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Pomona College Senior Wins Library Prize

Emily Heddleson never outgrew her childhood love for books—and that love paid off this year when she was awarded a $1,200 cash prize from Pomona College for acquiring the best personal library.

The Eda May Haskell Library Prize is given to a Pomona College senior whose collection displays discriminating judgment, personal taste and imagination, and a genuine enthusiasm for books.

Heddleson’s extensive collection of nearly 300 children’s books includes picture books, fairy tales, biographies and young adult novels. The collection includes everything from the recent runaway bestseller, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, to children’s classics like The Annotated Mother Goose, 1001 Arabian Nights, Peter and the Wolf, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series.

Heddleson’s love for reading was instilled by her parents, who, through their enthusiasm, showed her that children’s books were for adults, too. She has fond memories of curling up on the couch before dinner for story times and climbing inside her baby sister’s crib, with her favorite books in hand.

As Heddleson grew up, her babysitting money was spent at the local bookstores—after long deliberations about which book was the perfect purchase.

While Heddleson attended Pomona College, where she majored in history, she often visited The George G. Stone Center for Children's Books in Claremont to check out picture books.

At home in Palo Alto, she was only a few blocks from the library. So when her family moved cross-country last summer to Pennsylvania, Heddleson, along with her brother and sister, soon began her search for the Carlisle neighborhood library.

Currently, Heddleson is working in London as an administrator and minute-taker for Child Protection Conferences. When she completes her six-month stint in Great Britain in November, Heddleson intends to live in New York and work in children’s publishing—either in editing or publicity—in order to share the experience of reading with as many children as possible.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.

Emily Heddleson

Robert Woods
Professor of History and Chair of Prize Committee
Phone: (909) 607-3917