KU Libraries to recognize student collections with Snyder Awards

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The Snyder Book Collecting Contest awards, which recognize undergraduate and graduate students for their collections of books, digital items, graphic novels and more, will be presented April 21, according to a news release from KU Libraries.

“This contest is important because it gives students an opportunity to showcase their collections to the public and talk about why they collect. They speak with such passion about their collections,” Kristin Sederstrom, acquisitions and resource sharing library manager and the chair of the Snyder Book Collecting Contest committee, said in the release.

Along with having their collections on display at the awards ceremony, there are awards in both the graduate and undergrad divisions: a $600 first-place prize, $400 for second, and $100 for honorable mention. First-place winners are eligible to compete in the National Collegiate Book Collecting contest for a prize of $2,500. Each winner also receives a gift card from Jayhawk Ink, a co-sponsor of the contest, according to the release.

The event is free and open to the public, and will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 in Watson Library, Third Floor West, with complimentary food and drinks available to celebrate the winner and other seven entries. 

The committee will review the eight entries it received and select the entries that will advance in the contest and be presented to the judges as they make their final decision at the ceremony.

“I think the more entries that we have, the better,” Beth Whittaker, director of the Spencer Research Library and a longtime judge for the Snyder Book Collecting contest, said in the release. “I don’t think any of the judges have ever minded the work. It’s fantastic to have lots of different entries, because you can see a range of topics and writing styles reflected in the collections.” 

This year’s contest — the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began — includes two past winners as the judges: Paul Schwennesen, who won first place in 2018 and took second place in the National Collegiate Book Collecting competition, and Danny Caine, who won second place in 2016 as a graduate student. 

Caine, owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, is also the keynote speaker. He will present “The Pleasures of Being Surrounded by Books.”

“I’m excited that Danny Caine will be one of our judges and our keynote speaker, especially as a former winner and a prominent figure in the community who makes a living selling books and promoting reading,” Sederstrom said in the release. 

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