While I was walking though the vast maze that is the Penn State Pattee and Paterno Libraries on Thursday, I could not help but feel a sense of awe. I was completely surrounded by the blending of past rhetors and civics, all of their past thoughts and ideas inscribed in the never-ending supply of books and resources. It was almost as if there was a faint calling, a whisper that challenged people to delve into the expanse of knowledge and better themselves .
One civic artifact that I encountered on my journey through the library that I found particularly interesting was a display left over from Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month. It contained a collection of posters representing the equality of everyone, all displaying the slogan “now, more than ever”. Of course the February date on the display slightly took away from the kairotic impact of the message, but the sense of a call to attention was still very present. These series of posters seemed to challenge the viewers to reflect on the past issues of racism and apply it to today in order to become better citizens. The display telling people to consider issues of racism now more than ever is a perfect example of a kairotic moment that can spark modern conversations on issues such as police brutality involving minorities.
This artifact was only one of many that I encountered during my time in the library and it made me think that the civic our library and also our campus is not only composed of the echoes of past civics and rhetors, but it is most evident in us, the community. We are the ones that make these displays, who bring up relevant issues, ignite conversations, and create the civic in our community. The library and its resources may be a guide in order to spark and support our civic discussions, but ultimately it is the movements and rhetoric of the Penn State community that delivers the civic aspect of our campus as a whole. That is why I believe the iconic “we are Penn State” chant is so relevant, because we embody one community whose individuals strive to improve the whole. This overwhelming sense of identification not only formulates a civic aspect on campus, but also magnifies it to form something far greater than the sum of its parts.