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.”


For better or worse, the next few weeks of the year will be the most challenging for that noble creature, the Turkey!  Yes, during Children’s Storytime in the Erwin Library on Wednesday, November 20th from 9:00-10:00 a.m. we will celebrate this feathered hero of the holidays.  And never fear, no turkey will be harmed during the enjoyment of all of our stories and songs.  It’s all in fun … even if we do occasionally encourage the Turkey to “Run!”

November 18, 2019 marks the 232nd Anniversary of the birth of Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Val-d’Oise, France.  This artist “collected his knowledge through apprenticeships … in architecture, theatre design, and panoramic painting. Inspired with camera obscura he tried to find a way to preserve the image that it creates.”

“In 1829, he had formed a partnership with Nicéphore Niépce who had been working on the same problem—how to make a permanent image using light and chemistry—and who had achieved primitive but real results as early as 1826. By the time Niépce died in 1833, the partners had yet to come up with a practical, reliable process.”  Continuing with his experiments for more than a decade afterwards, Daguerre was finally confident enough in the new method by August 19, 1839, to explain the new process, step by step, before a joint session of the Académie des Sciences and the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

This new daguerreotype process “used a polished sheet of silver-plated copper, treated with iodine to make it light-sensitive, which was exposed (for several minutes or more) under a lens, then “fixed” using mercury vapor.”  In a rare act of national generosity the French government decided that, after giving lifetime pensions to both Daguerre and his former partner’s son, it would present “the details of the new daguerreotype process … to the public as a gift to the world from France.”

The cult of celebrity grew with the availability of photographic portraits, news items could be recorded with immediacy and scenes of nature and architecture could be preserved in all their detail.

Books currently on display in the Erwin Library Circulation Desk area will provide more reading about Louis Daguerre and the growth of photography. As always, all of these books are available for you to check out.

During this November, you will find books for you to check out in the Erwin Library Reference exhibit area that focus on our yearly Thanksgiving holiday.  As with all of our federal holidays, it was a long and storied road from celebrations here and there, official and not, until we finally gave in and proclaimed it a national celebration (interpret this too as “a day off” of work).  Since the first human survived a hard winter and had enough to eat to get them through to the next good harvest, we have probably celebrated with thanksgiving and, naturally, a feast of good things we grew or caught.

In the United States, getting to a national day of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each year experienced four major road markers. First, the three-day feast of the European Pilgrims with the Wampanoag Native People at Plimouth, Massachusetts in 1621, though many others such feasts were held over the years by other early settlers, grateful to have survived. Second, “the first national holiday of Thanksgiving was observed for a slightly different reason—in honor of the creation of the new United States Constitution. In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 of that year as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” to recognize the role of providence in creating the new United States and the new federal Constitution.” Third, a day of thanksgiving proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln, partly in gratitude for the outcome of the recent battle of Gettysburg, and in large part because of lobbying by the Godey’s Lady’s Book editor, Sarah Hale.  Thus, “on October 3, 1863, he issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be National Thanksgiving Day. He ordered all government offices in Washington closed on that day.”

The fourth and final step occurred in 1939 when President Franklin Roosevelt attempted, at the urging of merchants interested in more shopping days before Christmas, to move the holiday to the third Thursday in November.  It didn’t go over very well, so, in 1941, Thanksgiving became an official federal holiday, to be observed on the fourth Thursday of each November, and was signed into law on December 26.  And, just to keep it all in perspective, Canadians have their own Thanksgiving history, but theirs in in October!

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.