UW News

December 7, 2006

Library to honor professor for gift to children’s collection

For their 25th wedding anniversary, Douglas Louie surprised his wife, UW Tacoma Professor of Education Belinda Louie, with an elaborate, expensive gift she can’t wear, drive or even touch.

But his gift — a $25,000 donation to one of Belinda Louie’s pet projects, the children’s and young adult literature collection at the UW Tacoma library — will benefit generations of children and college students. The gift establishes the Professor Belinda Y. