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KU Libraries to host Snyder Book Collecting Contest awards ceremony

64th Annual Snyder Book Collecting Contest

KU Libraries will present the winners of the annual Snyder Book Collecting Contest at an awards ceremony featuring Danny Caine, author and owner of The Raven Bookstore, as the keynote speaker. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21 in Watson Library, Third Floor West. Food and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP to

Held since 1957, the Snyder Book Collecting Contest awards University of Kansas undergraduate and graduate students for their collections of books, digital items, graphic novels, music and film that share a particular subject, topic or theme. This year’s contest is the first since the pandemic began in 2020. 

“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,” said Kristin Sederstrom, acquisitions and resource sharing library manager and the chair of the Snyder Book Collecting Contest committee.

Beth Whittaker, director of the Spencer Research Library and a long-time judge for the Snyder Book Collecting contest, said, “It’s fantastic to have so many different entries on display, because you can see a range of topics and writing styles reflected in the collections.” 

The selected contestants will have their collections on display at the awards ceremony for public viewing. Judges will have a chance to view the collections and will make their final decisions at the event. Judges include past winners Paul Schwennesen, who won first place in 2018 and went on to win second place in the National Collegiate Book Collecting competition, and Danny Caine, who won second place in 2016 as a graduate student. Caine’s keynote presentation will be “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.

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