Syracuse University

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iSchool sponsors competition in librarian Nancy Pearl's honor

August 05, 2009

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

When celebrity librarian and author Nancy Pearl came to Syracuse to guest teach a course, the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) wanted to welcome her in a way that only a person with her own action figure could appreciate. The iSchool launched a "Where in the World is Nancy Pearl?" contest, challenging participants to find unusual locales to photograph the Nancy Pearl "shh-ing" action figure.

Submissions ranged from Nancy Pearl visiting Egypt's pyramids to China's Great Wall. The three winners are:

  • "Unruly Story Hour with Australian Bearded Dragons" by alumna and adjunct professor Barbara Wall
  • "Dreamtime Down Under" by Alice Bangs G'10
  • "Krishna Nancy" by Elizabeth Roberts G'11

The winners received an autographed copy of a book from Pearl's Book Lust series. They were recognized July 29 during a reception in Pearl's honor in the iSchool's student lounge.

Pearl was on campus to teach a five-day, two-credit course titled "Adult Services in the Public Library" during the 2009 Regnier Summer Institute at the iSchool. The course was designed to help students develop such professional skills as online and in- person advisory services and marketing library book collections to work with adult readers in a library setting.

While she was in the Syracuse area, Pearl also gave a public presentation, "Dive into a Good Book," at the Robert P. Kitchen Central Library's Curtin Auditorium before an audience of 75 people.

Pearl is a regular commentator on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and has authored six books in her career, including the Book Lust and Now Read This series. Pearl has also worked as a librarian in Detroit, Tulsa and Seattle, and is the former executive director of the Washington Center for the Book.

She has her own monthly television show, "Book Lust with Nancy Pearl," on the Seattle Channel and even has her own Nancy Pearl action figure, a cult collector's item among librarians. She is the recipient of countless awards, such as the Women's National Book Association Award and the Washington Humanities Award. In 1998, Pearl created the "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book" program, which gained national attention and was adopted by the Syracuse area.

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