Willa Bartholomay, 2022 Library Senior Art Award Winner

For over a decade, the Collins Memorial Library has sponsored an award for an outstanding graduating Art major. Each year a Library panel convenes to preview the senior show and after much discussion selects the winning artwork. The artist is awarded $250 and the honor of displaying their artwork prominently in the library for one year.  

Collins Library is pleased to bestow the 2022 Senior Art Award to Willa Bartholomay!

Excerpts from Willa’s Artist statement:

“People, place and materiality are the three vessels that hold stories from which I draw inspiration for my art. Community gardens tell stories about the connection between people, people and the earth’s materiality. Additionally community gardens hold a radical aspect necessary for cultural survival. They are inserted in cities that focus on the built world and infrastructure, holding a contrasting space that honors growth, resilience, and the communal over the individual. Gardening is a way of life with stories to tell and lessons to teach.”

“In allowing the community garden ethos to guide my process, I abided by a central rule: all material must be able to be planted back into the Earth.” 

“These paintings/collages/studies speak to the beauty and connection between the people and place found in the Viet Huong Community garden.”

Some of the Library panel’s comments regarding Willa’s artwork: 

“We loved that their work beautifully portrayed the local Viet Huong community and their relationship and work in community gardens here in Tacoma.”

“All of us were especially enamored of Willa’s commitment and their labor intensive process. Their use of natural and discarded materials was both beautiful and appropriate: linseed oil, earth, lily, rose, cardboard, rabbit skin glue. The work was time consuming, and lovingly handcrafted. Over time, it will react to its environment, expanding, cracking, absorbing, ultimately fading into a warm autumnal glow. A visual palimpsest.”

“The values of the artist show through in the materials and the stories they chose to highlight.”

“Intersections between people, place, and materiality are emphasized and communicated beautifully in the artist’s composition.”

We are thrilled to honor Willa with this year’s Senior Art Award and look forward to exhibiting their work in Collins Library in the upcoming year. Congratulations, Willa! ​

Library Jurors:
Hilary Robbeloth, Associate Director for Resource Management Services, Digital Services
Katy Curtis, Humanities Librarian
Jamie Spaine, Administrative and Special Projects Coordinator
Nick Triggs, User Experience and Discovery Librarian​

View past featured student works here

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History Comes Alive at the Library: Collins Library restores 135 year-old printing press.

The Iron Hand Press in Collins Library. The Press was made by Paul Shniedewend, Chicago-based print
and press entrepreneur.

In 2017, the Collins Library received a gift from the West Coast Paper Company of a unique iron Handpress.  The Press was part of the William O. Thorniley collection that was maintained by the Company for years.  The majority of the collection comprised of historic type and presses found a new home at Pacific Lutheran University, but Collins Library was lucky to receive the beautiful iron Handpress.  The collection originated with William O. Thorniley, who received a small printing press in 1909 at the age of 10, beginning his fascination with type. He traveled extensively for his job, constantly on the lookout for type. Over time, his collection grew — from discoveries in Alaska and New England, to pre-Civil War type he found in the Deep South and Gold Rush-era fonts obtained in California. As Thorniley aged, R.W. (Dick) Abrams, then-chairman of West Coast Paper, offered to buy the collection. Both men desired to keep the collection in the Seattle area. It now serves as an educational resource, honoring local graphic arts and book arts communities.

The Collins Handpress was restored by expert printer and engraver, Carl Montford of Seattle and local Tacoma artist Mark Hoppmann.  The restoration was supported by the Puget Sound Book Artists organization.  The Press was made sometime between 1880 and 1890 in Chicago and then shipped to the west coast and sold by the firm Russell Reed.  It was used as a proof press to test that a layout and design was correct before making a large print run.

Carl and Mark had to disassemble parts of the Press and clean them with steel wool then oil them, adjust the balance and secure the bolts! It took over 5 hours of working together to complete the first round of restoration and a few hours the next day. We are so grateful to them both.

