Library Memories

If you have a favorite library memory you would like to share, please let us know!  Here are some of the memories alumni have sent us so far.

Paul Upham, '62

I was one of the last students of Dr. Durick in the Fall of 1958 in English. A brilliant and inspiring teacher, who nurtured all of us about the language and its writers, especially the Bard. I regret I am unable to join you all at the celebration and wish the College blessings and a wonderful future. A recommendation from a Hilltop professor enabled me to attend Brown graduate school and I am very grateful for my time in Winooski. Deo gratias. I remember the line from the Canterbury Tales re the Oxford Clerk, "And gladly would he learn and gladly teach" applies to Prof. Durick and I hope to me, as an adjunct professor at local colleges.

Kevin Colling, '70

When the library opened I was amazed. I loved the old library, but this...this was a LIBRARY! I would check out a portable record player from the circulation desk (with mandatory headphones), check out Beethoven's 9th, and listen and read. The spring night hundreds of us marched back from Burlington during the student strike (after Kent State, etc.) all men's voices singing "Give Peace a Chance" through Winooski and up the hill, we passed Dr. Fairbanks house and saw the library lights ahead. Not many moments could match that one.

Jack Carr, '71

I was in the new library a few weeks after opening and a student on a bicycle rode by. He was doing laps! Guess it was raining that evening... 

Mike Berardino, '73





Hanging with friends, then and now! Had the honor and desire to sponsor a study carrel, which was dedicated marking my 20th and dad's 50th reunion in 1993. His and my mom's Mass cards mark the room and are a lifetime remembrance and link to SMC.

Lorayne C. Mundy, '74

It seems centuries ago now, but once there was no digital collection of rare books at the SMC library. Digitizing was a brand new dream facing facing librarians with an endless line of books and treasures that seemed could not possibly be accomplished. Once there was an old wooden building on the campus that housed such treasures as original copies of Charles Dickens paperback tales in monthly installments. And they were laying open to the elements on bare wooden shelves. And you could pick them up, gently, because you knew they were precious treasures to be guarded as stolen moments in history. Our professors had instilled in us an awe of these treasures. So weekly I would steal away to this museum of verbal antiquity, lost in a moment in time where I could pick up, hold, breathe deeply of the mustiness of stolen time, and read Dickens' latest installment. I felt as the century old British reader must have felt as I pierced the installment with baited breath. I inhaled every new fact, and followed Mr. Dickens characters through a life long gone, only to come to the end in the blink of an eye. Then I breathlessly pierced the pile of magazines to find the issue with the next installment, which may or may not be there. Then, with a sigh of relief, the treasure found, I settled back in my wooden chair, at an old wooden table, in a library of wooden open air shelves, and continued my quest of knowledge. These moments of stolen time were precious to me. And though I respect the need to protect such treasures, sitting in a temperature controlled room, wearing gloves to protect these treasures, I am so glad to got to transport myself in time back to the original journey and enjoy a treasure house of a great author's writings the way I believe he fully intended me too. With baited breath and anticipation. Thanks St Mike's for sharing such beautiful moments for one last time.

Gay Butts, M.A. '80

In 78-79 while a graduate student in American Studies (w/ Dr. Norbert Kuntz), I was working the circulation desk for Joe Popecki -- one Friday evening on my supper break, I went out for pizza (for the crew and me) at the place (now a pub) across from Fanny Allen Hospital -- when I returned, water was flowing down the front steps of the library, every SMC Fire and Rescue vehicle must have been on site -- I rushed into a soggy circulation area -- the water rushed down the center "spoke of the space ship" (and out the front doors) -- right behind the card catalogs -- luckily, the thousands of cards were not damaged -- carpeting had to be replaced -- not a funny story, but true -- and I never again volunteered to go out for pizza --

John Wagner, '81

I was a work-study student at the Durick Library, working nights, and the employee who often pulled the night shift was Michel Guilloton. He was easily into his 70s in 1980-81. I John Wagnerjust adored working with him, because he would regale me with stories of his past, as a military infantry man in the French army in Indochina, and his possession of a very rare medal, one of the very few, awarded "by Napoleon himself!" to Michel's great great grandfather. Michel spoke many languages, and he used to teach language, at Middlebury College, I think. Ever a military man at heart, he dressed in military surplus canvas half-jackets and matching slacks; maybe he even carried a canteen. Each night, as the clock approached midnight, when the library would close, Michel would announce the closing in 7 or 8 languages, including French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. He was a character, but as I got to know him, I really wondered: Is this fellow really that worldly? Did he really fight for the French? Does he know all those languages? And that medal...really from Napoleon? One evening, he invited me and another library worker, John Puleio ('82) to his home in Burlington. It was probably the original bachelor pad, with some of the rooms walled off with blankets to contain the warmth in the kitchen. We chatted, shared a glass of wine, and showed him my poetry and John Puleio's photo work, which he just marveled at, as though looking at the later works of WB Yeats and Richard Avedon. Then, just as we were about to leave, Michel said he wanted to show us something. We followed him into a chilly bedroom, and from within a wooden French army ammo crate, he pulled out and put aside his French dress uniform and an officer's sword. Then, he pulled out a French army ammo box. He pried it up, and withdrew from a velveteen sack the very medal from Napoleon! I held it for a second, wowed, as Michel rocked back with a mischievous smile that said, "See, it's all true."

