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Popular Library Fixture Moved to New Home

060205library07_dl.jpgBOONE – One of the last items to be moved from Belk Library to the new library and information commons at Appalachian State University was Fred the bear.

060205library11_dl.jpgA fixture of the library for more than 20 years, the Alaskan brown bear was part of a traveling exhibit that was taken by library personnel to public schools.

Fred is perhaps the library’s best known item. “It’s the bear that they remember,” librarian Pat Farthing said of school groups that visit the facility. Farthing said many alumni who return to visit campus often ask, “Is the bear still here?”

060205library15_dl.jpgFred was relocated to his new home by workers with Florida Library Designs from High Springs, Fla. The company has moved the library’s entire collection of more than 600,000 monographs and 5,000 periodical and newspaper subscriptions.

The new 210,000 square-foot Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons will open June 20. It will house library materials and special collections, and almost double the seating available for patrons. It also will include a 24-hour study room, cyber-café, group study rooms and a 75-seat auditorium.

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First Picture Caption: Staff and librarians from Belk Library and members of Florida Library Designs moving company pose with Fred, an Alaskan brown bear, prior to his move to the new library and information commons.

Second Picture Caption: It takes a steady hand and a good eye to navigate the 8-foot tall bear through the building.

Third Picture Caption: Team work is the key for maneuvering Fred the bear down two flights to steps as he is moved from Belk Library to his new home. (Appalachian photos by Mike Rominger)