Feedback express: Why does the Library have offensive books?

In The God Delusion, evolutionary biologist and evangelist of atheism Richard Dawkins informs his readers that “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” (p. 31).

From time-to-time the Library receives the question, “Why does a Christian library have such and such a book on its shelves?”

There are several reasons for collecting books with false or even offensive content:

The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights affirms that libraries have a responsibility to provide materials from all points of view:

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

A statement in the University Library’s Resource Development Policy also speaks directly to this issue: “The University Library attempts to provide collections supporting the free exchange of ideas. The collections are available to all patrons of the Library and offer the widest range of viewpoints and treatment, regardless of the popularity of those viewpoints or of the sex, religion, political philosophy, or national origin of their authors. The sole test of the suitability of any item is its contribution, direct or indirect, to the academic programs of the university and to the research and information needs of library users.”

A second reason for collecting books that advocate non-Christian or even anti-Christian ideas has to do with the University’s unique mission: If Regent graduates are to fulfill their calling to change the world, they must be able to engage with the multitude of viewpoints held in the world. One need look no further than the opening chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians to see how important to his missionary success was his ability to speak with Jews and Greeks on their own terms: “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1: 22-24).

What Samuel Johnson (a great Christian) wrote about literature is also true in a way of all books, even ones filled with error and falsehood: “Literature is a kind of intellectual light which, like the light of the sun, enables us to see what we do not like; but who would wish to escape unpleasing objects, by condemning himself to perpetual darkness?”

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Library Book Sale: November 19 – 21

On November 19 – 21, the Library will hold its first book sale in two years. We have thousands of new and old books in all subjects, making the sale a perfect opportunity to find Christmas gifts or build your personal library.

All books just 50¢! Only cash or personal checks accepted. Please bring your own bags or boxes.

Location & Hours

  • Library Atrium
  • Tuesday, November 19: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday, November 20: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Thursday, November 21: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Want free books?

Bring in a canned good for our food drive and receive a free book!

Library dedicates archives of Charismatic leaders

Rev. Dr. Dennis J. Bennett is considered by many the “first Charismatic.” His brother-in-law, Dr. William Standish Reed, is considered by many the “first medical evangelist.” The archives of both men reside at the University Library. On October 24, the Library dedicated the Rev. Dennis J. Bennett Papers and the William Standish Reed, M.D. Collection. The dedication featured an exhibition of artifacts from the archives and several speakers, including Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Dr. Amos Yong, Dr. Vinson Synan, Dr. Kimberly Alexander, Dr. Rita Bennett, Mrs. Jo Ann “Coppi” Reed, and Rev. Roger Cheeks.

For more about the archives and the dedication ceremony see Brett Wilson’s article for Regent News and Events. Photos from the ceremony are available on the Library’s Facebook, Flickr, and Google+ sites, and a video of the event will be uploaded to our YouTube channel soon.

Urgent Care for your final projects

Ah, November: The smell of crisp autumn air outside and cinnamon and cloves inside; the anticipation of Thanksgiving with family and friends; the approaching doom of research papers coming due…

If the above scenario matches your typical experience of late fall, then you need to come to the reference librarians’ Research Paper Urgent Care Workshop. We will demonstrate simple techniques you can begin using immediately to find the best books, articles, images, and videos for your final projects.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, November 14 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room and online via Google Hangouts. An RSVP, either through Facebook, Google+, or e-mail to, while not required, is much appreciated!

Hangout Link for distance students:




Image Credits:

Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest, “Pumpkins”,

 Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest, “Rotating Wall Clouds”,

Database trials

The Library currently has four database trials underway:

Academic Video Online: Premium
Alexander Street’s most comprehensive video subscription, designed to bring the highest-quality video content to the broadest range of subject areas. The collection now comprises more than 23,000 full video titles (not just clips) with well over 11,000 hours of content. (Trial expires November 16, 2013)

IEEE core collection of engineering, electronics, and computer science periodicals
152 science, technology, and computer science journals in full-text. Many of the journals are among the most highly cited in their fields. There are more than 241,000 documents, many of them available in HTML as well as the original PDF format. (Trial expires on November 08, 2013)

Sage Knowledge E-books
More than 2,700 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more. (Trial expires on October 25, 2013)

CQ State Stats
Comprehensive data coverage of each state including health care, crime, education and more. You’ll find reliable, easy-to-use data from more than 80 different sources covering more than 15 years. When you find data you’re interested in explore it using the mapping and graphing tools, compare it with other data sets, or export it to Excel. (Trial expires on October 25, 2013)

As always, the Library welcomes comments and concerns about all of our electronic resources. Please use our evaluation form to send feedback about these trial databases.

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