Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reno Book Christmas Tree Might be Largest Ever

At a time when the fate of both books and libraries seems to hang in the balance, the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada Reno has erected a most unconventional tree.

Knowledge Center librarian Erin Fisher masterminded the nine-and-a-half foot treat using pre-1950 National Union Catalog books. “The rarely used reference books made an ideal book tree,” says the university, “with their evergreen covers and gold lettering on the spine.”

Fisher brought her idea to Alden Kamaunu, manager of the center’s building operations, in order to make the tree a reality. Kamaunu drafted library technician Larry Smith to help design and build the masterpiece. Kamaunu and Smith built two prototypes before they came up with a final design.

“It had to be perfect,” Kamaunu said. “It may look simple enough, but most book trees look like pyramids. We wanted ours to look like a real tree. There was a lot of trial and error.”

The final design took three hours and 348 books to construct. The base of the tree is made up of 10 books placed in a circle, and as the tree grows in height, the number of books decreases to one final book at the top. Although the tree has not been weighed, Kamaunu estimates it weighs over 400 pounds. The unconventional nature of the tree doesn’t end with the books. Wolfie, the University mascot, tops off the tree, wearing a Santa Claus hat.

The University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation’s best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation’s largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world.

The tree is located in the atrium inside the main entrance of the Knowledge Center and will remain up until early January 2012.

Photo courtesy of Theresa Danna-Douglas, University of Nevada, Reno.


Anonymous Top8trends said...

its amaze to watch that large book tree. amazing.......keep it up....

Monday, December 19, 2011 at 10:42:00 PM PST  

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