Every student who takes his/her academics seriously knows that a library is invaluable on a college campus. As a school where all students prioritize their studies highly, Centre’s library is often densely populated with students studying and gathering sources for various research papers or projects. Centre’s library is more than just a resource for students, however; it has ambitions of its own and hosts several events each year with which it tries to engage students.

The Edible Book Event is one such example. April 21 will mark its second occurrence, and it intends to continue to be an annual event. Students and faculty can participate freely by making cakes, chocolate, or other foodstuffs including veggies to make edible books. These goodies often feature titles or characters chosen by the participant.

McKenzie Nalley | The Cento The library staff hosts an edible book contest each year, an even open to the student body to design books that are a treat to eat.

McKenzie Nalley | The Cento
The library staff hosts an edible book contest each year, an event open to the student body to design books that are a treat to eat.

“Every entry provides artsy good fun with a dash of creativity, while also promoting libraries through community engagement,” Carrie Frey said, one of the event’s organizers. “You don’t have to be a food artist to sign-up. We are taking entrants until Mon., April 20.”

The Centre library is also hosting a celebration of Día de Sant Jordi, a Catalan holiday, with readings of 100 Days of Solitude in front of the library. Taking place on April 23, this all-day event will entail English and Spanish readings of the Gabriel García Márquez book and students can sign up as participants in Cowan during the week of April 16.

“The library is very excited about this campus community event and hopeful that we will get a great deal of staff, faculty, and student participation,” Frey said. “Please sign up to take part in the reading, or just stop by the day of the event to listen and enjoy.”

Assistant Professor of Spanish Núria Sabaté-Llobera is native to the Catalonia region in Spain and was pleasantly surprised that the celebration reached Danville.

“The celebration actually takes place all over Catalonia and not only in Barcelona, its capital. The tradition is linked to a legend in which Sant Jordi (St. George) kills a dragon and from the blood that is shed a rose grows. For this reason Sant Jordi is also known as the ‘Day of the rose and the book,’” Sabaté-Llobera said. “In the past, women would receive a rose and men would receive a book as a symbol of love, like a St. Valentine´s gift exchange. Nowadays, the book and rose exchange can take place among friends or loved ones, not only couples. And most women get both, a rose and a book.”

Sant Jordi is considered the most important Catalan celebration and is steadily spreading to other parts of the world. In addition to its folklore and tradition of exchanging gifts, Sant Jordi is also marked by a number of cultural activities.

“Cities around Catalonia organize historic tours, concerts, and sardana, a traditional Catalan dance,” Sabaté-Llobera said. “Also, press houses and bookstores display books in stalls in the streets.  Writers often sit at one of the tables and sign books or do readings. One can spend the whole day walking around a city browsing books or finding out about new book releases.”

With its emphasis on a love of books, it is no wonder that Centre’s library picked up the event. In addition to promoting personal education, the event also embodies another key element of the Centre experience: global citizenship. Culturally immersive opportunities are frequent even if you are not studying abroad and students usually give them a positive reception.

“Sant Jordi is one of my favorite days of the year,” Sabaté-Llobera said, “so I´m glad to know that Centre is joining the tradition.”

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