Postcard: Reflections from UNC Libraries

Today’s postcard comes from one of our wonderful volunteers, Jacqueline Solis: 

Working in an administrative role in an academic library requires that me to focus much of my thinking on how the library supports students success, how we can demonstrate our value and impact on the university, and what the future holds for the use of library spaces and services. These are all important questions and, don’t get me wrong, I believe that academic libraries are vital to the success of universities and I am happy to look for ways to show it and to improve what we do. But there are inevitably days when work feels bureaucratic and distant from the magic of the educational experience and the cultural life of the community.

The UNC Libraries recently received a donation of a beautiful piece of Persian art, a painting called “Garden of Knowledge” by Layla Rad that contains a poem by Persian poet Ferdowski. Seeing this lovely piece of art prominently displayed in an area I walk by to get to my office every day reminds me of the deep cultural connections of libraries as institutions, and of the power of education and knowledge to bring people together and to create understanding and peace.

A translation of Ferdowski’s poem into English is hung next to the painting:

“Whoever is wise will also be strong;

The aged heart from wisdom becomes young.”

Take learning every moment as your goal

If you wish to illuminate your soul,

If learning is what you would hold most dear,

With wisdom you will stride the turning sphere.

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