GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY SPEECH

Dr. Gorman Duffett

Director, Grasselli Library & Breen Learning Center


Thank you, Father. I'd like to thank you all for joining us on this wonderful, joyous day. I want to thank all those who have made it possible, and I've tried not to repeat those whom Fr. Lavelle has already thanked but particularly Fr. Lavelle. His support has been particularly important day by day in getting this project together. My boss, immediate boss, is Dr. Pecek, and I have to repeat thanks to him because he has been very helpful to me. And Dr. Wertheim I knew was always there support ing us in our planning. I'd like to thank as well a far-sighted Board of Trustees. When the bids came in high, they stretched to meet the height rather than settle for less than the best for John Carroll University . I think we all need to thank the Board of Trustees for that far-sightedness. I'd like to thank my staff. They've been with me for the last two years, and, day by day, we have worked to put together the package working with the wonderful architect who met with us many, many times co ming up with the best package for John Carroll University. Some people I'm thankful for that you might not think of are those in Development and Public Affairs, like Paul Kantz, Michael Gallagher, Nicki Plottner, Jerry Sheehan, and Michael Quinn who have been out there nudging those of you who are supporters of John Carroll to support us again and give us a little money towards this building.

I'd like to thank the Computer Services staff--Bill O'Hearn, Jim Burke, and John Lateulere. Day by day, in the planning they've been there helping to make sure that this library is a library for the future not just for the present. And last in my group of thanks I want to mention the faculty of John Carroll, the students of John Carroll, and the staff of John Carroll who have encouraged each and every one of us all along the way. Each one has contributed individually and collectively to this reality.

Today we break ground for an extended library, but maybe the real ground breaking took place in 1540 when St. Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuit order dedicated to the education of the total person for the greater glory of God. Ignatius broke ground. We continue in his tradition. We break ground as he did in order that the seeds of wisdom and truth might be sown. We break ground so that the John Carroll students of the 21st century will have access to traditional and electronic resources throughout the world to ensure that that total person can be educated for the greater glory of God.

There is another groundbreaking today. That is the presence here of a new organization, and some of you represent that organization--The Friends of Grasselli Library--and this is an initial festivity for them as well, and we welcome those who are present from the Friends, and we would invite the rest of you to join us as members of the Friends of Grasselli Library.

I'd like to welcome a special group, and I see Hannelore Raider and George Lupone from Cleveland State, and I see Betsy Belkin from Ursuline College, and I'm probably missing someone I can't see from here, but these are colleagues of mine from area libraries. Their presence here is not just ceremonial. It is a recognition of the fact that we are partners in providing access for John Carroll students to that virtual library of information wherever that information might be found. No one library is self-sufficient. We must participate through CAMLS, through NEOMARL, through OCLC to provide the resources that the John Carroll students need. So truly, they and their libraries are part of this ceremony as well.

In a recent ARL publication, Association of Research Libraries, they defined the library of the future as a place that serves as an intellectual and social commons, accessibility of information including a core of printed materials, utilization of technology to facilitate access to information, accessibility of expert librarians to assist and train users to identify, find, retrieve, use and manage information, assumption of the major costs associated with information activities by the institution, not entirely by the end-user, and functionally integrated spaces that will link the old and the new. John Carroll's expanded Grasselli Library truly fits this definition and will indeed be ready for the future.

Now, as I close, I'd like to introduce to you three people who are going to help in the shoveling. These are three special people. First, Mrs. Eleanor Bongorno. Mrs. Bongorno worked for the library when it was in the Administration Building back as far as 1941. She works in Technical Services and represents half of what goes on in the library. Secondly, we have Brother William Balconi, who recently retired after sixteen years in Grasselli and represents the public service function of the Grasselli Library. And thirdly, we have Miss De'Maka Davis who is a junior here at John Carroll University and a graduate of Cleveland Central Catholic High School. She does work for us, but, more importantly, she represents all of the students of John Carroll University, the future of this institution. Thank you.





Return to GROUNDBREAKING