Mardigian Library news

December 6, 2010

Mardigian Library honors Raymond P. Kettel

Raymond P. Kettel recently received the library's "Distinguished Faculty Friend of the Mardigian Library" award, which recognizes faculty who have been especially supportive in helping improve library services, collaborating with librarians on student instruction, etc.

In 2001, the Mardigian Library accepted a donation of children's books from the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL). The collection, built by May G. Quigley, GRPL's first children's librarian, included more than 4,000 juvenile titles from the late 1700s through the mid-1900s. Quigley's goal was to develop a collection of quality children's books for Michigan parents to use with their children, acquiring the very best books available and, as a result, there are many gems in the collection.

But the collection was no longer being used by children and the GRPL librarians wanted to find an institution where the books would actually be used, rather than locked up in a rare book collection. They thought that educators studying children's literature might find the collection to be a valuable resource. So, when the GRPL library director happened to ask Mardigian Library Director Tim Richards if he knew of a university that might like the collection, he thought of Ray Kettel and the excellent work he was doing with his students at UM-Dearborn. When RIchards contacted Kettel to see if he was interested in the Quigley Collection, Kettel was ecstatic and quickly said "Yes!" And so a deeper collaboration between Kettel and the Mardigian Library began.

Kettel and his wife spent many hours sorting through the boxes of books delivered to the library, examining the books and recommending the priority for processing them. Kettel's deep knowledge of children's literature and publishing were crucial in identifying the gems of the collection. He was a constant source of information for library staff during the seven years it took to catalog the 4,000 titles.

Kettel and his students have made astoundingly effective use of the collection, studying trends and themes of children's literature, as well as analyzing how children's literature has changed over the years. He also worked with the students to create a wonderful database of reviews and research related to the books, exactly the kind of work the Grand Rapids Public Library had been hoping would happen when they donated the books to our library.

Other individuals also recognized the value of the collection and began donating additional children's books. The collection, renamed the Juvenile Historic Collection, is now an important resource for research and teaching. And the original donation would never have come to UM-Dearborn without Kettel, his commitment to his students, his love of children's books, and his hard work.

The library invites you to R.E.A.D. a good book during the season break

There's nothing like sipping a cup of hot tea and reading a good book by the fireplace on long winter nights. The R.E.A.D. Book Club will be having an extra book club discussion that ties into Martin Luther King Day activities the week of Jan. 17. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at noon to discuss the book At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle McGuire.

McGuire is a faculty member at Wayne State and may be coming to campus to speak in the spring.

On Feb. 1, R.E.A.D. members will discuss Still Alice, a novel by Lisa Genova. The story follows a woman, a Harvard psychologist, who in the prime of her life discovers she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

All R.E.A.D. Book Club meetings take place from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 1210 of the Mardigian Library. Contact Barbara Kriigel at to be added to or removed from the Book Club e-mail group.

It's that time again…the library will be open 24-hours for final exams

Need a quiet place to study for finals? The Mardigian Library will be open 24-hours from 8 a.m. Dec. 15 through 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Those who wish to enter or remain in the Library after midnight must have their UM ID card in order to do so. For a complete listing of our hours during final exam week and the upcoming winter break, visit .

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