Dinner in the Library

David Ulin Sheds Light on Art of Reading

David L. Ulin

A fascinated audience of 125 friends and supporters of the UC San Diego Library heard David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times book critic and author, discuss the relevancy of reading during the ninth annual Dinner in the Library held Sept. 14 in the Geisel Library.

Ulin said that while trying to edit a book section of the Times, he found himself in a quandary of trying to shut out the constant “noise” from Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet. A series of articles on how to address the concentration-sapping overload led to his award-winning book, “The Lost Art of Reading,” in which he answers the question, “Why is reading important?”

First, said Ulin in answer to his audience, there are “connections.” “When we read, he said, “We enter the book and bring it to life. The reader allows himself to be inhabited by that writer. There is a deep one-to-one connection. The culture we live in is so ephemeral; reading offers us a sense of longevity.”

Second, he said, is “empathy.” And he noted, “If more political leaders read more, there would be less war. Reading fosters empathy.” And lastly, he said, there is our “sense of narrative.” “We are narrative-making animals,” he noted, “always framing our lives in the form of a story. We are always building narratives, always building a frame. We tell a story to tell what we mean.”

Guests had an opportunity to bid on 23 fabulous silent auction items before the dinner, with the big prize winners leaving for the evening with trips to New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Other lucky prize winners won an Italian feast for eight, limo brewery tours, and a get-away trip to Lake Arrowhead. The auction and dinner generated more than $70,000, which will be used to support the library’s collections.

In a humorous greeting to the dinner guests, new UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla thanked Brian E.C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Library, “for stepping up to the plate and letting me eat and drink in the library tonight,” in contrast to those undergraduate days when library use was restricted. “The UC San Diego Library is truly a gem,” he noted, “and I will commit to its continuous service to students and faculty; to imagine a great university without a great Library is unimaginable.”

The Geisel Citation for Library Philanthropy was presented to Don and Maryann Lyle, whose support to the library includes establishment of the Maryann and Don Lyle Library Collection Endowment for Engineering, the enrichment of biomedical information resources, and continued sponsorship of Dinner in the Library. As a member and chair of the University Librarian’s Advisory Board, Lyle helped establish the San Diego Technology Archive.

Schottlaender noted that “we are always grateful for the support we receive each year for our Dinner in the Library from our sponsors and auction donors. From the camaraderie of the cocktail hour to the elegant dinner to the inspiring speaker, it is a charmed event.”

Next year’s dinner is scheduled for Thursday, September 12, 2013.

Sponsors for this year’s event included:

  • Platinum Sponsor
    The Dr. Seuss Fund at the San Diego Foundation
  • Gold Sponsors
    Rita and Richard Atkinson
    The Evans Foundation
    UC San Diego Alumni Association
  • Silver Sponsors
    Karen B. Dow
    Elsevier B.V.
    Stan and Theresa Fleming
    Salah Hassanein and Zandra Rhodes
    Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg
    Michel and Karen Kripalani
    Julianne Larsen and James Forbes
    Cole and Lynn Owen
    Charlie Robins
    Union Bank
  • Bronze Sponsors
    EBSCO Information Services
    Art Expressions Gallery, Inc.

Here are a few of this year's guests:

Exhibits & Events

"Pirates in Print: Seafaring Treasures of the Mandeville Special Collections Library."

  • Oct. 1 - Feb. 3
  • Geisel Library exhibit
  • For more information:
  • (858) 534-2533
  • Webpage.

"Cultivated Tastes: A Culinary and Cultural Exploration of Coffee."

  • Oct. - Jan 2013
  • Geisel Library Exhibit
  • For more information:
  • (858) 534-3336

"The Cookbook Family Tree: A History of Early Cookbooks."

  • Oct. 23
  • Talk and book signing by author Anne Willan.
  • Faculty Club
  • 5 p.m.
  • For more information:
  • (858) 534-2533

"House of Ghosts." Free late-night Horror Film.

  • Oct. 31
  • Geisel Library, Seuss Room
  • 10 p.m.
  • For more information:
  • (858) 822-5758
  • Webpage.

Dr. Sam Popkin, author of "The Candidate" will discuss the November presidential election.

  • Nov. 1
  • Geisel Library, Seuss Room
  • 12 p.m.
  • For more information:
  • (858) 534-3336

"Legalism and Memory: The Post - WWII Identity of Jewish Survivors in Budapest."

  • Nov. 5
  • Talk by Dr. Andrew Peto. Holocaust Living History Workshop.
  • Geisel Library, Seuss Room.
  • 5 - 7 p.m.
  • For more information:
  • (858) 534-7661
  • Webpage.

"A Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust."

  • Nov. 14
  • Holocaust Living History Workshop.
  • Geisel Library, Seuss Room.
  • 5 - 7 p.m.
  • For more information:
  • (858) 534-7661
  • Webpage.

"Annual Turkey Calling Show."

  • Nov. 21
  • Scott Paulson and the Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra
  • Geisel Library, Seuss Room.
  • 12 - 1 p.m.
  • For more information:
  • (858) 822-5758

Domain Editor

Dolores Davies

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