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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 University 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 University, 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 18th Annual Dinner & Program - Friends of Murray Library 18th Annual Dinner Meeting was held Friday evening, October 25th at 6:00pm in Martin Commons of the Eisenhower Campus Center. Dinner was served by Two Bridges Catering and the keynote speaker was Kathy T. Hettinga, award-winning artist and former Messiah University professor, whose presentation is titled “Creating Artist’s Books from Object to Identity”.  Featured was Professor Hettinga’s conceptual process and the projects she designed for Messiah University students during her years in the classroom and studio.  With a wide ranging background in design, bookmaking and video-animation, Hettinga spent over 30 years instilling excellence in her students of art and design. Dinner reservations are due by October 4th. If interested, please contact Tracy Sheaffer, Murray Library Administrative Assistant, at or ext. 7181. 
  • Speaker Bio: Kathy T. Hettinga is an award-winning artist in design, artist’s book, digital images/prints, and photography. Hettinga has been twice awarded the Distinguished Professor of Art in the School of the Arts at Messiah College in Pennsylvania where she taught for 29 years. Additionally, she taught at Indiana Purdue University, Colorado State University, Image Institute of Santa Fe and for the National Parks. She has received grants, scholarships, and fellowships, including a research fellowship at the Institute of Sacred Arts, Yale University, Artist in Residence at the Luce Center for Arts and Religion, and an Artist’s Book Residency Grant at the Women’s Studio Workshop. kathy hettinga Hettinga’s artwork has been exhibited at the Corcoran, the Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts, the Reginald R. Lewis Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, the LA Center for Digital Art, and MOBIA, NYC, and selected from 10,000 entries by Kathy Ryan of the NY Times for permanent display on the American Photography website. Her artist's books are in numerous institutional collections including Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, the New York Public Library, the UC Berkeley Environmental Design Library, the University of Denver, the Special Collections at Iowa University, UCLA, Stanford, the Fogg Museum of Harvard, and the Library of Congress. Hettinga’s book, 4 3 2 CRY received the College Book Arts Association Award, Best of Show at Sandy Gallery in Portland, and was featured in Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. Her latest artist’s book, DISPLACEMENT, is in the Pennsylvania ART of the State and traveling in the international exhibition, Art of the Fold

    In her presentation to Friends of Murray Library, “Creating Artist’s Books from Object to Identity,” Hettinga will discuss the concepts behind her work and the projects she designed for her students. Drawing from her comprehensive background in drawing/illustration, book arts/typography, photography/scanning, collage and printmaking, Professor Hettinga led and pushed students to excellence in art and design, resulting in their work being published over a dozen times in international design journals. The Kathy T. Hettinga Student Artists’ Book Archive at Murray Library was created from the extensive student book art created under her direction. These works reveal the surprising depths of meaning and beauty created by her students in response to Hettinga's guidance and direction.


All categories cover immediate family members and include the following:

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.

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