Raising Money for Students One Quilt at a Time

The BiblioQuilters will meet at ALA Annual Conference

March 29, 2016

Auctioned at the 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., this multichromatic quilt coordinated by Rachel Ivy Clarke, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, uses scraps and other fabrics that may have otherwise been thrown away. Group members were encouraged to contribute blocks in colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
Auctioned at the 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., this multichromatic quilt coordinated by Rachel Ivy Clarke, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, uses scraps and other fabrics that may have otherwise been thrown away. Group members were encouraged to contribute blocks in colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Here’s a thread you may have missed: The ALA BiblioQuilters will be auctioning off several quilts at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando to help raise money for library students.

The group is made up of 15–20 active quilters who work in and with libraries—including librarians, staff, trustees, friends, and vendors. By auctioning off their quilts at Annual Conference, they support students who are enrolled or who will enroll in library school.

The group was founded in 1998 at the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., by Connie Jo Ozinga, director of the Commerce Township (Mich.) Community Library, and Nann Blaine Hilyard, a retired librarian from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois. Starting with the 1999 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, the group has convened at numerous ALA and Public Library Association conferences to visit quilt shows, tour textile museums, and shop for fabrics.

Since 2000, the BiblioQuilters have contributed over 50 quilts for the ALA Exhibits Round Table (ERT) silent auction and have raised more than $15,000 for the Christopher J. Hoy Scholarship fund with the proceeds. This annual scholarship of $5,000 started in 1997 and is awarded to a US or Canadian citizen or permanent resident pursuing an MLS from an ALA-accredited program. The scholarship honors the memory of Hoy, a former ALA Conference Services director who worked at the ALA for more than 20 years. It was established with donations from his family and ERT.

The BiblioQuilters use a wide range of materials, fabrics, and designs in their work to represent different themes and events. Debra Rollins, a retired librarian from Louisiana State University at Alexandria, designed a quilt specifically for the 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago called the “Chicago BLT” for its use of red, brown, and green.

Many members work collaboratively as well. Kelly Sattler, head of web services at Michigan State University Libraries in East Lansing, has been a member since 2008 and has helped coordinate and make several collaborative quilts, including the “Imagination Explosion” quilt that was auctioned for $475 at the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Those interested in becoming involved with the ALA BiblioQuilters can email alabiblioquilters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Membership is open to any quilter who works with or in libraries.