrown her considerable energy and marketing savvy into ensuring that the Hunt Library will have the impact it promises for the state and the university: “Everybody is going to be amazed at the global outreach this new facility will enable—it will be amazing, all of those who are touched by it. I probably never have a conversation that I don’t mention what’s going on at NC State because it’s turned into a passion of mine—the reach is going to be incredible.”“We have been so fortunate”
The signature technologies in the new library especially interested the Turlington family, everything from the giant large-scale visualization walls to the handheld devices and Raspberry Pi’s that future engineers can now check out at will. “We are so fortunate to have these opportunities in North Carolina, especially at NC State,” she concludes.
But the bookBot automated book delivery system was particularly interesting to a family that once kept a medieval manuscript in a shoebox. So, they seized on one of the Hunt Library naming opportunities, and the “Turlibot”—one of the four robots at the core of the bookBot—will now spend the next decades delivering books and other items to students and faculty.A lasting legacy
Turlington says that ultimately the most rewarding work she does is to make personal contact with potential supporters, work exemplified in a Hunt Library presentation that she recently helped host for alumni at the Piedmont Club in Winston-Salem, NC, and also at the Foundation Room atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. But the naming of the bookBot robot is also very special. Seven centuries ago, a monk copied out an enduring monument to learning, the medieval manuscript the family donated to the NCSU Libraries. The Turlington family has put its own mark on a lasting monument to educational achievement: “the bookBot is part of our legacy, and our children will always have something that is permanent at NC State.”
We are happy to announce the opening of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library. In collaboration with Indiana University, NCSU Libraries invites you to browse a collection of some of the most important scientific visualizations ever produced. Visitors to the exhibit can use an iPad to choose from 80 powerful examples of knowledge domain mapping, novel location-based cartographies, data visualizations, and science-inspired art works.
The exhibit runs now through October 27th, and is featured in the iPearl Immersion Theater on the second floor of the Hunt Library.
Individually and as a whole, the maps of Places & Spaces allow data to tell fascinating stories which both the scientist and the layperson can understand and appreciate. Inspiration is waiting for you at the Hunt Library!
Each year American Libraries magazine honors libraries that “are shining examples of innovative architecture that addresses user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways.” For the second year in a row, the NCSU Libraries has been recognized, this year for helping to “build the future” with the “award-winning design of the James B. Hunt Jr Library.”
Library Journal features the Hunt Library as the cover story—“Tomorrow, Visualized”—for its annual Library by Design supplement. And Rebecca T. Miller’s editorial “Learning from NCSU: Where Innovation and Investment Meet” explains and celebrates “what a great library can bring to a campus.”
Forbes.com and SAP focus on the Hunt Library in a piece on “reinventing libraries for the future.”
Higher Ed Tech Decisions explores how the Hunt Library creates “a digital playground that inspires research and innovation.”
NC State offers one of the top-ranked academic video game development programs in the nation, and the Hunt Library’s Game Lab provides a powerful tool to enrich work on simulated environments or other video game work that depends on large scale visualization, immersive colors, or other technology-rich capabilities.
Fox 8 highlights the Game Lab as it explores how NC State software brings crime scene investigation into the 21st century.
Already widely acclaimed as a bold, visually dramatic space that architecturally embodies the future of libraries and educational innovation, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library is adding a new centerpiece facing its main entrance. During July, José Parlá—recently profiled in the New York Times for his signature pieces that celebrate the essential need of humans to “assert their existence in a place and a time”—will be creating a large mural to anchor the south end of the library’s second floor.
Known for his essential credo that powerful art “makes us aware that we are not mere passive bystanders, but active participants in the world we see,” Parlá’s piece, Nature of Language, will not only complement the building’s light-filled grandeur and inspiring use of color, but its spirit will capture the essential goal of the Hunt Library to encourage and enable anyone in the building to engage passionately in learning and discovery.
Parlá’s art has appeared in major exhibitions in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Paris, and he has recently completed high-profile commissions in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His paintings and other works also reside in The British Museum, The Concord Project of the City of Toronto, the POLA Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan, and are held in the private collections of Eric Clapton and Tom Ford.
“In the six months the Hunt Library has been open, we have been incredibly gratified to receive a wave of international attention from educators, students, researchers, the architectural community, and others for how well the building’s design creates a sense of passion, ideas, and vision,” says Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries. “We could not be more grateful to the private donors who have given us the treasure of a bold, beautiful José Parlá piece to bring the excitement and joy of his art into this iconic space for NC State University.”“Where’s Walter?”: Added bonus if you’re on campus
Much of the power of Parlá’s work comes from creating a seemingly abstract painting from—if you look closely enough—actual words. José crafted the Hunt Library piece from words that inspired him in his time in Raleigh and in the new library. Can you find “opportunity” (a word he says he especially put in for the engineers he talked with on campus), “Sir Walter Raleigh,” “James Hunt,” “nature of language,” or “bookBot”?
Does the Hunt Library promote a type of learning in which books are “lost in the shuffle”? Or does it “serve its patrons in fostering reading and learning [with] a humane understanding of just what books are for”?
In “The ‘Bookless’ Library” and “Are Libraries for Books or People?” two writers (one a recent NC State grad) for The American Conservative produce dueling articles to explore the role of the Hunt Library in the future of reading and research.
While the Hunt Library isn’t really “short on books,” (more than 30,000 are on open shelving and 1.5M are in the bookBot!), Time magazine’s “Tech” site opens a “welcome to the library of the future” piece with a discussion of NC State’s new library.
The magazine of the American Institute of Architects explains why the Hunt Library is an iconic social monument.
Earlier this year, the AIA and the American Library Association honored the Hunt Library with a 2013 AIA / ALA Library Building Award.
Citing the Hunt Library as its core example, Ploughshares magazine reminds us:
“It is with good reason that we remember the Library of Alexandria today as a fulcrum of intellectual curiosity and invention. Just as libraries modernized with the invention of printing, why can’t libraries today enjoy another, digital renaissance?”