A series of presentations in Magill Library, titled “Where We’re From,” kicked off on Thursday, February 16, to both demonstrate the wealth of information available on campus, as well as teach something about the cultures of the increasingly diverse Haverford student body.
Several students showcased interesting facts about different countries using resources available from the Tri-Co Libraries. Ryan Buchanan ’13, an exchange student from the University of Aberdeen, made a PowerPoint presentation along with Karl Moll ’14 about some unique features of Scotland that they found through Tri-Co resources. They talked not only about classic historical figures such as Charles Macintosh, Adam Smith and David Hume, but also pop-culture icons such as Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, and of course, J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series. “A lot of books that I pulled were from both [Haverford and Bryn Mawr’s] libraries,” said Moll. “It was really illuminating to see how easily accessible everything was.”
Moll pointed to some the Tri-Co’s collections of newspapers, journals, books, etc. as being especially helpful, and called out the plethora of resources available online, from music and photos, to digests or journals. Triptych, the Tri-Co online photo archive, is another useful source of information open to the public, he said.
GoGo Troy ’15, from China, talked about how excited she was to find books that discussed the role of women in China and the country’s changing horizons—something she was not used to seeing in her home country. She said her father influenced her keenness to learn about gender roles, and in the future she hopes to enable more progressive attitudes towards women in Chinese society, which is still very traditional. Troy also donated a book to Magill Library that she wrote (in Chinese) about the culture shock she experienced when she first came to America.
Troy’s presentation partner, Natalia Banfi ’15, was also inspired by working on the project. “There are amazing resources that you can find on Tripod,” she said, “and it raised my interest even more to study abroad in China in my junior year.”
Ming-Fui ’15, a student from Singapore, expressed his amazement at some of the sources he found on his homeland. “I was really surprised to find a book that was actually written by a Singaporean. I thought all of the books would be from abroad,” he said.
These “Where We’re From” presentations were just the start of a series, which will continue throughout the year to both highlight the resources in the Tri-Co and also give the Haverford community a glimpse of other cultures.