It’s back! The 12th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Members’ Exhibition! (June 5 – July 27, 2023), Opening Reception June 7, 4:30-6:30pm, Collins Library

Remarks from the curatorial team and awards will be presented during the reception
at 5:30 pm.

“Tiger in the Forest” by Mari Eckstein Gower & Kat Gower
Top: “Community” by Ray Zill
Bottom: “3 & 1” by MalPina Chan

The Puget Sound Book Artists are pleased to announce the 12th Annual Members’ Exhibition. The exhibition will be on view at the Collins Memorial Library at University of Puget Sound from June 5th -July 27th. The suggested theme is “Collaboration” and illustrates the organization’s efforts to build community throughout the region. Every member of PSBA has the opportunity of displaying a book in this exhibit, and the curatorial team of Abbie Birmingham, Jan Dove, Rachel Watson, Gina Pisello, and Belinda Hill are excited to work with the artists and share their distinctive creations. The books are created from various materials, including old books, found objects, metal, fabric, etc., and come in many sizes and structures.

The Members’ Exhibition is especially important to lead curator Belinda Hill. Years ago, it was her first introduction to book arts. “It was a revelation seeing the idea of a ‘book’ redefined in so many different ways,” she says and continues; “I was so excited that I went home and started making books, and now I can’t stop. Now I’m happy to work on sharing these amazing pieces of art with more people.”

“Wish You Were Here, A Collaborative Project”
by Laurel Moorhead

“The PSBA Annual Members’ Exhibition is now a summer tradition at the Collins Library and in Tacoma,” says Library Director Jane Carlin. “Each June, we eagerly await the arrival of the curatorial team to work their magic in staging the exhibition. And we are never disappointed! This year we are particularly excited to see the books as the exhibition’s theme is collaboration. We all know how important it is to work together and learn from one another. The Book Arts Community is filled with such talent and generous artists that reach out to share knowledge and artistic expertise and to tell their stories.”

For more information about the Puget Sound Book Artists and the Annual Members’ Exhibition, please visit the website at:

For additional information regarding the exhibition, send inquiries to
Media contact: Belinda Hill

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Cas Almond, 2023 Library Senior Art Award Winner

Arts & Humanities Librarian Wendy Spaček (left) and Senior Art Award winner Cas Almond.
Cracked Egg print by Cas Almond. Thank you to Elise Richman and Wendy for the pictures!

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 2023 Senior Art Award to Cas Almond

Excerpts from his Artist Statement:

“The purpose of my thesis is to give a perspective on transitioning and trans bodies. When I first began transitioning, I discovered much of the information available online is either medical, lacks any sort of visual aid, or actively discourages people from transitioning. I wanted to create a series of prints describing how my body has changed and the emotions attached to it. I also wanted to dispel the idea that trans bodies are in some way unnatural. To achieve this I combined images of my body with a variety of elements from nature including plants, octopi, and the sky.”

For his senior thesis Cas Almond created an ambitious series of prints documenting the physical and emotional transformations he experienced while transitioning from female to male. Combining renderings of the body with blooming plants, octopi, stars, and clouds, Cas dispels “the idea that trans bodies are in some way unnatural”. Cas’s thesis deftly navigates numerous printmaking techniques (cyanotypes, lithographs, relief, etchings, collagraphs, screenprints, and several techniques of monotype) while conceptually coalescing nuanced personal feelings and basic information in a clear, cohesive vision. Cas creates a counterpoint and an intervention in the anti-trans rhetoric he describes finding online (“medical, lacks any sort of visual aid, or actively discourages people from transitioning”) and speaks from and to the trans community–providing a joyful, celebratory, emotional, and informational road map for those embarking on the same transition. 

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

Library Jurors:
Wendy Spaček, Arts & 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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Collins Library Links: Celebrating Libraries and Librarians


Celebrating Libraries and Librarians

This week marks National Library Week and there are a number of ways you can show support not only for Collins Library and its staff, but also on a national level.

1.  I invite you to read my Letter to the Editor which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education in response to an article titled:  The Librarians are not OK.  In the letter I urge faculty and administrators to value the contributions of academic librarians and to be sure to include them “at the table” when making critical decisions concerning student success.

2.  Visit this link to read a wonderful poem written by retired Professor Hans Ostrom.  The poem was shared with the American Library Association and is a moving tribute to the profession. 

Thank you Hans!

An excerpt:

Librarians know where wisdom’s stored.
They catalogue the countless forms
Of silence and tell people what they
Didn’t know they wanted to know.
They treat the mentally fractured
As if they’re whole, the dull as if they’re
Sharp, Winter as if it’s Summer.

