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Statement Regarding Library Collections at Orchard Lake

By August 18, 2022November 12th, 2022No Comments4 min read

By Polish Institute of Culture and Research

August 18, 2022

Due to the closing of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, the library collections of the Adam Cardinal Maida Alumni Library, are currently undergoing a major change in status. The library
developed over many years to the serve the needs of the Seminary and the former St. Mary’s College. Because these two institutions are closed or closing, the library collections will also
need to change their focus.
The Orchard Lake Schools will continue to hold the vast majority of the collections which will be made available to researchers, scholars, and the public through the Polish Institute of Culture
and Research and the St. John Paul II Liturgical Center, a new operating division of the Orchard
Lake Schools responsible for conducting programs, activities, and events at the Orchard Lake
Schools in furtherance of ministering to and propagating the Catholic faith.
Currently, books are being moved from the library into storage in a process of reorganization being carried out through the Polish Institute of Culture and Research. The following types of books being retained by the Polish Institute of Culture and Research:

• All rare books, including first editions, books of historical and cultural importance, books
with author signatures or inscriptions or ex libris of important individuals.
• All books and periodicals in the Polish language.
• All books by Polish or Polish American authors.
• All books and periodicals related to the history or culture of Poland, the Polish diaspora
in the USA and other countries, or subjects closely related to those areas.
• All books and periodicals relating to countries and ethnic groups with historical ties to
Poland and Polish culture.
• All books and periodicals related to the life, writings, and teachings of Pope St. John Paul
• A careful selection of books and periodicals on Catholic theology, Catholic philosophy,
Church history and Biblical scholarship that will help future library users to understand and contextualize the life, writings, and teachings of Pope St. John Paul II.
• A careful selection of books and periodicals related to general European, U.S., and world

history and culture that will help library users to better understand and contextualize the history and culture Poland and the Polish diaspora.
The books from the library will be stored on campus while we secure and renovate space for new research and library centers. They will be combined with a large collection of books and periodicals already in the possession of the Polish Institute of Culture and Research and made available to the public for research purposes.

The library also contains many books and periodicals that are out of date, which don’t meet our current or future needs, or on are subjects relating to classes formerly taught at St. Mary’s
College, which closed almost 20 years ago. These books are being offered to other Catholic Colleges and Sacred Heart Seminary here in Michigan for their libraries. Any remaining books will be adopted by a service that digitizes collections from libraries that have closed makes them available to the public.

Recently, a handful of individuals calling themselves “Polskie Lobby” and claiming to speak for “the Polish community” has made a series of false and misleading claims on social media regarding the library collection, the Polish Institute of Culture and Research, the Orchard Lake Schools, and its staff. They have claimed that the library collections are being thrown in the garbage and/or being sold for personal profit. In the past the Director of the Polish Institute of Culture and Research and others at Orchard Lake Schools have tried to engage with this group and discuss their concerns in an open and transparent way. Members of this group responded by twisting statements of fact and taking quotes out of context to suit their agenda. Instead of engaging in dialogue they posted attacks on social media, including false and disparaging statements.

However, the Polish Institute of Culture and Research remains committed to open and transparent operation, including the management of its library collections. Although we will not
engage with individuals who claim to be part of “Polskie Lobby,” we would be happy to answer questions from the public or the Polish community regarding the library collection. We can be
contacted by email, through our Facebook page, or by phone. For those able to come to our campus, we would be happy to show the current storage of our books and discuss in person the
state of our operations and our plans for the future. (Please contact us to make an appointment.)

The closing of the Seminary and the changes occurring at the Orchard Lake Schools as a result of that closing have been hard for all of us who care about our Polish heritage and our Catholic
faith. However, we have a duty to those who built and sustained the Orchard Lake Schools and those who will follow us to make sure our Polish Catholic history and culture is sustained but
also strengthened and improved. We have to fix what is broken and build anew. Acrimony and lies spread on social media will not improve anything and if left unchecked, will destroy what we
yet have. We need a positive vision for the future. This is a time to build a new, stronger Polish presence at Orchard Lake Schools.