The University Library, in the heart of the Sacramento State campus, is open to the public and waiting to be discovered by those who live and work outside the University community.
It’s a magnificent destination for researchers, historians, art lovers, casual readers, cultural mavens, the generally curious and anyone who simply longs for quiet and the smell of old books.
The Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden is home to one of the University Library's several unique collections.
The 275,000-square-foot Library holds 1.4 million volumes, including more than 28,000 published theses, projects and dissertations, all bound in stately green and gold. Beyond the expected stacks of books is the unexpected: a Japanese tea room and garden; an art gallery; an author lecture series; a multitude of fascinating collections; and a bookstore in the basement.
“The Library has a lot going on that has very little to do with the fact that we have more than a million books in our collection,” says Linda Goff, head of Library instructional services. “Our primary mission is to serve the curricular needs of our students and faculty but, in the past 60 years, we have built many special collections that have a broader appeal.”
Among the Library’s offerings that are open to the public for little or no cost:
University Library Gallery – The 2,000-square-foot art gallery presents two major exhibitions each year. The spring 2013 show is “Three Sisters Bound to the Elements: New Works by Hong, Bo and Ling Zhang,” opening Friday, Feb. 1, and continuing through Friday, May 24. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free. (916) 278-4189, (916) 278-6898, www.al.csus.edu/sota/ulg/.
Library visitors guide
Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden – The charming retreat was the gift of an anonymous donor wishing to honor his late mother, who taught and practiced the ancient art of chando (the way of tea). The donor also gave Sac State his mother’s collection of tea ware utensils and ceramics. Members of San Francisco’s Uransenke Foundation perform the traditional tea ceremony on campus several times a year. It’s free and open to the public. (916) 278-5954, apps.lib.csus.edu/tearoom/index.html.
Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection – It’s a premier Greek research collection in the western United States and the largest of its kind in the nation, containing more than 75,000 volumes, along with ephemera and artwork. The collection, which bears the name of developer and Sacramento State alumnus Angelo Tsakopoulos, attracts Hellenic scholars from throughout the world. (916) 278-4361, library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos.
Friends of the Library’s Author Lecture Series – The spring schedule includes a Wednesday, Feb.13, appearance by Gerald Haslam, author of In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S.I. Hayakawa, and a talk by Chuck McFadden, author of Trailblazer: A Biography of Jerry Brown, on Wednesday, April 17. The lectures are free and begin at 3 p.m. in the University Library Gallery. (916) 278-5954 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of the Library’s Book Bin – The volunteer-run bookstore in the basement sells a variety of used books for adults and children for no more than $2 apiece to raise money for the Library. The little bookstore is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday-through-Friday monthly. (916) 278-5154, library.csus.edu/content2.asp?pageID=53.
Japanese American Archival Collection – In 1994, Elk Grove schoolteacher Mary Tsukamoto donated her personal papers, photographs and documents pertaining to the World War II internment of Japanese-born individuals and Americans of Japanese descent. Additional donations came from the Florin Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and Sacramento VFW Nisei Post 8985. The collection’s searchable online database contains 1,400 photographs. digital.lib.csus.edu/jaac/.
Department of Special Collections and University Archives – The department houses the Japanese American Archival Collection and the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection, as well as the Magnus Hirschfeld Collection of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transsexual History. It’s home to collections of fine press and rare books, early manuscript books and specimen pages, photographs, posters, broadsides, paintings, prints, oral history transcripts and audiovisual materials. library.csus.edu/content2.asp?pageID=553.
Digital archives – Searchable online collections include the California Underground Railroad, which preserves the almost-forgotten story of African-American slaves in California, the Honorable Robert T. Matsui Legacy Project, and the Sokiku Nakatani Japanese Teaware Collection.
For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.
– Dixie Reid