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 16th Annual Dinner & Program

    Friends 16th Annual Dinner Meeting will take place Thursday evening, 28 September 2017, at 6 p.m. in the Hollinger Atrium Lounge of the Jordan Science Center. This year’s keynote speaker is Byron Borger whose presentation is titled "Word By Word, Page by Page: The Power of Books in a Hot-Wired World."

    Byron and his wife Beth own and operate Hearts & Minds, an ecumenical bookstore in Dallastown, PA, which they have run for 34 years. Hearts & Minds serves a wide variety of church groups and individuals, and emphasizes resources that illustrate the integration of faith and learning a robust vision of vocation, calling, and serving God in the workaday world.

    Prior to opening Hearts & Minds, the Borgers worked in campus ministry for the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) in Pittsburgh, PA, and Byron served as an associate director of the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with an MA in speech pathology in 1976 and later earned a Masters in Higher Education at Geneva College, which recently awarded him an honorary doctorate.

    Borger speaks widely about the transforming consequences of the gospel for all of life. He has led workshops on reading, applied theology, cultural engagement, and social justice at numerous national events including: Mako Fujimura's IAM arts gathering, Bread for the World anti-hunger conferences, and CCO's college student conference, Jubilee

    Byron also has spoken at many Christian colleges, including Gordon, Eastern, Messiah, Montreat and Houghton, and has written for various publications, including, Sojourners, Comment, Q Ideas, and the Center for Public Justice's Capitol Commentary. He is the editor of a book for college graduates called Serious Dreams: Bold Ideas for the Rest of Your Life.

    Although committed to the old-school printed page, Byron enjoys using social media and blogs regularly about books and the benefits of reading in a weekly newsletter:  

    Byron and Beth have three grown children, and are active at First Presbyterian Church, York, PA.

Byron Borger



  • 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.

  • 16th Annual Library Research Grants 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 the library director. Up to $750 per grantee will be awarded in November 2017 for the 2017-18 academic year. Grant recipients’ research will culminate with a scholarly paper and presentation to the Messiah community, as well as a poster presentation at Friends’ annual dinner meeting. The application deadline is Wednesday, 18 October 2017. Award recipients will be announced Wednesday, 8 November 2017. See application details.
  • The 16th Annual Library Research Grants were awarded Wednesday, 8 November 2017. 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.

    Art Education major Lauren Faircloth (’19) will be conducting her research on the “Social Performances of Play Manifested in Children’s Drawings” at the Penn State University Park Library, accessing the Victor Lowenfeld Papers and the Dale B. Harris and Florence Goodenough Collection of Children’s Drawings.

    Lauren’s research will culminate with a scholarly paper and presentation to the Messiah community, as well as a poster presentation to Friends’ at the 2018 annual dinner meeting. Dr. Elizabeth Dubin, Professor of Art Education, is Lauren’s faculty reference.

    Congratulations, Lauren!

  • Friends Annual Used Book Sale For the foreseeable future, Friends of Murray Library will not hold an annual spring 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. Future book donations may be made to any local library. It is suggested you call ahead for donation guidelines.




  • 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.