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57th annual Snyder Book Collecting Contest winner carries on family tradition

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Baiba Sedriks, Graduate Division winner of the 2013 Snyder Book Collecting Contest
Baiba Sedriks, Graduate Division winner of
the 2013 Snyder Book Collecting Contest

Lawrence native and KU graduate student Baiba Sedriks grew up admiring her father’s book collection from afar—his prized Charles Bukowski holdings were always tucked away safely behind glass in a special bookcase. Baiba’s late father, Andre Sedriks, won the 1970 Snyder Book Collecting Contest at KU, 11 years after her aunt, Ilze Sedriks, took top honors. Now in her final semester at KU, Baiba knew this was her last chance to follow in their footsteps.

Baiba entered the graduate division of the KU Libraries’ annual competition with “Discovering Hollywood’s Mysteries: Juvenile Literature from Cinema’s Golden Age,” and, much to her surprise, took first place. The second-generation Snyder winner will earn an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and will spend the upcoming academic year teaching English in Morocco at Al Akhawayn University, a KU partner school.

“Each piece of my collection has a special meaning to me,” Baiba said. “Winning this contest goes beyond books. I’m honored to carry on my family tradition and to share my own collection—and it’s all thanks to my father for introducing me to his love for literature.”

Baiba was one of five winners in the 57th annual Snyder contest who were announced at a reception on April 23. Dean Lorraine J. Haricombe welcomed guests, while Assistant Dean for Distinctive Collections Beth Whittaker presented the awards to the students, and Elliott Shore, director of the Association of Research Libraries, delivered a keynote address.

Chris Robinson, an American studies graduate student from Hayden, Idaho, received second place in the graduate division for “Feather’s Nest: A Collection Exemplifying the Diverse and Prolific Career of Jazz Authority Leonard Feather.” Liam Oliver Lair, a doctoral student in women, gender and sexuality studies from Chicago, earned an honorable mention for his collection, “Trans* Life, 1901-2013: Celebrating over 100 years of Trans* People and Communities.”

In the undergraduate division, Meagan Kane, an English major from Overland Park, won first place for her collection, “Who Is Tiptree, What is She?”: An Examination of a Science Fiction Legend.” Jennifer Salva, a journalism and media studies major from Sugar Creek, Mo., took second place with “Czech & Slovak Tradition: Return to my Roots.”

The contest was established by Elizabeth Snyder in 1957 to cultivate and recognize KU undergraduate and graduate students’ interest in collecting books. The winner of each division received a cash prize and a gift card from Jayhawk Ink, a division of the KU Bookstore, and longtime partner in the competition.

Judges for this year's contest were Shore, Whittaker, and Laci Gerhart, a former Snyder winner and doctoral researcher in ecology and evolutionary biology.

You can view a photo gallery of the awards ceremony, including division winners, on the KU Libraries Flickr page. For more information about the contest and its history, visit the Snyder Contest website.

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