It was twenty years ago this week that Ohrstrom Library was officially dedicated and welcomed into the St. Paul’s School community. The Spring 1991 Alumni Horae article described the dedication ceremony this way:
With moments of high ceremony, with inspiring speeches, and with good fellowship Ohrstrom Library was dedicated over the weekend of April 20-21, 1991. Open to students at the start of the winter term, the Library represents the “love and labor of many” who contributed imagination, thought, time, effort, and financial support during some six years to make this remarkable building possible.
Fittingly, all constituencies were represented in the Chapel of SS. Peter and Paul on Sunday, April 21, during the blessing of the Library by the Right Reverend Douglas Theuner, Bishop of New Hampshire. Holding symbols of their activities —blueprints, plans, minutes of meetings, hard hats, and a full range of Dewey Decimal system volumes —were representatives of the architects and builders, the Library Review Committee, the library staff, and the Library Association.
The February 1992 issue of School Library Journal featured an article about the process of bringing the dream of Ohrstrom Library to reality. Ohrstrom’s head librarian at the time, Rosemarie Cassel-Brown, described her experiences this way:
Looking back over the years of planning and our first year in the new building, I can think of many special moments: the trustees’ meeting at which the decision to build a new library was made; the unveiling of Robert Stern’s design; the ground-breaking ceremony in the spring of 1988: the thrill of seeing the new building take shape across the pond from the old library; and, the inauguration ceremonies and celebrations in the spring of 1991.
If I were to single out one experience I would not have missed for anything, it would be the challenge and the joy of being part of a team of people dedicated to the common goal of creating this uniquely beautiful new library for a great school. The level of mutual trust and regard and the growing appreciation of one another’s perspectives, talents, and responsibilities was remarkable and, I would venture to say, quite unusual.
I think it is fair to say that the collaborative spirit that was instrumental in bringing Ohrstrom Library to St. Paul’s School continues to be part of the daily experience in the operation of the library.
Read the full Alumni Horae article HERE.
Read the full School Library Journal article HERE.
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