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Friends of Murray Library

Become a friend

Friends of Murray Library at Messiah College was formed in 1993 for the following purposes:

  • To stimulate interest in the collections and facilities of Murray Library.
  • To provide an opportunity for those interested in the library to participate in exhibits, programs, and volunteer activities.
  • To attract gifts of books, manuscripts, and other materials for the library's enrichment.
  • To encourage and receive financial contributions for needs beyond the library budget, such as building special collections.

Friends of Murray Library Bylaws

  • To review bylaws click here.

Special Collections

Each of Murray Library's four special collections traces its beginning to Friends of Murray Library.

  • Artists' Books - Visually exciting and intellectually provocative, artists' books push to the outermost limits our assumed definition of what a book is, and turn the practice of reading into a novel experience. Simply defined, artists' books are a hybrid art form in which books and art intersect. Many of the over 100 artists' books in Murray Library's collection are the work of well-known book artists, including works by Messiah College art faculty. Friends funds new acquisitions to the collection each year, enhancing its use as an interdisciplinary teaching resource. To view an online brochure of the Artists' Books collection, click here

  • Ruth E. Engle Memorial Collection of Children's Book Illustration - Dedicated in April 2004, this collection of original picture-book art by award-winning illustrators was established with gifts given to Friends of Murray Library in memory of Ruth Engle, a charter member who also served on its board. New artworks are added to the collection annually, funded by Friends and gifts from donors. Currently, more than two dozen artworks are on display, reflecting a variety of media, styles and subjects and including works by illustrators from Australia, China, England, Korea, Mali and Russia, as well as the USA. View the online portfolio featuring 15 of the more than 40 works currently in the collection. For a list of other illustrators represented in the collection, click here. Better still, visit the collection, free of charge, during library hours.

  • Canadian Literature - Friends committed more than $10,000 to establish this special collection, currently consisting of more than 800 titles by such influential Canadian authors as Margaret Atwood, Rudy Wiebe, Robertson Davies, Leonard Cohen and Alice Munro, each identified by a Friends-commissioned bookplate. The collection is being expanded to include poetry, plays, critical and other non-fiction works.

  • W. Jim Neidhardt Collection on Religion and Science - Dr. W. Jim Neidhardt's keen interest in the relationship between modern science and the Christian faith, as well as the presence of several longtime friends at Messiah College, led him to give his extensive personal library of Murray Library. Subject areas in the collection are astonishingly diverse, ranging from physics, engineering and theology to cybernetics, chaos theory and aesthetics. A Friends-commissioned bookplate bearing Neidhardt's likeness portrays aspects of his lifework and identifies volumes in the collection.


  • Friends 15th Annual Dinner & Program

    Friends 15th Annual Dinner Meeting took place 6 October 2016 in the Hollinger Atrium Lounge of the Jordan Science Center and featured a Louisiana-inspired menu honoring the home state of keynote speaker Dr. Tim Gautreaux.

    A novelist and short story writer whose prose is rooted in Louisiana culture, Dr. Gautreaux has been called the “Bayou shepherd of half-sunk souls.” He is Professor Emeritus in English at Southeastern Louisiana University, and his work has appeared in Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, the New Yorker, and Best American Short Stories. His voice is raspy, likened to “the dry needle of a southern pine . . . pulling the reader across a landscape of rusted dreams and hard hearts

    Dr. Gautreaux shared with Friends “Where My Stories Come From” followed by a public reading of “Welding with Children,” a short story from one of his books by the same title, held in the Alexander Auditorium of Frey Hall.



  • 15th Annual Library Research Grants

    The 15th Annual Library Research Grants were awarded Wednesday, 9 November 2016. These competitive grants support Messiah students’ academic research projects that require resources at off-campus libraries. Proposals are selected for funding by an interdisciplinary panel of judges chaired by Jonathan Lauer, Library Director.

    History major Emily La Bianca’s (’17) research proposal—“Cultural Identity and Ledger Art in American Indian Boarding Schools”—will be fully funded at $750. Emily will conduct her research at the National Archives in Kansas City, MO, examining primary source materials from a variety of American Indian boarding schools. Her year-long research will culminate with a scholarly paper and presentation to the Messiah community, as well as a poster presentation to Friends’ at the 2017 annual dinner meeting. Dr. James LaGrand, Professor of History, is Emily’s advisor and reference. Congratulations, Emily!

  • Friends Annual Used Book Sale For the foreseeable future, Friends of Murray Library will not hold an annual book sale due to the reconfiguration of space in the library to accommodate the creation of a Learning Commons, as well as other space and venue constraints. Friends Board extends sincere thanks to all in the community who donated books which made the sale possible and for their generous support of the event over the past 16 years.


  • Contributor ($35-49 annual)
  • Student Contributor ($5 annual)
  • Patron ($50-99 annual)
  • Sponsor ($100-499 annual)
  • Lifetime Contributor ($500 one-time)

All categories cover immediate family members and include the following:

  • Library borrowing privileges, including DVDs
  • Twelve interlibrary loan requests per year
  • Invitation to Friends events
  • Receipt of Friends mailings
  • Eligibility to serve on Friends Board

New! To view an online brochure with membership application for Friends of Murray Library, click here. To become a Friend, click the "Become a Friend" button at the top of this page.