3.  Stand up for librarians, libraries and the freedom to read.  The past few years have seen an unprecedented number of book challenges as well as threats to library staff who stand up for the freedom to read. Some public and school librarians have actually lost their jobs for refusing to remove books from their collections.  Write your member of Congress to let them know you support libraries.

4.  Finally, if you have benefited from a rush order of a book you had to have for class, have received a link to a streaming media program, have received an interlibrary loan in rush time, or engaged with a librarian in the classroom, the A&SC or the Makerspace, then share your appreciation.   A thank you goes a long way!

Jane Carlin / Library Director
University of Puget Sound, Collins Memorial Library
1500 N. Warner St. CMB 1021
Tacoma, WA 98416
phone: (253) 879-3118
Pronouns: she/hers/her 

University of Puget Sound is on the traditional homelands of the Puyallup Tribe. The Puyallup people have lived on and stewarded these lands since the beginning of time, and continue to do so today.

Need Information? Don’t forget the Collins Memorial LibraryLibrary 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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2023 Collins Library Book Collecting Contest Winners

Congratulations to Kaya Heimowitz, Sowmya Kannan, and Sammy Schwindt, winners of the 2023 Book Collecting Contest!

From left: Sammy Schwindt, Kaya Heimowitz, and Sowmya Kannan.

Collins Choice Award

Sammy Schwindt
“Ascending the Shadows of my Past: A Collection of Female Led Fantasy Novels”

The Collins Choice Award recognizes a student whose collection illustrates the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. A lifelong learner, Sammy’s passion for books began at an early age, nurtured and encouraged by her mother. In her beautifully written and touching essay Sammy describes how the immersive worlds and inspirational female heroes of the fantasy novels in her collection provided solace and escape from difficult periods of her childhood. Sammy analyzes the themes in her collection, “Ascending the Shadows of my Past: A Collection of Female Led Fantasy Novels,” and how the emotions and thoughts brought forth from reading affected her own personal interactions. As she grew older, made a clean break from her father, and left home for the University of Puget Sound, Sammy discovered that reading fantasy “…was no longer a method of escape, but a force that drove me forward to achieve more than I ever dreamed of.”

Sammy is a senior majoring in Biology.

Best Essay

Sowmya Kannan
“Books That Will Break Your Heart but Will Also Put It Back Together Again”

Sowmya’s heartfelt essay, “Books That Will Break Your Heart but Will Also Put It Back Together Again,” leads us to a crossroads of cultures and identities, of queerness and families, where the journey is one of a search for self. She draws us in to her personal collection, exquisitely detailing how the books within became her guides and companions, helping her navigate grief and trauma to safe spaces and loving families. Her tomes are something to be referred to again and again, palimpsests of uncertainty close at hand on the nightstand, confided to at all hours of the night. They are cherished, well worn and dog-eared, and meant to be shared. 

Sowmya is a senior majoring in IPE and English. 

1st Place/Single Collector Award

Kaya Heimowitz
“Jewish Fantasy Books: Using Folklore to Contextualize Jewish Identity”

The first place award, or single collector award, acknowledges an excellent, integrated and comprehensive essay, a well annotated bibliography, collection images, and a thoughtful wish list. Kaya’s collection,  “Jewish Fantasy Books: Using Folklore to Contextualize Jewish Identity.” focuses on Jewish fantasy, a genre of contemporary writing that draws on Jewish history and folklore. In addition, some of the stories grapple with timeless themes of religion, culture, and personal identity. “As a Jewish person,” Kaya writes, “one could argue that I am predisposed to love reading as one of the ‘people of the book,’” and like readers throughout the history of Judaism, “Reading is how I make sense of the world and reflect on my life.” Kaya collected (and included on her wish list) anthologies of Jewish folklore and children’s stories, which she views as primary sources and inspiration for new writing that is set in the past. The essay is well written, and Kaya calls attention to a distinct category of books that is not currently widely collected but will undoubtedly be of interest in the future.

Kaya is a senior majoring in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing, and Chinese.

The aim of the competition was to encourage full-time students at University of Puget Sound to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries throughout their lives, to appreciate the special qualities of printed or illustrated works, and to read, research, and preserve the collected works for pleasure and scholarship.”

