Love is in the air, or at least it is in Bethel University Library. For those who would describe our library as quiet and serious get ready to have your misconceptions blown out of the water! Not only do we foster collaboration, encourage curiosity, and and open pathways to resources and technology but we also host intimate engagements. Ok, it has only been one engagement but we could not have been more excited! We made sure to document this special event in our BU Library’s history.
Isaac Unseth approached the librarians with a special request, to allow access to the library after-hours in order to propose to his girlfriend, Katie Sievert (2007 Alumni). Without hesitation, I volunteered to stay in the dark library one summer evening.
After excitedly texting and emailing back and forth, I knew what my role would be in this engagement: to leave a door unlocked, keep the lights off, and hide in silence in my office.
Isaac recalls the moments of the evening on August 20th,
“I picked Katie up for a date, having only told her the outline of our itinerary and some items to bring, including an origami rose I had made for her last January. We went to a little-known park nearby, where I had recently seen a wide variety of wildflowers (she loves them, and knows them all by name). There we enjoyed a leisurely picnic on the grass in a small clearing, complete with wicker basket and checkered tablecloth as the sun began to set.
Next we drove to the campus of Bethel University, where she had earned an undergraduate degree in Pre-Dentistry and minored in Biology. Coincidentally, the same year, I had graduated with a Bible and Pastoral Ministry degree from Oak Hills Christian College.
I reminded her of our running joke during the previous 10 months of dating: if we had attended the same college, we very likely would’ve met in the library, since we each had spent much time in our respective college libraries!
So, at 7:30pm, I led her to the university library, which closes at 7pm during the Summer (a fact I knew), and pretended to be surprised to find the doors closed and lights off. I pretended to be equally surprised to find one of the doors unlocked (which I also knew), and led her into the dark library. She was so anxious about the apparent fact that we were breaking the rules that she almost refused to take my hand and follow me to a study table in a dark corner of the second floor, which was glowing with LED Christmas lights.
On the table were a dozen roses and a chalkboard on which I had written: “Reserved for Katie & Isaac 4-7pm,” as well as books on her side of the table ranging from Bacteriology to Shells and on my side of the table ranging from a Bible commentary of John to Philosophy of Religion. When she saw the table, she finally relaxed! We simply sat and enjoyed this newly created memory of “how we first met,” whispering, of course, because we were in a library! At this point, she still believed it was merely an elaborate date.
Then I told her to unfold the origami rose (which I mentioned previously), on the inside of which I had written Katie’s full name, “will you marry me?” She read it and stared back and forth between me and the unfolded rose, speechless, trying to figure out how the words had gotten there. Meanwhile, I was so nervous I couldn’t get my fingers to work and the ring box wouldn’t come out of my pocket! Eventually, I came around the table to kneel in front of her, and asked her verbally, and she immediately said: “yes, of course I will marry you!”
We savored the next moments, which were filled with awe and joy. Then we went downstairs to thank the nice librarian who had agreed to my request to literally hide in her office for an hour after closing time.”
While Katie was hesitating to break the rules and enter the library after hours, I was holding my breath in my office and peering through a crack in the door. After a while, the happy couple appeared in my doorway with huge smiles. I had never met Isaac or Katie before but I couldn’t help but give them both a big hug! I then fulfilled the rest of the BU library staff’s request to photograph the happy couple!
“The evening ended with Katie and I sitting on the campus dock, watching the last light of the sunset over Lake Valentine, laughing, contemplating, hoping, and praying together, and finally informing our immediate families.”
So who knows, maybe the library will be hosting elaborate weddings in the near future! Eh?! We’ll just have to wait and see.
Isaac Unseth & Katie Sievert will be getting married on January 1, 2015. Congratulations you two, from the BU Library Staff