The London Times Online recently carried a story about a survey indicating that British readers much preferred their fiction to have a happy ending. The article quoted the World Book Day survey by saying that readers believed “happy endings make a positive contribution to the nation’s qualify of life.”
I do not know how valid that opinion is, but my nearly forty years’ experience in academic libraries makes me reasonably certain that books do make a positive contribution to the quality of individual lives. That is one of the reasons why the University of Oklahoma Libraries and the University Athletics Departments have sponsored Books That Inspire.
This is the sixth Books That Inspire and it is somewhat different from its predecessors in that it is what we are calling an “encore exhibit.” That is, this year’s selection committee has reviewed the more than 250 books featured in years past and has chosen what it considered the most inspiring and deserving of a second presentation.
As in years past, I want to acknowledge, with thanks and deepest gratitude, our exhibit sponsors. Without their financial support, we could not have purchased the exhibit cases, printed the posters and invitations, or published the booklet form of the exhibit each year. They make the exhibit possible and I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to each of them. They are listed at the entry points to the exhibit and I urge you to please take a moment to see who they are.
I am also deeply grateful to the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department for its assistance with the exhibit. Joe Castiglione, director of athletics, the department’s administrators, and the coaches have given their unqualified support to the exhibit and its underlying mission -- the achievement of academic excellence at the University of Oklahoma. The OU Libraries/Athletics Department partnership for academic excellence is one that continues throughout the year and one that I am proud to proclaim and sustain.
Thank you for viewing the exhibit again this year. I hope the books that have inspired our faculty and staff will add to the quality of your life.
Sul H. Lee
Peggy V. Helmerich Chair and
Dean, University Libraries