December 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Giant Holiday Book Tree at the University of Nevada

KC Book Tree 2012.jpgAlden Kamaunu and Larry Smith from the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries take a break after building the 2012 holiday book tree in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. Photo by Nick Crowl.

The librarians at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, have constructed what they believe is the biggest 'book tree' ever built. The 14-foot tree is made entirely of old, green reference books -- specifically, the National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints. This is the second year they have erected the tree, but this year's tree is twice the size of last year's.

Alden Kamaunu, manager of the center's building operations, was in favor of doubling the size of the tree and said there was "a lot of trial and error" involved in the construction. "Last year, we used 347 books. This year, we used 600," he said. "When it was determined that we were going to make this an annual event, we felt a need to top ourselves while maintaining the original style of making it look like a real tree. We realized that we created an art piece last year and we needed to maintain that sense of class and holiday feel for our students during this busy time on campus."

The tree is popular with students and has turned out to be the photo-op on campus. It will remain up in the Knowledge Center atrium through early January. A time-lapse video of the tree's construction is on Flickr.