The award was sponsored by the Book Club of Washington, a nonprofit organization of book lovers and collectors who has a special interest in collecting and preserving printed materials.  It is a goal of the club to support a new generation of collectors with awards and recognition of their collecting accomplishments. The Collins Library held its annual awards reception on April 20th, where all student participants were recognized for their achievement.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the contest:

  • Kaya Heimowitz, “Jewish Fantasy Books: Using Folklore to Contextualize Jewish Identity”
  • Sowmya Kannan, “Books That Will Break Your Heart but Will Also Put It Back Together Again”
  • Amelia Pooser, “The Worlds In Between the Pages”
  • Ember Reed, “My Grimoires”
  • Liz Salvatori, “World-Shaping Stories: Finding Myself”
  • Sammy Schwindt, “Ascending the Shadows of my Past: A Collection of Female Led Fantasy Novels”
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Collins Library Links: Celebration of Creative Inquiry, Open Educational Resources


Celebration of Creative Inquiry!

Thanks to Peggy Burge for her meticulous work on this year’s bibliography. Browse
this list of impressive publications and congratulations to faculty and staff scholars:

Open Educational Resources 

Last year the Library coordinated Puget Sound’s participation in a year-long Institute sponsored by the Association of Colleges and Universities that focused on raising awareness about Open Educational Resources. The LMIS Committee has had a chance to learn about the work of the OER Team comprised of Ben Tucker (Library – Team Leader), Jane Carlin (Library), Margot Casson (Educational Technology), Kevin Kirner (Educational Technology), Melvin Rouse (Psychology), and Heidi Morton (Education). This email offers a short review of many of the key points of that work.

As the curriculum evolves and new courses are developed, we would like to encourage you to consider incorporating OER content in ways that may enhance the student experience. Library staff would be glad to assist you with information about how that might be done. The Library maintains a guide to OER which provides a number of sources to open textbooks at the following link:

A few of those sources are listed below:

  • OER Commons: This site is a public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum. OER Commons was developed to serve educators in discovering, creating, and collaborating around the use, evaluation, and improvement of open educational resources. Not only can OER Commons help during the hunt for OERs, but it can also serve as a place to create resources. The OER Commons open author tool allows users to combine text, images, audio, and video files into their own customized resource as well as create brand new resources from scratch.
  • Open Textbook Library: The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.
  • Open Case Studies at UBC: These open case studies were created by faculty and students at the University of British Columbia. While many of these case studies focus on sustainability, they feature a broad range of topics across disciplines.
  • Merlot: A web-based repository of educational material that is free, open, and peer reviewed.
  • If you are interested in learning more about OER efforts, the OER final report goes into greater detail.
  • Curious about open pedagogy, please see last year’s presentation by Robin DeRosa titled Pedagogy and the Purpose of Open.
  • To find out more on how OER can support equitable student success see Lisa Young’s workshop Supporting an Institutional OER Strategy

For further information contact Library Director, Jane Carlin or Librarian Ben Tucker.

Thank you,
Jane Carlin, Library Director

Need Information? Don’t forget the Collins Memorial LibraryLibrary 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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Behind the Archives Door: Costumes and Textiles, Tuesday, April 11, 3-4pm, Archives Seminar Room, 2nd Floor, Collins Library

Image of the Shelmidine Stained Glass

Archivists Jane Connelly and Olivia Inglin will display and discuss University of Puget Sound’s unique costume collections, which include a vintage band uniform, 1920s bathing suits, and the costumes of Broadway star Carol Lawrence.  View these rarely-seen artifacts and learn about the history of fashion on and off campus.

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Behind the Archives Door: Grit City Magazine, Tuesday, March 21, 3-4pm, Archives Seminar Room, 2nd Floor, Collins Library

Image of the Shelmidine Stained Glass

According to its creators, Grit City Magazine “was founded on the notion that Tacoma has good stories to tell.”  Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hartman will be on-site to discuss journalism, publishing, and Tacoma’s rich history. Issues of Grit City will be available to peruse.

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Behind the Archives Door: Medieval Manuscripts:  A conversation with private collector Matt Brehe, Wednesday, March 22, 12-2pm

Image of the Shelmidine Stained Glass

Matt is a Seattle based private collector of manuscripts and incunabula. A member of the Book Club of Washington, an organization dedicated to the culture of the book, Matt will bring several treasures to share including a book of hours, hand lettered music sheets and a number of manuscript leaves.

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Past Exhibits

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Women & The Railroad, Saturday, March 18, 11am-3pm, Collins Memorial Library

Explore the contributions of women to the railroad industry with hands on activities, re-enactors, speakers, and a special art exhibit! Free, and all are welcome!

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