Jane Carlin, Library Director at Collins, hopes the press will be integrated into a number of classes and will give students a sense of the labor involved in hand printing as well as sense of history.  As she states, “today, all we have to do is pull down a menu on our computers to select from hundreds of fonts and then hit the print button to get a copy.  But hundreds of years ago, printing required a great deal more effort.  It is our hope that students will gain a deeper understanding of the history of the printed word as well as creative and artistic practices involved in hand printing.”  In addition, the press can be used to creative unique original works of art as well as to fuse traditional and modern technology.

Jada Pelger, Manager of the Collins Library makerspace, has been experimenting with using the laser cutter that is located in the Library Makerspace to create plates to print of Mt. Rainier.  As Jada states, “Combining the rapid prototyping available from the laser with the century old craft of typesetting is very exciting and provides ways to blend old and new technologies.  Our goal is to show that historic and modern technologies can be used in harmony to create new works of art and ways of making.”

Pelger introduced the press to the Alumni Council at a recent meeting held on campus. Everyone was able to print a unique handmade keepsake. 

The interest in book art and design has been growing over the last few years.  The Library has an excellent collection of artists’ books and zines, frequently hosts exhibitions of unique and special books and supports programs and workshops sponsored by the Puget Sound Book Artists, now in its 10th year.  The PSBA received a Tacoma Arts Commission Award for community engagement and supported the restoration of the press.  They have also provided funds for Collins to develop a series of workshops for faculty, staff and students on the book arts.  Tacoma has an active community of printers so it is great to join this unique group of artisans.

Printing is an art for that requires setting type, selecting paper, ensuring you have the right amount of pressure for your image as well as mixing the right ink.  Every impression on the press is a unique item. Setting the type of the press can be a painstaking process and can take hours.  As Pelger says, “we have learned to say, it is not a mistake, it is artisanal.” 

As Carlin states, “We hope to show students how printing would have worked during the hand printing period in the 19th century, but we are also excited to show how new technologies can be used to embellish and enhance the historic process.”

Mark Hoppmann pictured with a number
of his original prints.

Mark Hoppmann served as our first ever Book Artist/Printer in Residence during the 2021-2022 year.   

As Mark states, “When Jane Carlin asked me to be printer/artist in residence on the Reliance hand press in 2020, little did I know the journey on which I would embark. Postponed by Covid until July of this year, it has been my pleasure to learn the art and craft of printing on a hand press and in assisting Collins Library in this endeavor.”

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Poet’s Market

Want to get your poetry published? Poet’s Market features hundreds of publishing opportunities specifically for poets, including listings for book and chapbook publishers, print and online poetry publications, contests, and more. Updated annually, these listings include contact information, submission preferences, insider tips on what specific editors want, and–when offered–payment information. The current edition of Poet’s Market is located in the reference collection on the main floor of Collins Library (Call Number PN1059.M3 P59).


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Explore creative works (including fiction, poetry, and art) by fellow students! Crosscurrents is the student literary and art magazine of the University of Puget Sound. It was established in 1958 and has traditionally put out at least one magazine per school year. Back issues in paper form can currently be found in the Archives & Special Collections (2nd Floor of Collins Library) or you can browse through recent issues in Sound Ideas: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/crosscurrentsgallery/

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Featured Resource: Poetry Center Digital Archive

The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University organizes some 30 public readings, performances, and poetry-related talks each year featuring poets and writers from across the literary spectrum. Their dedicated online archive (nearly 300 items and growing!) makes available new original video recordings with audio downloads, plus early original audio recordings from the 1950s onward.


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Featured Resource: Living Nations, Living Words

Joy Harjo is the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States and the first Native American poet to serve in the role. Her signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words” features 47 contemporary Native Nations poets, a story map and an online audio collection. Explore the entire collection online, including works from Natalie Diaz, Ray Young Bear, Craig Santos Perez, Sherwin Bitsui, Layli Long Soldier, and others through the Library of Congress and check out the companion anthology at Collins Library (Call Number PS591.I55 L56 2021).


