May 6, 2019

Periodic table now on display in the library

By Matt Kowardy

The Michael Schwartz Library has created its own display of the Periodic Table of Elements to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table, which recognizes the 150-year anniversary of its creation by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869.

Since its creation, the table has become a premier way to study chemistry and learn the history of the elements.

Located on the first floor of the library, the display includes books and items that can be checked out at User Services. The creator of the display, Theresa Nawalaniec, a science, engineering and nursing librarian at the Michael Schwartz Library, explained that the development of the table was part of her background and part of her degree.

“My background is chemistry,” Nawalaniec said. “(I) worked as a chemist. I have periodic table items at home and brought them in from home. I also contacted the chemistry department and got items from them as well.”

“Two of my colleagues also helped me put it together to make it look presentable.”
Aside from Mendeleev’s original table, Nawalaniec was aware of the different designs of tables that were possible. It allowed her to think outside the box and come up with something of a design that was presentable and available to everyone in the library.

Her main objective was to have a design of the table that showed the different changes through time, each in different designs, including a quilt and a book on the table.

Nawalaniec said she has high hopes that the display will fare well.

“I chose the library as the location because being a science engineering librarian, we have a lot of space of interest in here, and we like to draw in more students in a busy area,” Nawalaniec said.

“As people come into the library and to the lounge and computer sections, they are walking past the display so it gives them a chance to see it,” she explained.

“I believe it will hold up well because we plan on having it up through April and through the end of the semester in May,” she said.

Nawalaniec also explained that the chemistry department is planning on developing a video that explains the Periodic Table display that can be displayed on monitors so students can study it. Nawalaniec said she believes that the display will be beneficial and informative and honor the 150-year anniversary.

The United Nations General Assembly designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table.


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