USU Eastern students Melissa Scheid, Yong Soo Kim and Arsene Mugisha stand by this year's version of a holiday tree in the school's library. The tree is built out of bound periodicals and then decorated in a traditional way.
The USU Eastern Library has a new centerpiece that will stand until the holidays are over.
It's a book tree.
The tree was the idea of Library Director Lori Brassaw who asked Public Services Manager Aimee Lauritsen to work on constructing it.
The tree is composed of library periodicals of different colors stacked up in a conical shape until they reach the tip of the book tree.
"I looked at different designs I could find so we could built it sturdy and stable and not have it fall down and hurt anyone," said Lauritsen on Wednesday. "The periodicals we used to build it are past print and they are available on-line now so using them for this project would not affect their availability."
Color was a consideration. A tree should be colorful (even though real ones are generally just green) so Lauritsen said she had a student worker pick carefully.
"I had her pull a lot of green bound periodicals and we used those in every other level and then filled in with various colors on the other levels," she said.
She said she doesn't know exactly how many books are in the tree but she thinks there are about 600. She says there are about 30 books on the first outside ring.
"All you can see is the outside circle, but we have also filled in the middle," she said. "It isn't hollow. If we hadn't filled it it could cave in."
While it is pretty much a hit with everyone that sees it, there is trepidation on the part of the student workers.
"When they see it they are torn," she laughed. "They think it is pretty neat but then they remember that they will have to be the ones that will reshelve all those periodicals and then they are not so sure. They say 'Wow, we are going to have to put all those books away.'"
The library is constantly looking for ways to display their wares and it seems there is no better way than to put them up in tree fashion.
The library stands in the middle of campus and anyone who wants to see the tree can come in during regular business hours (Monday - Thursday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday: Noon-5 p.m. and Sunday: 2 p.m.-10 p.m.).
The tree will be taken down after the first of the year.