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Featured Magazine: Poetry

Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is one of the leading monthly poetry journals in the English-speaking world. It is known for being the first to publish T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” as well as early works from Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and many others. Recent issues have featured work from important contemporary poets like Claudia Rankine, Danez Smith, and Ocean Vuong. The complete archive of the magazine and related audio and video content are available for free online at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine. Recent issues in print format can also be found in the bound journals section on the lower level of Collins Library. Happy reading!

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Collins Library Links: Celebrating the Right to Read – National Library Week


Celebrating the Right to Read – National Library Week

This week librarians from across the country celebrate National Library Week. At this critical point in time, it’s vitally important to acknowledge and reflect on the rise in book banning across our country.  Recently, library staff in every state have faced an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.  As librarians, we are proud to say, “we read banned books.”  

The infographic available from this link:  
prepared by ALA, documents the top 10 most challenged books of 2021.

On a more uplifting note, some library week trivia:

  • Libraries play a critical role in the happiness of Americans. Communities that spend more on libraries, parks and highways are shown to support the well-being of community members.

    Patrick Flavin. State government public goods spending and citizens’ quality of life.
    Social Science Research, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.11.004

Source:  https://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/presskits/nlw

Need Information? Don’t forget the Collins Memorial Library – Library Guides
Questions? Contact your liaison librarian
Comments: Contact Jane Carlin, library director
Remember – Your best search engine is a librarian!

Connect with us!

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National Poetry Writing Month

Take on a creative writing challenge to celebrate National Poetry Month! NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is a creative writing project created by poet Maureen Thorson and held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. Thorson’s blog features new poets and poetry magazines throughout the month, in addition to offering daily prompts for writing inspiration and more!

Link: https://www.napowrimo.net/

Blue graphic - NaPoWriMo
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Collins Library Links: Spring Research Services


Collins Library Links: Spring Research Services

The second half of the spring semester is upon us, and so, too, are the many research-based projects Puget Sound students have undertaken as part of their coursework. Collins Library staff wish to reach out with some reminders of the services and support we offer to students.

  • Collins Library is hosting two Research Marathons, one on the evening of March 28, and the second on the evening of April 18. At each research marathon, peer research advisors and librarians are available to consult with students wherever they are in the research process. We’ve also observed participants share tips and experiences with each other, which is great for building community! Beverages and snacks are provided.
    • Research Marathon #1: Monday, March 28, 6-10 pm, Library 146.
    • Research Marathon #2: Monday, April 18, 6-10 pm, Library 146.
  • The Library continues to offer multiple avenues for students to receive research guidance. For example, the liaison librarians make several hours a day, Monday through Friday, available for individual research consultations. These are opportunities for individual students to engage in dialogue with a professional librarian, try out various search techniques and discovery tools, discuss approaches to the evaluation of information sources, and in general to move their research projects forward. Please see research.pugetsound.edu/help for links to access all library research services.
  • The Library is also a great place for study, reflection, and creativity.
    • Sunday through Thursday, the Library is open until midnight.
    • White boards are available on a first-come, first-use basis, and dry erase pens can be checked out at the circulation desk.
    • Library 146 is used for peer research advising in the evenings, but is available the rest of time for students to book as a group study space. Two large monitors are available in the room where students can plug in their laptops. Reservations can be made for up to two hours at a time: https://pugetsound.libcal.com/space/116738.
    • The Makerspace on the lower level offers drop-in hours: https://research.pugetsound.edu/makerspace.

Need Information? Don’t forget the Collins Memorial Library – Library Guides
Questions? Contact your liaison librarian
Comments: Contact Jane Carlin, library director
Remember – Your best search engine is a librarian!

Connect with us!

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