A youthful donation
St. Michael's receives abundant donation of children's literature
Kaitlyn Coakley | staff writer
The 4,500 children books donated by Virginia Golodetz will soon accompany the other children books in St. Michael's College Durick Library.
Alex McIntire, Photo
Virginia Golodetz, a former professor of children’s literature at St. Michael’s, donated 4,500 children’s books to Durick Library this past July.
The collection, valued at $42,000, will double the amount of titles in the children’s collection and will start to be integrated into the education departments curriculum starting as early as next semester.
That's a lot of books
When Golodetz decided to move to her Burlington home this past spring, she had to decide what to do with all the children’s books she had acquired over her career. While speaking with one of her former colleagues at St. Michael’s, they suggested that she donate her collection to the college.
Golodetz immediately saw the benefit that this collection could have on the education program as well as the general community.
“I bought a lot of the books, and publishers would send me books regularly in hopes that I would promote them,” Golodetz says as to how she acquired so many books.
Golodetz has spent her career studying children’s literature. She also worked with early reading programs in Vermont.
“This donation will double the number of titles we had previously in the children’s section,” says Laura Crain, associate director for Collection Services.
Some of the books have already been catalogued and processed. They can be found in the children’s room of the library. The library has not yet determined which books will not fit in the children's room, Crain says.
Of the books donated, 3,000 of them will appear on the shelves in Durick Library. The library staff is looking into local nonprofit organizations to donate the duplicate books to, but is undecided where the books will go.
One of the classes that will benefit from this donation is English professor Valerie Bang-Jensen’s class on children’s literature.
“Virginia Golodetz had a good eye for quality children’s books,” Bang-Jensen says.
The library staff in Durick Library will have to find space in the children's room for $42,000 worth of new books.
Alex McIntire, photo
The books will not just benefit the children’s literature course, but all education courses, Bang-Jensen says. The education department was recently informed of the donation and is just beginning to consider its potential and the effects it will have on the curriculum.
The new addition to the library will help students explore genres, topics, themes, and author studies in children’s literature to a much greater degree, Bang-Jensen says.
“The No Child Left Behind legislation is forcing school curriculums to become increasingly narrow in content and materials,” Bang-Jensen says. “This collection will allow our future teachers to be able to work with real literature rather than contrived text.”
While the books are being used by students in the children’s literature course, Bang-Jensen sees these books benefiting other courses in reading and language as well as a graduate course she teachers in non-fiction.
“I think that anyone on campus could find a good read within the collection,” Bang-Jensen says. “I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to visit the children’s room when the books are all processed and shelved.”
Sandra Roy, bibliographic service specialist, says she has been sifting through the collection. A majority of the collection is picture books, along with a lot of scholarly writings about children’s literature.
Crain is working with Roy and other library staff to get the books on the library shelves as soon as possible.
Children’s literature has always been a popular collection and subject area, she says.
Golodetz was a member of numerous children’s institutes, both national and international. These institutes would study a specific subject area and look at different books pertaining to that subject.
“There are more than just award-winning books. There is a large collection of Greek mythology, bible stories, folklore, etcetera.” Roy says.
Some of the books in the collection contain some of Golodetz's personal notes.
“She reviewed books for the state of Vermont,” Roy says. “So she would write these little notes on card and stick them inside the book.”
The notes, which still remain inside the books, point out certain features of a book that a reader might not notice themselves.
“If you are looking for a specific subject, this is the collection to find it in,” Roy says. “It contains of lot of books that you wouldn’t regularly find on a library shelf.”