Erwin Library

Welcome to the Clyde A. Erwin, Jr. Library, located in the Wayne Learning Center, with entrances on the third floor beside the elevators and on the third floor landing of the atrium stairwell. Part of the Community College Libraries in North Carolina (CCLINC) consortium, with a shared online catalog, the Erwin Library collections include over thirty-seven thousand print books and a small selection of print periodical and newspaper subscriptions, with thousands more subscribed to electronically for in-library and remote use, 24/7. Accessible through the WCC Single Search discovery service are over eighty thousand streaming videos, as well as hundreds of thousands of electronic books, articles and images from sixty-two research databases in addition to those subscribed to through NC LIVE. Our mission includes providing “the highest standard of professional and friendly service to all patrons, including both individual and classroom instruction in information literacy.”


They sing, they dance, but do they really fly?  Find out when we go whole hog for piggies during Children’s Storytime in the Erwin Library on Wednesday, June 26th from 9:00-10:00 a.m.  There’ll be songs, stories and some general hamming it up (no offense piggies; we mean that only in the theatrical sense!)

June 2019 marks the 920th anniversary of the beginning of the Siege of Jerusalem on June 7, 1099, during the First Crusade.  The eleventh century was not a kind and gentle time period; those who had land wanted more, those who had weapons used them early and often, and those who had religion, whether Christian or Muslim, applied their fervor in many ways that we would see today as more a conquest for material gain than for idealistic improvement of society.

Rome and fallen and the empire with it, leaving two centers of Christian power, one in Rome and one in Byzantium, though only Byzantium in the east was actually thriving.  By the eleventh century, also in the east, “the Seljuk Muslims who had taken control of most of Asia Minor and northern Syria in the latter decades of the 11th century CE were suffering their own particular problems even before the crusaders arrived. In conflict with their bitter rivals, the Shiite Fatimids, based in Egypt, the Sunni Seljuk Muslims had wrestled Jerusalem from them.”  Jerusalem was a religious city of great symbolic and religious importance to both Christians and Muslims, as well as, of course, to Jews, whose city it had always been.  Essentially, Jerusalem was out of the way and of little strategic importance, not being, for instance, an important seaport.

As a symbolic goal, however, the taking of Jerusalem to protect it for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land was an effective rallying cry made by Rome’s Pope Urban II.  Taking Jerusalem took fierce and dogged fighting, and ended in a Crusader massacre of many of the inhabitants.  Muslims were expecting war from the western armies, but not the desire to create a permanent kingdom in the Holy Land, with Jerusalem as its capital.  Establishing Christian power in the east bolstered the church in Rome, as well as took some of the Muslim threat of conquest away from Byzantium.

So, ultimately, were the crusades just another power-fueled orgy of religious posturing?  Well, not quite.  “In all, eight major Crusade expeditions occurred between 1096 and 1291. The bloody, violent and often ruthless conflicts propelled the status of European Christians, making them major players in the fight for land in the Middle East.”  Eventually, in the process of halting the Muslim conquest of the west, a sharing of cultures, including a switch from massacres to an appreciation of diversity of cultures occurred.  Advances in medicine, art, knowledge of ancient texts and learning taken back to the west by former Crusaders paved the way for the Renaissance.  Free for a time from constant wars between petty landowning knights, the west was able to settle down to developing central monarchies and cities, as well as a thriving commerce to supply the eastern markets as well as import eastern luxuries and inventions, slowly bettering the lives of citizens of all classes.

Books now on display in the Erwin Library Circulation Desk area highlight the Crusades and Crusaders, and are available for you to check out so you can learn more about these defining world events.

What did WCC students do in 1972? How about those hairdos .. and that’s the faculty! You’ll see it was a slightly different world, but still Goldsboro and still our school as you flip through thirteen newly digitized WCC Yearbooks (Yearbooks link) published between 1964 and 1985, now part of the WCC Historical Archives. You’ll also find the WCC Campus Voice newspaper (See: Newspapers) published between 1968 and 2008, and the WCC Renaissance literary magazine (See: Campus Publications) for 1985 through the present.