Alison Belford DeVito, '88

My friend and I were making copies of Cliff's Notes for a novel we were supposed to have read and in walks our professor (Denise C. and I are sorry, Prof. Marquess!) Oops - some English major I was!

Andre Garant, '91

I absolutely loved the circular shape of the library when I arrived at SMC in 1987! It was a favorite study spot of mine, and I especially loved to find a quiet cubicle near a window that overlooked the campus. The library allowed me to find a place of refuge in an otherwise stressful freshman year!

Kristin Peacock Shepard, '98

MickkeyIt was freezing outside that Vermont evening in November 1996. But inside I was warm. I was curled up in my favorite chair in the Dailey room of Durick Library, waiting. I had a full panoramic view of the campus. It was beautiful. That view alone drew me to this college, as a wide-eyed 18-year old, from Florida to Vermont for adventures unknown. I spent many hours in the library’s lower level computer lab, study rooms or with friends in the special collection room. But that night, movement outside the window caught my eye and I spotted him. My heart skipped a beat. That charming handsome man ascended the library stairs to meet me. Joe was a student at the UVM and we had started dating in October. Ever the focused students, our entire courtship had taken place either at the library or at church. Our favorite study spot was the library’s right-side Mezzanine. That night, as I feigned interest in schoolwork, Joe pulled from his backpack a small, stuffed Mickey Mouse. “Happy 1-month anniversary!”

Twenty years of marriage, three kids and a lifetime of happiness later, I remember our tender beginning in Durick Library, like it was yesterday.  

Becky Thomas, '03

Being a French Major most of my classes were held in the basement classrooms of the library, right next to the elevator. Memories of hearing the elevator "ding" letting us know that Prof. Anne McConnell was on her way down from her office to start class. Those natural lightless classrooms led to the shock of natural light exposure when you came upstairs. Finding the perfect chair in the center reading room to spend hours TRYING to get reading done for research/class somewhere other than my room/townhouse. I think I spent half of my four years in that building between class and the computer lab in the basement (after all the 9/11 viruses killed my desktop). Memories of French and Spanish classes, the hours spent huddled in the Language section of the stacks, meeting with my professors in their offices, running into other girls in those weird TINY central bathrooms and general happy memories.

Zachary Vickery, '05 (now a librarian)

I cannot confidently supply one favorite Durick Library memory, mainly because of my collective four years as a work-study position. While I will most certainly forget everything about my many hours at Durick, I will do my best to mention as many as I can. Walking through the Study Abroad photograph display every year in the Dailey Room. Finding my love for cooking in the NECI collection. Assisting Elizabeth Scott in Archives and interacting with so many neat things in the collection, including old issues of the Michaleman and reels of old SMC basketball footage. Working late-night shifts (Midnight-2AM) during Finals week. Clearing a seemingly endless number of paper jams from the printer in the Upper Level Computer Lab. Shifting the collection during the summer of 2004. Attending a handful of classes in the Lower Level classrooms, including History of Canada with Dr. Tortolano. Studying at the tables literally above the book stacks. And, most importantly, unknowingly preparing me for a career path I enjoy to this day. 

Julia Parise, '10

One of the pillars of college life is time spent in the library. Someone very wise told me to do the majority of my work there, so my room could be a respite. I'd grab a chai latte, find a cozy, secluded spot and buckle down. When I learned that my love interest NEVER went to the library, I decided to enlighten him and let him tag along to study with me. He was a horrible distraction, so that didn't last. He's now my husband...

Rachel Stayton, '12

As a student I spent an inordinate amount of time at the library between my work study hours and the looming specter of never ending homework. Through all that time Durick served as a touchstone, both as a place to focus and as a place to derive comfort. Even after graduating I was at the library every few weeks picking up more books. Access to Durick and the wonderful staff there is one of the things I miss most about living in Vermont.



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