By Elizabeth Varville, The Belton Journal
As Christmastime draws upon us, many businesses and schools are displaying their Christmas spirit. Since the 19th century, the traditional Christmas tree has long stood for the essence of the holiday season with its pine scented branches and long pointed needles.
At the University of Mary Harding-Baylor Townsend Memorial Library, the idea of the traditional Christmas tree has been redefined. Visitors at the library are greeted by what is now being referred to as the “Christmas Book Tree” even though the tree has no official name.
“This is the second year we have built the tree. We had such a tremendous response to the tree last year to include how beautiful and unusual the tree is that we decided to do it again this year but much bigger. Last year’s tree was approximately 4 feet tall, this year’s tree is much wider and taller. I admire the ingenuity and patience my students exhibited when building the tree and yet it was very evident that they were having a lot of fun while constructing it. This is our way of celebrating the season complete with angel on top”, said Anne Price, Head of Public Services of the Townsend Memorial Library.
The concept of the tree was inspired by a social media site catering to libraries that the Director of the Library, Denise Karimkhani is a frequent participator of.
Four hundred and fifty-seven red and green resource books are what encompasses the outer construction of the tree while approximately 100 resource books are used in the interior for additional support. The resource books ranging in various subjects to include art and history, are also available to students on the library’s electronic database which allows the books to be available for the use of the tree.
“We placed a hula hoop on the floor to be used as an outline for the outer circle of the tree. Once the circle was complete, we removed the hula hoop. We have so much fun building the tree and it’s something we look forward to now every year”, said Ana Espinoza, a sophomore majoring in Graphic Design at UMHB and one of the three builders of the tree.
Katie Pricer, a senior majoring in Graphic Design and Espinoza assembled the tree in four hours and Lauren Powell, a senior Graphic Design major added the finishing touches to include Christmas lights, ornaments, and angel. All three students participate in UMHB’s work study program.
Visitors may view the tree during regular business hours before 10 p.m. until Dec. 18th, 2015 prior to the UMHB campus closing for the Christmas holidays.