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Tour of library and rare books and special collection room offered June 20

library_t.jpgBOONE—The Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collection Room at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons will be open to the general public Sunday, June 20.

Because of the significance of the materials in the room, it is rarely open to the public, but for this special occasion retired Appalachian English professor Dr. John Higby will be in the room to show visitors some of its more fascinating books. A unique collection of Victorian page turners and an exhibit featuring books on the history and literature of Scotland will also be on display.

It’s all part of a special fifth anniversary celebration of the opening of the new library on June 20, 2005. The community is invited to enjoy birthday cake in the building’s atrium and tour the building between 2 and 4 p.m. Parking will be available in the College Street parking deck adjacent to the library.

Members of the Richard T. Barker Friends of the Library will conduct the tours. For more information about the celebration, call Lynn Patterson at 828-262-2087.

The special collection was donated by Bill and Maureen Rhinehart of Melville, N.Y. A native North Carolinian, Bill Rhinehart earned two degrees at Appalachian and was a long-time school principal. He and his wife have been building the collection for many years.

The library also houses a number of other special collections including the Eury Appalachian Collection, Stock Car Racing Collection, University Archives and the Instructional Materials Center, which focuses on teacher education. The library’s 26 miles of shelving are also a rich resource for the campus and the community.

“We are extremely proud of our library and hope that many local residents will tour the facility and see what we offer the community,” said Mary Reichel, University Librarian.

Reichel noted that library use has increased dramatically since the new building opened, from 347,000 visits in 2005 in the old building to more than a million in 2009.

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