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Our Mission

Our Mission

The Friends of the Spring Hill College Library is a volunteer group established to support and promote the Spring Hill College Library, Archives and Special Collections. The Friends raise and contribute funds through a variety of projects including the voluntary operation of the Book Nook used book store. The Friends encourage gifts and bequests of books and manuscripts to the Library and to the Archives and Special Collections and promote awareness of the Library and the college.

2017-2018 Contributions & Gifts of the Friends of the Library

This year, the Friends of the Spring Hill College Library made many contributions and gifts.  These include:

Foley Community Service Center gift in memory of volunteer Chip Drago:  $2500

Funds will be used to provide workbooks to support the ESL (English as a Second Language) program, where SHC students teach English to immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

JSTOR Collection in honor of former library director Alice Bahr: $26,250

Arts & Sciences II Collection digital journal collection in the humanities, social sciences, and sci of 759,339 articles in core research areas of Economics, History, Archaeology, classics, and area studies (Latin American, middle eastern, Slavic, African, and Asian).

Digitization of Yearbooks:  $15,000

Yearbooks are being digitized and will be available in an online, searchable format to the public.

Civil War Prize Case Files from National Archives: $50

Correspondence during the Civil War between Father Gautrelet and Cuban students Nemisio and Ermesto Guillo were acquired as well as letters to family in Cuba during the Civil War blockade of Mobile Bay.  The collection includes more than 20 handwritten letters in English, Spanish, and French. 

Professional Development: $5,000

Funding to support library faculty & staff travel for conference presentations and papers, national organization committee work, and immersion programs that will benefit the College in supporting professional scholarship.

Undergraduate Research Symposium – Supplies, support, awards:  $500

Chris Drago Memorial

Our loyal friend and volunteer, Chris Drago, passed away on January 12, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama.  He was remembered in the memorial mass that Fr. Greg Lucey celebrated on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 12:15 in St. Joseph Chapel.  A sympathy card, signed by Chris’ friends, Book Nook volunteers, and the Friends of the Spring Hill College Library, was mailed to Chris's brother, Joe, who is in California. Chris faithfully served the Book Nook for over 20 years and will be greatly missed.

Chris was a volunteer for the Book Nook from it's very beginning. He was a faithful volunteer who came regularly to distribute any of our excess or discarded books to Goodwill and area charities for their use. He befriended the volunteers of the Book Nook and the Burke Memorial Library and became a reliable fixture in the Book Nook's operations. He was an angel and touched many people in many ways. With no fanfare for himself, he was a true example of a servant leader.

If you would like, please add to Chris Drago's memorial.

Robert Bahr Memorial

Robert Bahr's short stories first appeared in Drummer, EFQ, Genesis, Genre, and Negative Capability and his poem Icarus Ascending won a prize from the Alabama State Poetry Society. The Mobile branch of the American Pen League Pen Women, Inc. accorded him its Remembering Back Award for an essay heralding school librarian Juanita Helmar who had encouraged him to read more "challenging" books: "A Belated Tribute to a Lover of Books."

In addition to poems, stories and articles, his passion for research led to a number of books: Least of All Saints (Prentice-Hall), Blizzard (Prentice-Hall), Blizzard at the Zoo (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard), (Virility Factor (Putnam's), Good Hands: Massage Techniques for Total Health (New American Library), and Hibernation Response (Arbor House). Several of these were translated into German and Japanese. Ever the citizen, he founded a press to assist Mobilians reach their own publishing goals, facilitating the publication of Mobile Memories (Senior Citizens Services, Mobile), Children First: the Camp Seale Harris Story, and S. Albert Kennington's From the Day of Small Things: The Story of Trinity Church.

