Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Libraries hold book collection contest

The University of Alabama Libraries are giving students a chance to enter their book collections for a chance to win the fifth annual Book Collecting Contest.

The contest is an opportunity for students to share their passion for books with a wider audience, said UA curator of rare books Jessica Lacher-Feldman.

“For those who may not think that they are collectors, take a look and think about what you have — you might surprise yourself,” Lacher-Feldman said.  “The contest is a lot of fun, and it’s great to see what students are interested in, and how brilliantly they express their tastes and interests through their collections and how they talk about them.”

The contest, which is co-sponsored by the Alabama Center for the Book, aims to encourage reading and promote book collecting.

The collection may be centered on any subject, field, genre or author.  Items within the collection may include hardback and soft cover books, CD’s, music sheets or videos.

The quantity, monetary value or rarity of books in the collection will not be a major consideration.  Collections will be judged by their evidence of creativity, uniqueness or special flavor, and personal value or usefulness, and well defined collections will be favored.

The entries will be judged in two categories: undergraduate and graduate.  Winners will receive cash prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place.  The winners will also receive a one-year membership in the Rotunda Library Society and have their collections on display in Gorgas Library.

Past winning collections have centered on the history and culture of Natchez, Miss., experimentally bound chapbooks, journals and books, the Civil Rights movement and different covers of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” to name a few.

Last year’s first place undergraduate winner, Laura Abston, won with her entry of “Fantasy for All Ages,” a collection of Harry Potter books. She remembers her experience in the competition fondly as she recalls sharing her passion for books and connecting with other people who love literature and reading.  She said she encourages students to enter the contest so that they can earn a chance to display what they find interesting.

“I entered last year because it sounded like fun, and I knew I had plenty of books to use,” Abston said.  “I was very excited to win; it meant a lot to me, because I based my collection on books that I enjoyed as a child. So it felt great to see that collection on display.”

Librarian Michael Pearce, who is the chair of this year’s contest, said he finds the competition to be a unique chance for students to show off their collections.

“During these times when everything is going electronic, I think it’s a great opportunity for students who are into collecting books,” Pearce said.

Students must submit an application, annotated bibliography, short essay and a sample of six books to Yvonne Mixon in the University Libraries Administrative Office no later than 5 p.m. on March 25.

The entry form and competition rules can be found on the University Libraries website.

More to Discover