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.”


The Erwin Library is open for its regular summer schedule; the librarians are here, the computers are here, and, yes, the books are all here waiting for you to visit.

For example, books currently on display in the Erwin Library Circulation Desk area note that is has been 120 years since the untimely and tragic death of flamboyant Irish playwright, novelist, short story writer and wit, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Both idealistic and cynical, he is quoted as saying both “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess” and “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

His plays, including “The Importance of Bring Earnest” and “Lady Windemere’s Fan,” are known for their understated comedy delivering scathing comments on conventional English upper class manners, while his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey is a minor classic of horror literature based on the splitting of a man’s soul and body via a hidden painting that depicts the increasing horrors of his dissipation, while his physical face maintains an eternally youthful appearance of innocence.  His long poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol depicts Wilde’s despair during his imprisonment for two years of hard labor, after his conviction for being a homosexual according to English law of the time, ending with the lines:

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword.

After his release, “Oscar mostly spent the last three years of his life wandering Europe, staying with friends and living in cheap hotels. Sadly, he was unable to rekindle his creative fires. When a recurrent ear infection became serious several years later, meningitis set in, and Oscar Wilde died on November 30, 1900.”

Perhaps it is better to remember Wilde’s hope expressed in his fairy tale story “The Happy Prince,” in which a magnificent gold and jeweled statue of a prince high above a city, observing the poor, directs a little bird to slowly remove all of his rich covering to help the destitute, until nothing is left to him but his heart amid the rubble beside the faithful bird which has died.

“Bring me the two most precious things in the city,” said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

“You have rightly chosen,” said God, “for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.”

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.