5 library rooms graced with memories

Justin Schmithorst, Staff Writer

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Pitt-Johnstown’s Owen Library has some rooms that most students have no idea about.

There is a typing room in which antiquated typewriters and floppy disk drives gather dust.

Library Director Eve Wider said that this room is not for students to study because there are no windows, and, since the room is isolated from the rest of the library, it is difficult for the librarians to check up on it.

There is also the book-repair room. There sits a metal bookshelf about six-feet tall and three-feet wide devoted to nothing but books in need of repair. Common repairs include a detaching spine and pages that have broken free from bindings.

Librarian David Kupas said that librarians then glue the books back together and put them on a press, letting them sit for at least two days.

The largest of these rooms in the library is an archive. The room contains wooden cabinets on each side in which one can find photographs, yearbooks and other memorabilia commemorating Pitt-Johnstown’s past.

Wider said that if  a student is interested in viewing the archive, he or she can do so through appointment.

An unconventional part of the library is a room dedicated to John Torquato and the Owen Sisters, Elvina Owen and Sara Owen Torquato was a lifelong politician.

The room is full of photographs, including ones of him meeting former United States President Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman.

Wider said that when the library was built, there was a clause in the grant that 2 percent of the floor space had to be reserved for John Torquato and the Owen Sisters,

Unusual for a lifelong Democrat like Torquato, on one of the shelves are many metal castings of elephants, not donkeys.

There is also a staff room. At its center is a small circular table where staff members will typically eat lunch.

Library Instruction Coordinator Paul Bond said that it was a nice space to eat lunch, despite it being too cold in the summer.

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