The Reading Room and the Story of Our Project

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."
Sir Francis Bacon

The Story

For years, this small and mysterious university building, functioning as a teaching location (which oftentimes takes freshmen forever to find, despite its proximity to the main university building), has also been "housing" a growing collection of thousands of academic books. To many past and present generations of English majors or minors, the Reading Room is a little bit like one of those hybrid mythical figures: part-classroom and part- (improvised) library. In-between or even during the courses and lectures held there, the Shakespeares, the Chaucers, the Hemingways, the Whitmans, the Thoreaus or the Miltons peer at you from their shelves, behind the safely locked glass windows.

In 2014, members of the English departmentat Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, together with a team of enthusiastic students, undertook the first daunting task of re-organizing the library. With the help of IT-savvy friends, we created an online searchable catalog and a library management system and started the painstaking process of rescuing each book from the dust and the spider webs, assigning it an inventory number and registering it into the system. We also started to include the books held at the English Department. Because of the sheer size of all the collections, the process of registering all books, of saving them from a life of quasi-obscurity is not complete yet. But we are slowly and surely getting there.

In 2017, with the help of the University and the United States Embassy In Bucharest, the Reading Room was renovated and refurbished and it now also proudly hosts a plethora of extracurricular activities from book clubs and tutoring groups to various cultural and educational events.

Our Team

Volunteer Coordinators:

Dr. Lorelei Caraman, Lecturer

Mrs. Stefana Iosif, Ph.D student

Current Senior Volunteers:

Claudiu Cîrcel

Ionut Juncu

Andreea Mircea

Ana-Maria Patrolea

Diana Noella Sava

Cristian Timofciuc

Current Junior Volunteers:

Alexandra Hatmanu

Catalin Palel

Ioana Stafie

Cristina Olteanu