Partnership receives donation of WAW Children’s Award books | News

The William Allen White Community Partnership, Inc. recently received a set of books from the Vander Velde family.

The 18 William Allen White Children’s Book Award winning books were donated in memory of Miss Esther Ruth Vander Velde. Miss Vander Velde was Head of the Cataloging Department at the Emporia State University Library for 36 years — first, the Kellogg Library (1944-1952) and then, the William Allen White Library (1952-1980.)

Fourteen of the books are inscribed to Miss Vander Velde by the authors, and many are first editions.

Vander Velde was born in Emporia in 1917. She graduated from the College of Emporia in 1939 and received a library certificate in 1940 from Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University. She did graduate work at Emporia State University and post-graduate work in library science at the University of California – Los Angeles. After her retirement she established the Esther Vander Velde Book Fund for the purchase of books for the William Allen White Library.

William Allen White Partnership Co-President Kathie Buckman was delighted with the gift. Buckman, herself a librarian, said the books are in beautiful condition.

“Until now, the William Allen White Community Partnership did not have a collection of the WAW Children’s Book Award books.”

She and some other board members have talked about the donation and about getting a bookcase and having these on permanent display in the Visitor’s Center.

“I think we will try to fill in the missing years, and display a complete set,” said Buckman.

The William Allen White Children’s Book Award was started in 1952, with the first award going to the book “Amos Fortune, Free Man,” by Elizabeth Yates. This title is one of the donated books. Other note-worthy titles in this gift collection are: “Old Yeller,” by Fred Gibson; “Island of the Blue…

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