“... in the specific context of a university the goals of a library are the same as that of the university of which it is part; practically speaking, the mission of the library services are one and the same reality with the mission of the university.”
Wednesday 18 April 2012, was the discussion of the master's thesis in Archival and Library Arts by Dr. Laura Signore, assitant librarian at the Library of the Sophia University Institute. It was a research project that was awarded the highest grade: all our congratulations, therefore, to the new graduate!
A note of special significance was added to this event. The subject of the thesis was focused on a particular space that characterizes the original profile of the IUS: “The Library of the Sophia University Institute. An analysis from the perspective of the Ecclesiastical CEI-Bib.” And precisely the library, entitled after Pasquale Foresi – among Chiara Lubich’s first collaborators – was examined by Laura Signore through the different stages of work that allowed it to open its doors. After an initial glance at the software utilized for cataloging and the bibliographic reference system SBN, the library was described in its close relationship with the Institute, with many references to library science literature, in its various aspects. The research then analyzed the project from 2008 up to today, according to five ambits: Place, Space, Services, Media Library and Classification/Archiving System, examining the phases of decision-making, of restructuring and organization of spaces, and the setting up of user services.
In conclusion, the original internal system of classification was described, in comparison with already existing and well-known systems of classification, in particular with the Decimal Dewey System of Classification and the internal system of the Pontifical Gregorian University. The new procedure was thought of specifically for this library and comes out of the need to articulate the location of books in a manner coherent with the Institute’s plan. The ordering of disciplines is functional to the conception of knowledge which is proposed, so that the visitor, by simply going down the corridors, can also find in the books’ placement the signs of that correspondence that is constantly sought between didactics and the lived-out experience.
“To participate in and to document the genesis of this new instrument right from the initial phase of the IUS library’s development,” stated Laura Signore, “besides being extremely stimulating, also gave me a unique professional opportunity for comparison and synthesis.” The singular nature of the work did not go unobserved, it seems, arousing real interest and appreciation in the Examing Committee, particularly expressed in the very positive judgements from Dr. Elisa Boffa, professor of Library Science, and from the co-examiner, Dr. Francesca Cenni, professor of History of Library Sciences at the Arezzo Branch of the University of Siena.