By Jessica Serrenti
Kutztown University’s library science department will be hosting their annual Teen Library Day event on Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the Multipurpose room of the McFarland Student Union.
Eloise Long, a library science professor at Kutztown, discussed in an interview the history of the event and how the program has grown over the years.
“The program is now around 20 years old,” Long said.
Several librarians from the area who are now retired organized the event to attract students who had an interest in library science. Originally the event was held at a different library each year. Since then, the librarians have centralized the event at Kutztown.
According to Long, one of the major components of the event is the middle and high school students who come to Kutztown. In the past, Whitehall, Salisbury, Boyertown, Kutztown, Saucon Valley and Perkiomen Valley middle and high schools have come to the event. The guests who usually attended the program included student library aids and librarians. But due to the popularity of the young adult authors Teen Library Day has invited, librarians started taking their classes to the event.
In the past, Teen Library Day has brought in authors such as Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Gilbert Murdock. This year’s guest author is Deborah Heiligman, a young adult writer from Allentown, Pa. Heiligman is best known for her novel Charles and Emma: Darwins’ Leap of Faith.
To fund the event, the Kutztown University Foundation and university alumni give donations. Long expressed her gratitude toward the foundation and donors.
“When we have a larger budget, we can bring in a well-known author which, in turn, increases the popularity of the event,” Long said.
According to Long, Teen Library Day continues to bring neighboring school districts together as well as showing the university campus to high school seniors. Alpha Beta Alpha, a co-ed fraternity for library science majors, does tours of KU’s campus for the students who come to the event.