Category Archives: News Features

Book Discussion: The Secret Chord, by Geraldine Brooks

SecretChordGeraldine Brooks is one of the great living writers of historical fiction. Having published acclaimed novels set during the 1666 plague in England, the American Civil War, and Puritan Massachusetts, Brooks’ latest work takes on the daunting challenge of bringing the United Monarchy of King David to life.

Expanding on the spare Biblical narrative, The Secret Chord traces the arc of David’s journey from shepherd to soldier, from hero to betrayer, from beloved king to murderous despot, and into his remorseful old age. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his old age.

The Library owns four copies of The Secret Chord. The book is also widely available from public libraries in print and audio form. Our discussion of will take place on Tuesday, September 27 at 12:00pm in the Library Conference Room. A Biblical snack will be served.

Distance students and faculty are invited to join the discussion via Google Hangouts. For a complete schedule of 2016-2017 book discussions, see the Library Book Club webpage.

New Discovery Tool: Summon

SummonLogo1The Library has a subscription to a premium discovery tool from ProQuest.

Summon® gives you the power to search nearly all of the Library’s print and online resources at once, including items such as:

  • Print and electronic books
  • Scholarly journals
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Streaming videos
  • Open access collections

Summon’s filters and limiters allow you to search millions of items on your topic and zero in on the most relevant books, articles, and videos in the Library’s collections.

Summon is a great place to begin any research project because it searches easy-to-overlook databases and e-book collections. Ready to get started? This video from ProQuest will explain the basics of searching for content, refining the results, and saving citations:

After watching this short tutorial, you will be ready to take Summon for a test drive. Click here to get started.

After trying a few basic searches in Summon, you may want to watch this “beyond the basics” tutorial:

As always, the Library welcomes comments and suggestions about our electronic resources. Please use our evaluation form to send feedback about Summon or any of our databases.

Library Book Club Reading Schedule 2016-2017

Read literature, and argue the great questions of life with the likes of Leo Tolstoy.

One of the most famous openings in literature is the beginning of Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Because Tolstoy is one the supreme writers of all time, readers have tended to accept his claim about families as a piece of incontrovertible wisdom. Reader and essayist David P. Goldman, however, argues that Tolstoy got it exactly backwards: “…unhappy families are all unhappy in the same way. It is happy families that are different, because every child is radically unique, such that raising children is the one human activity that is sure to surprise.”*

Goldman’s riposte to Tolstoy brings to mind three reasons on why it is essential that we read literature throughout our lives:

  1. To gain new perspectives, to see the world through other people’s eyes.
  2. To “converse” with the great authors through engagement with their works.
  3. To understand ourselves better.

The mission of the Library Book Club is to encourage the reading of great literature by bringing members of the Regent and CBN communities together to enjoy the unique pleasure of reading and discussing books. For our tenth year, we have assembled a schedule of five classics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one acclaimed historical novel about the life of King David, a selection of modern Hebrew poems (our first foray into poetry), a history monograph, and a contemporary memoir. So we hope there’s something for everyone!

Library Book Club Schedule 2016 – 2017

Month Author Title Date & Time
September Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord Sept 27 at 12:00
October John Allembillah Azumah The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa (Dr. Joseph N. Kickasola, discussion moderator) Oct 28 at 12:00
December Edith Wharton Ethan Frome Dec 9 at 12:00
January Shusaku Endo Silence Jan 31 at 12:00
February Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me Feb 27 at 12:00
March John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress Mar 31 at 12:00
April Yehuda Amichai The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, discussion moderator) Apr 21 at 1:00
June Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre June 30 at 12:00
July Elizabeth George Speare The Bronze Bow July 28 at 12:00

Time & Location

Book Club meetings usually take place at noon during the final week of each month in the Library Conference Room. The day of the week depends on the availability and preference of readers. To request a day, send an e-mail message to Harold Henkel ( Check the events tab on the Library Facebook Group for confirmed dates and times. Tea and refreshments are served, and participants are welcome to bring a lunch.

Distance students and faculty welcome

Distance students and faculty are invited to join discussions via Google Hangouts, Google’s free videoconferencing service. Here is the permanent link for all Library Hangout events:

For more information about the Book Club, see our website or contact Harold Henkel.


*David P. Goldman, “Thanks, but I already have a novel,” Asia Times Online, January 29, 2013,

New University Library Dean

Newly-minted Doctor of Ministry Esther Gillie last May

Newly-minted Doctor of Ministry Esther Gillie last May

On July 1, following a year-long search, the Library welcomes a new permanent dean. Dr. Esther Gillie comes to us from Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York, where she served in numerous leadership positions and a tenure as Library Director. Dr. Gillie brings to Regent qualities for which she was known at Roberts Wesleyan, including organizational skills, attention to detail, creativity, and a caring spirit.

In addition to her professional responsibilities at Roberts Wesleyan, Dr. Gillie also earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees, both of which were awarded on May 14 of this year. Her dissertation, Spiritual Nurture for Cancer Patients, is a study of resources for the spiritual care of cancer patients. The Library faculty, staff, and student assistants all join in welcoming Dr. Gillie.

At this time, a word of thanks is also in order to Dr. Leanne Strum, who placed her retirement plans on hold last August to serve the Library as interim dean. Thank you, Leanne, for your expert guidance and judgement this past year. We wish you Godspeed as you begin a new chapter in your life.

Library Service in Guatemala

by Georgi Bordner, Head of Technical Services

First grader checking out her first library book

First grader checking out her first library book

During the last week of April, I had the privilege of joining a group of 13 “Librarians without Borders” from across the United States and Canada on a service trip to Guatemala. Our mission was to help the Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias, a private K-12 school in Quetzaltenango, with a variety of projects intended to improve the library and promote literacy. I was part of the group that cataloged and processed almost 200 new books that had been donated to the library, and other members of our team conducted a workshop for the teachers and planned activities for the children, such as stories, skits, and crafts. As one of only five Spanish speakers in the group, I also had many opportunities to serve as an interpreter for the other members of the team.

Having spent a number of years in ministry in Latin America and with Latin Americans, being in Guatemala almost felt like being “home.” However, while the culture was very familiar, working in the school environment was a new experience for me. I enjoyed helping some of the younger children with their craft projects, as we glued “capes” to popsicle sticks to create superhero bookmarks. It was also fun to see how excited the first and second graders were as they checked out their first library books. One little boy read to me from the Garfield book he had selected as he stood in line at the librarian’s desk. I know he was looking forward to reading the rest of it at home!

In addition to working with the children in the library, we had opportunities to talk with the school’s founder and director about his philosophy of education. The curriculum at Asturias is built around monthly themes that teach social values and practical skills in addition to the traditional reading, writing, and math. The theme for April was ecology and the environment, and we joined a group of the older students on a field trip to a local glass blowing co-op, where we learned how recycled glass is used to create a variety of useful and decorative items. We also visited the home of a high school student who lives in a local farming community. He makes the long trip into the city every day for school because the school in his town only goes up to 8th grade, and he wanted to take advantage of the higher education Asturias offers. His father proudly demonstrated the electric pump that he uses to water his crops, built by his older son who learned about electrical work when he attended the school.

We didn’t spend all of our time working! We enjoyed additional activities such as a tour of Quetzaltenango, a visit to a local hot spring, and stops at the city of Antigua and several towns along the shores of Lake Atitlan. I am very thankful to have had this opportunity to explore Guatemala, as well as contribute toward the improvement of the school library there.

A selection of photos from our trip can be viewed on the Library’s Facebook group and Google+ page.