‘To be, or not to be’ wasteful? Art students’...

‘To be, or not to be’ wasteful? Art students’ display offers answer

The artwork gracing the first-floor atrium of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library at the end of the spring semester will have a Shakespearean theme.

Handheld skulls, evoking a classic scene from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” are part of the art project created by MTSU assistant professor Erin Anfinson’s drawing class, “Thou Doth Print Too Much,” for the James E. Walker Library. Posing with the art are, from left, Seth Tipps, a junior from Tullahoma, Tenn.; Shelby Rehberger, a fifth-year senior from McMinnville, Tenn., and the originator of the project concept; and Anfinson. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Beginning April 18, two handheld skulls evoking a scene from Act V, Scene I of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” will greet library patrons.

The skulls will be flanked by speech bubbles containing the admonition, “Thou doth print too much,” as a reminder to patrons to be conservative in their printing practices.

“Last fall, there were over four-and-a-half million sheets of paper printed in the library,” said Erin Anfinson, an assistant professor of art whose drawing class created the artwork.

“I think it’s quite shocking for the students to hear the number and then to actually go through a bin of paper. We probably didn’t even use an entire bin of paper on this.”

logo for MTSU's James E. Walker LibraryStudent Shelby Rehberger, a fifth-year senior from McMinnville, Tenn., is the originator of the idea. Every student in the class contributed to its construction.

“Art should be conscious of its surroundings,” Rehberger said. “That’s why it’s good that this is in the library world because the library is a collection of papers.”

The exhibit also will include blank speech bubbles in which library patrons may use markers to write their comments on the exhibit.

In addition, Anfinson’s students will place posters full of print-saving tips in library printing cubicles.

The display, which is free and open to the public, will remain in place through May 2 and will be visible during regular library hours. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at

For more information, contact Anfinson at 615-904-8412 or, or Kristen Keene at 615-898-5376 or

Gina K. Logue (