The library of the Studium Theologicum Salesianum offers a good synthesis between the library of the previous Salesian Study Centre of Cremisan and the new needs of the Study Centre SS Peter and Paul in Jerusalem.
Most of its books come from the collection that was available to the students of Cremisan (near Bethlehem) until the transfer of the study centre to Jerusalem. In the last four years a steady acquisition of books in English has contributed to offer a wider choice of texts.
From the late 1960’ until 2005 the language of the Salesian study centre in the Holy Land was Italian, therefore the vast majority of books in the library are in this language. Other major languages are English, French and Spanish
Currently the library of the Studium Theologicum Salesianum (STS) of Jerusalem has about 30,000 titles available, plus the subscription to about 100 periodicals of theological and philosophical subjects.
It has been said that “It is impossible to enter a large library without feeling an inward sensation of reverence, and without catching some sparks of noble emulation, from the mass of mind which is scattered around you”
“Biblical themes”, “History” and “Spirituality” are the sections with a greatest variety and quality of texts. The library has also a good collection of books on topics like Jewish traditions, Arab countries and Islam.
All books are catalogued on paper cards. At the moment a daily work of insertion of data on the computers will soon allow users to access titles and make research by computer. The work is scheduled to be completed during the year 2009. At the moment it is already possible to access about 21.000 titles by computer.
The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries. The library offers a large and well lighted consultation room, with tables provided of electric connections and personal lights. The storage room is open and available to all students, as it is the deposit of the periodicals. For the students of the Studium Theologicum Salesianum the only entrance requirements are interest and respect.
Besides the librarian, Fr Michele Ferrero, and his helper for the insertion of data Mr Edy Schopping, there is a Library Advisory Committee composed by Fr. Stephen Kuncherakatt (Vice Librarian); Fr. Roberto Spataro (Principal); Fr. Francis Preston (Rector); Fr. Dario Superina (Economer); Fr. Aurelio Mule’-Stagno (Secretary).
A special word of gratitude goes to all the students who spend time working in the library, daily or weekly, sometimes simply offering some of their spare time. Without their help the library could not offer the precious service it does.