Celebration of Scholarship draws community to Irwin

The 10th annual Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity exhibit in Irwin Library is giving Butler University faculty and staff the opportunity to exhibit their creative endeavors to the entire Butler community.

The program began in 2002 with the idea that faculty needed the opportunity to share their outside projects with students and colleagues. The exhibit was also started in part to celebrate President Bobby Fong’s inauguration.

Any Butler faculty or staff member can submit their work. It is preferred that their submissions are done outside of their regular teaching responsibilities.

The celebration is open to all subject areas, and the exhibit includes work such as psychology and chemistry posters, costumes designed for theater, illustrations, paintings and programs from concerts.

Typically, 80-90 faculty and staff members submit their work, and this year the exhibit featured 330 items, which is more than ever before.

While the work submitted by the faculty or staff member is typically related to the field they teach, it is not a requirement. Scott Pfitzinger, information commons and technology librarian, has been in charge of the work submitted to the exhibit for the last six years.

He explained that usually a faculty member will submit work from outside of their field, which shows their students and fellow faculty members a different side of them.

Every year, the exhibit is displayed on the main floor of Irwin Library for the entire month of February. This year, the event kicked off with a dinner and speaker. This year’s speaker was Kristin Swenson, assistant professor of communication.

During the dinner, faculty and staff members are able to meet and discuss their work, and they often find that someone from a different field is working on something similar. The event and exhibit help encourage collaboration between faculty members all across the board.

“Faculty and staff members’ favorite thing about the exhibit is that it gives them the opportunity to share other work with students and other faculty members, and they get to find out what others are doing so they can collaborate and work together,” Pfitzinger said.

Dean of Libraries Lewis Miller said this is the only organized event all year that recognizes outside work done by faculty and staff.

“The exhibit improves public recognition for this aspect of faculty members’ lives,” Miller said.
He said the purpose of a library is to improve and encourage research and scholarship, and the Celebration of Scholarship exhibit helps the library to accomplish this by providing the opportunity for faculty and staff to display their work.