He published many other Mobile authors' works as well, including Dr. John Shackleford's Science and Religion, the Reverend P.H. Lewis Senior's story of working with Martin Luther King Jr., Selma the Other Side of 1965, and Elaine Phelps's touching account of her son's battle with bone cancer, The Best I Can. His love for his adopted city of Mobile comes through clearly in his article in Literary Mobile, "Living and Dying in Mobile" (Negative Capability Press). "The magic of Mobile is in its people. It's the whole mix…the harmony of it that makes Mobile different from any other town I've known. It's a delicately, perfectly seasoned gumbo, a people-gumbo….All things being equal, I'd rather die in Mobile." Those who love him mourn that last wish, but they celebrate, as only Mobilians can, his life of achievement, his commitment to others, and his dedication to seeking truth.

Art in the Book Nook!

Image of bookmarks

If you have a chance in the next couple of weeks, consider stopping by the Book Nook! Dennis, the Book Nook Manager, has created a nice collage of book marks on the top of the counter next to the check-out desk. These book marks are from Dennis' collection as well as found in books donated to the Book Nook.
A very nice and artistic touch to the Book Nook!

Moon and Stars over Alabama

You were not there, but you must be here to celebrate Moon and Stars over Alabama!  Please join us to celebrate the literary stars of Alabama with special guest star Watt Key, author of Alabama Moon and Deep Water.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Byrne Memorial Hall

Book Auction and Cocktails at 6:30 pm

Dinner at 7:30 pm

$50 per person

Please RSVP by May 7th

Send reservation and check to: 

    Friends of SHC Library

    3763 Old Shell Road, Unit B

    Mobile, AL  36608-1394


Moonlight and Magnolias,

Starlight in your Hair,

All the World a Dream Come True.....

Did it Really Happen?  Was I Really There?

Was I Really There with You?

    - from Stars Fell on Alabama 1934


Image of Moon and stars

Volunteers Needed

Be involved!  The Book Nook needs a volunteer for Thursdays, from noon to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.  Book Nook volunteers receive a 20% discount on all Book Nook purchases!

The Book Nook is on the lower level of the Burke Memorial Library.  The Book Nook is open on Thursdays from noon until 4 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am until 4 pm.

word cloud of volunteer words

Meet Katherine Bentley Jeffrey

The Friends of the Library of Spring Hill College are sponsoring a lecture by author and Civil War scholar Katherine Bentley Jeffrey. The lecture, entitled "The Lives and Legacy of Two Civil War Chaplains Buried in Mobile: Father Darius Hubert, SJ and Father Abram Ryan," will take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 30th in the Barter Room on the second floor of the Burke Memorial Library at Spring Hill College.

Fr. Ryan, who achieved a good deal of fame, was nonetheless an unfulfilled and semi-tragic figure, partly because he never reconciled to the loss of the Confederacy. Fr. Hubert, by contrast, who knew Lee and Jackson personally and was the last to speak at the funeral of Jefferson Davis, was able to come to terms with the Lost Cause in a manner that did not unsettle his faith or his joyful and generous demeanor.

Jeffrey is the author of newly-published Two Civil Wars: The Curious Shared Journal of a Baton Rouge Schoolgirl and a Union Sailor on the USS Essex.

Two Civil Wars

Friends Acquire Portier's Last Will and Testament

Photo of Michael Portier

Michael Portier (1795-1859) was SHC's founder and
Mobile's first Roman Catholic bishop.

Born in France in 1795, he immigrated to the United States in 1817. After completing his studies at St. Mary's Seminary (Baltimore), he was ordained for the priesthood in the Diocese of St. Louis and was consecrated bishop in 1825. He remains today a central figure in Mobiles history. In addition to founding what is now Spring Hill College, he also established the Visitation Convent and girls' school in Mobile, oversaw construction of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, and founded a hospital, presently known as Providence.

Representing a private collector, The Neal Auction Company (New Orleans) contacted the College to determine its interest in obtaining the Portier will. Immediately, the Friends of Spring Hill College Library purchased it. The will outlines the Bishop's wish to give his estate to Spring Hill College, and directs the College to provide $50 yearly to each of his two sisters. The document is housed in the College Library Archives