Most students at Covenant College have likely heard of “TED-Talks,” a series of informational lectures recorded and published online for public consumption, but there is a new breed of “talk” coming to Lookout Mountain. The library staff at Covenant College, comprised of George “Tad” Mindeman, John Holberg, and Thomas Horner, has decided to launch their own series of lectures called “TAD-Talks.” These lectures are part of an effort by the library staff to give the student body opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom. “TAD-Talks,” much like their inspiration and namesake, will be given by an accomplished scholar, specific to Covenant College, on a certain interesting topic in which he or she has expertise.
“TAD-Talks” have been something the library staff has wanted to introduce for a while, they have just been searching for the right time. “We want to be opportunistic in getting connected to the student body,” Director of Library Services, Tad Mindeman said. “These talks are a creative way for us to do that.”
The library is a perfect venue and institution to spearhead this initiative, as it is already a place many students frequent in the evening and is centrally located on Covenant’s campus. It hosts art shows, which draw students into the library and helps them engage with the culture in a group setting. Finally, the library has a staff that cares about connecting with students—just ask anyone who has gone to John Holberg for research assistance.
While still a work in progress, the library staff hopes to host a “TAD-Talk” about once a month. They will last half an hour, followed by question and answer time and free refreshments. The scheduling for future “TAD-Talks” is not set in stone or very organized, but the library staff is okay with this, again stressing the talks as a way to get students to expand their minds in new and different ways. “As simple as it sounds,” said George Mindeman, “We just want the library to be a place where events can happen.”
The first “TAD-Talk” was last week, when John Holberg spoke on rare books. Though attendance was low, because it was unfortunately scheduled at the same time as the “Is God Anti-Gay” lecture, Mindeman hopes that attendance will rebound in the next talk. Dr. Stephen Kaufmann intends to speak on his travels around the continent of Africa and what he experienced there. This will be an opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and see the world through a professor’s eyes. Liz Simakoff, a student at Covenant who attended John Holberg’s lecture, said, “It was really interesting to learn from a professor outside the classroom. The knowledge he had to share was something I never would have encountered on my own. These talks will hopefully open up students to a unique kind of growth, one that comes from listening to a professor’s experiences.”