George Mason University

News at Mason

Check it out: Well Library reopens at the Mason Club Sept. 25

September 20, 2017   /   by Buzz McClain

Mason’s Fairfax Campus is getting a new, old library, one where patrons bring books in instead of taking them out.

The Well Library will be christened during a ceremony at its new home at the Mason Club at the Pilot House at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25. It continues the tradition of the original Well Library that closed when the Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel became the Mason Global Center in 2014. The Well was the name of the bar at the Mason Inn.

The Well Library was, and is, a repository for books written by Mason faculty, staff, alumni and students. It’s not a lending library, but diners at the Mason Club are welcome to read selections from the collection on the premises.

The original Well Library, which opened in 2011, was the brainchild of William B. Miller, director of Mason’s Creative Writing Program, and Marc Fournier, then-manager of the Mason Inn and now assistant vice president of business services at Mason.

“It’s an effort to bring back what had become a tradition,” Miller said, adding that in the past a well was a community center, a nod to the idea of a library as an intellectual focal point.

Each month the Well Library will host monthly, open-to-the-public “induction ceremonies” for new contributions to the shelves; the contributors will be toasted (there’s a cash bar) and give a brief reading before having their work added to the collection.

“The tradition of inducting university authors into the library is important for many reasons,” said Fournier. “The books serve as artifacts that reinforce the idea that we honor freedom of thought and expression. Showcasing our authors’ books, which are a hallmark of any academic community, make a statement about how much our colleagues impact the broader community and the world.”