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: https://library.pugetsound.edu/oer/findingoer

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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Behind the Archives Door: Valentine’s Day Open House! Tuesday, February 14, 1-3pm, Archives Seminar Room, 2nd Floor, Collins Library

Image of the Shelmidine Stained Glass
Image of the Shelmidine
Stained Glass

Drop by the Archives & Special Collections between 1pm and 3pm for a special open house dedicated to love in its myriad forms.  Handle rare artifacts from our collections – including love letters, vintage valentines, and beautiful rare books – and see how love has been depicted over four centuries.  Bring your own favorite valentines to share with the group!

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Collins Library Links: Love Data Week


Love Data Week (yes, it’s a real thing!) 

  • Curious about the crime rate in the United States?
  • Want to access census data?
  • Curious about data related to Puget Sound students, faculty and staff?
  • Need help with managing your own data?

Look no further! 

International Love Data Week is observed around Valentine’s Day each year celebrating data, and raising awareness about the importance of data science and management.  Love Data Week provides us with an opportunity to share some important data resources available to the Puget Sound community. 

Institutional Research: 
Sound Reports, which provide access to commonly requested information about Puget Sound, is available via the Institutional Research webpage.  The webpage provides a direct link to a Google folder where the information is housed, and also lists the reports by overall topic; it is available here.  If you prefer to go directly to the Google folder, which lists all of the reports individually, it is available here.  If you encounter difficulty accessing the reports, please contact us at IR_Staff@pugetsound.edu.

The Sound Reports also include the most recent Common Data Set, which is the foundation for data that is submitted to most of the college guidebooks, and copies of The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Reports.  IPEDS are federally mandated and submitted to the National Center for Education Statistics annually.  They generally reflect official data reported for the institution on topics such as Finance, Human Resources, Admission, Enrollment, Graduation Rates, Library, and Student Financial Aid.  Comparable IPEDS data for other colleges is available from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Helpful links: 

Data Management Plans:

Librarian Eli Gandour-Rood can offer workshops and consultation associated with developing a data management plan.  Many funding agencies now require data management plans and as our students become more engaged with research projects that require data collection it is important to manage data effectively.  Data Management Plans outline how researchers will store and document their data, and make them available for review and/or reuse.  Researchers are asked to provide information about tools and instruments that generate or capture data, file types, file sizes, description, storage, backup and access plans and policies.
Check out Eli’s useful guide: https://library.pugetsound.edu/dmp 

Statistics and Data Sources:

Need data?  A good starting place is Andrea Klyn’s guide: https://library.pugetsound.edu/findstats
Compiled in one easy to use location you will find links to domestic, international, state and local sources, as well as links to data repositories and archives.  

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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Exhibits in the Library

Current Exhibit:

Scripts, Scribes, and Scribbles (On display until April 26, 2023)

This exhibit is all about hand lettering including medieval manuscripts, hand written books, 19th century penmanship textbooks, pens and inkwells, examples of contemporary calligraphy, personal handwritten journals and letters, writing desks, a “doodle wall,” and much, much more!  Scripts, Scribes and Scribbles brings together examples of handwriting and illustrates how handwriting has been taught, reproduced, and reimagined over the past five hundred years. Displaying a range of books and manuscripts from the Collins Library collection and many private donors and collectors, the exhibition addresses the role of handwriting in the age of print newly legible.

Future Exhibits:

  • Puget Sound Book Artists Annual Members Exhibition (June 1 – July 31)
  • Dreams (August 20 — November 17, 2023)
    This is an internationally juried show and additional details can be found here:   https://23sandy.com/pages/dreams
  • The World through Abby’s Eyes (January 2024 – May 2024)
    The World Through Abby’s Eyes, is about the nuanced life of women in the American West in the early twentieth century. The focal point of the exhibit will be Tacoma resident Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943), and specifically four significant roles she held: artist, advocate, mother, and woman. Building on these themes, we will also draw on the rich and vibrant history of Tacoma through documents, photographs and artifacts from the Archives & Special Collections, as well as the Hill art collection, that showcase these themes and time period. This exhibit will utilize the Hill Collection, a prominent teaching resource for Puget Sound, in a unique way. We hope to engage multiple disciplines across our campus, as well as the greater Tacoma community, as we consider the life of women in the West during the twentieth century.
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