Six prizes have been awarded in the 2008 Betty and Edgar Sweren Student Book Collecting Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries. Begun in 1993 by the friends group and endowed this year by long-time friends members Betty and Edgar Sweren, the contest recognizes the love of books and the delight in shaping a thoughtful and focused book collection.
Open to all undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a degree program at Johns Hopkins, this year's contest attracted 26 entries from six of the university's schools. Participants wrote essays describing how and why the collection was assembled and submitted a bibliography of up to 50 titles and a wish list of up to 10 titles to reflect their future goals and areas of interest. Cash prizes of $1,000 and $500 were awarded to first-and second-place winners, and $250 to honorable mention.
Colin Azariah-Kribbs won first prize in the undergraduate category for her collection of otherworldly and supernatural fiction, "A Library of Weird Fiction." A freshman from Athens, Ga., Azariah-Kribbs is pursuing a bachelor's degree in English in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.
Matthew Gibson of Washington, D.C., a first-year graduate student in the Krieger School's master of arts in applied economics program, won first place in the graduate student category for his collection of Russian literature, "Learning to Read Russia."
Sophomore Alexander Baish, from Rockville, Md., won second place in the undergraduate category for his entry, "For the Love of Birds," a collection devoted to finding, identifying, studying and protecting birds and their habitat. Baish is an environmental engineering major in the Whiting School of Engineering.
Jeremy Pope, a doctoral degree candidate in Egyptology in the Krieger School's Department of Near Eastern Studies, won second place in the graduate division for his collection of works on Africa's ancient past, titled "Africa in Antiquity."
Senior Sarah Montague of Brookline, Mass., won honorable mention in the undergraduate division for "Fairy Tales and Folklore," a collection of tales from many cultures around the world. Montague is completing her bachelor's degree in biology from the Krieger School.
Dmitry Shapovalov, a doctoral degree candidate in astrophysics in the Krieger School, won honorable mention in the graduate division for his collection on climbing and exploring the great mountain ranges of the world, titled "Mountaineering in the Greater Ranges." Shapovalov was born in Tajikistan and grew up in Kiev, Ukraine.
In addition to the cash awards, winners receive a one- year honorary membership in the Friends of the Johns Hopkins Libraries. Top-prize winners in the Johns Hopkins contest are also eligible to enter the 2008 Collegiate Book Collecting Championship, sponsored by the publisher and editor of Fine Books & Collections Magazine. The three top winners of this contest receive cash prizes and a donation in their name is made to their library.
Selections from the winner's collections are on display on the main level of the University's Libraries Milton S. Eisenhower Library at 3400 North Charles St. through Friday, May 23.