JACKSON, Tenn. – April 18, 2002 – Union University’s Emma Waters Summar Library recently completed renovations to its 22,000 square feet of space, adding an upstairs study area for students, a new instructional technology lab for classes, a warming room, and renovated office space for library staff. An Instructional Technology Center was also created and replacing what used to be the university’s music department wing.
The library, run by a staff of 13, holds more than 150,000 volumes, including a collection of rare historical books donated by T.T. Eaton, former pastor of Walnut Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., who died in 1907 and was well-known throughout Southern Baptist circles.
The collection almost didn’t make it, however, due to a major fire that occurred on Union’s old campus in downtown Jackson, which consumed the chapel and the administration building in which the library was housed.
“The faculty and administrators working there at the time managed to carry out all of the books, saving almost all of them,” said Steve Baker, Union’s library director and associate professor of library services. “We were very fortunate that they did that.”
Since that time, other collections have been given to Union. Most recently, the collection of Franklin Paschall, retired pastor of First Baptist Church in Nashville, was given and is currently housed by Union’s Center for Biblical Studies.
While the library is mainly for Union personnel and students, card privileges are given for alumni, area pastors and trustees. The public is welcome to use the facilities, says Baker, but may not check out books.
Normal hours for the library during the fall and spring semesters are as follows: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, the library is open from 2-5 p.m. and 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Sara B. Horn,