Thursday, December 8, 2016

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Hilary Andrews (in orange scarf) with the cast and crew of "The Linguist." Hilary was a prize-winner in the Love Library contest. Photo: Gavin Filipiak/Tallgrass Pictures Hilary Andrews (in orange scarf) with the cast and crew of "The Linguist." Hilary was a prize-winner in the Love Library contest. Photo: Gavin Filipiak/Tallgrass Pictures

Finding Love in Love Library

Love Library's Valentine's Day event celebrated 40 years of fraternal and romantic love.

There’s nothing as heart-warming as a good love story. Especially on Valentine's Day.
This year, on the day that celebrates amour, San Diego State students and alumni gathered in Love Library to share their stories of finding love and friendship among the book stacks.  

The stories are part of a 40th anniversary initiative calling attention to the importance of the library in the lives of SDSU students and alumni. Library staff awarded prizes to the five submissions that best exemplified a romance, friendship or special connection that blossomed in Love Library.

Exciting time

One story that inspired the staff was submitted by undergraduate Hilary Andrews, a double major in film and zoology. Andrews’ prize-winning film, “The Linguist,” was shot in Love Library with a crew of students from Spain, Portugal and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the United States.

“The Linguist” tells the story of a young man whose passion for words is unparalleled until he meets a mysterious woman in the library. 

“We all share many fond memories of being together in Love Library,” Hilary wrote. “In one scene, we had to slowly wheel our actress around through the bookshelves on a skateboard and got plenty of awkward stares from those studying for finals nearby. Then there was the overzealous security guard who we could tell really wanted to be in the background of our shot.

“The filming of ‘The Linguist’ was a wonderful, exciting and stressful time for all of us," she said. "I’m glad I have the film to commemorate the special time we shared in Love Library.”

(Read more about Andrews and other award-winning SDSU film students in 360 Magazine online.)

Love notes

Peggy White-Ramsey, ’81, wrote about meeting her husband, Robert, ’77, in the SDSU library.

“The library was where everybody met up and hung out,” she recalled. “From that first eye contact (with Bob), there was that amazing attraction.

“Because of our schedules as students, we kept in contact through the bulletin board in the lobby. Every day at the library, there was a note from him. Sexy, funny, full of love. Bob’s dream was to become a professional musician. My notes told him to follow his dreams.

“I lost Bob three years ago to colon cancer. We had been married 25 years. While trying to clean out my garage, I found a metal box. Inside were all those notes from years ago. He had kept every one! The day they buried Bob, I placed inside his tuxedo jacket my last note: ‘Remember to meet me at the Library! Love you! Your little redhead! xoxo.’”

Chance encounter

Library Dean Gale Etschmaier said she had been looking for a way to reconnect alumni with San Diego State and its library when she and some staff members passed two women and a child in the library’s donor hall.

“One (of the women) said to the other, 'so you fell in love in Love Library.' It was so exciting I had to stop her and ask her about her story,” the dean recalled.

Other story winners chosen by Etschmaier and staff include:

  • Sue Atkinson Reilly, ’89, for her story about the young man who stole her library books and then her heart
  • Melanie May Thompson, ’78, a former library student assistant, for her story about falling in love with words and the library
  • John Weil, ’82, for his story about meeting his wife, Millie Hill, in Love Library; Valentine’s Day is their anniversary

Each winner received a prize and all entries will be displayed at