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Leatherby Libraries turns a new page with book contest

May 3, 2011

Contest sponsor Margaret Class with winning book collectors (l-r) Kirsten Moore, Michelle Roll and Carl Schlachte.

A chronicle of the great flu epidemic, poetry anthologies, children’s books and a classic tome on Tibetan Buddhism. What could all these books possibly have in common? They’re all part of winning book collections honored in Leatherby Libraries’ inaugural John and Margaret Class Student Book Collection Contest.

The winning student collectors were announced at an April reception held in the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives.

Kirsten Moore ’11 history won first place for her collection, “Combining Science and Humanities,” a collection focused on titles that explain the humanities through science. The collection ranges from The Great Influenza by John M. Barry to Colonizing the Body by David Arnold. Moore said she was surprised by the win, “Although I know medical history is kind of a special niche.”

Other winners and their collections included Michelle Roll ’11, creative writing, second place for “Meaning of Life,” spiritual and religious books; Carl Schlachte ’11, creative writing, third place for “Collected Lines,” poetry; and Lauren Crouthamel ’12, integrated educational studies, honorable mention, for “Around the World with Stories: A diverse collection of children’s literature.”

This is the first year of the contest at Chapman, inspired by Margaret Class, a Leatherby Libraries supporter and avid book collector who sponsored the contest in honor of her late husband and to encourage students to build personal libraries. Chapman was eager to begin the tradition, which has long been enjoyed at many universities, said Rand Boyd, special collections and archives librarian. Electronic books are gaining popularity, but traditional books aren’t going away, Boyd said.

“People talk about this demise of printed books with the popularity of digital books. That’s really going too far. Papyrus scrolls sat side by side with codex for hundreds of years before scrolls went away,” he says. “Right now the digital technology is far from that point where it’s going to replace the printed word.”

Moore’s collection will be on display in the lobby of Leatherby Libraries through finals week.

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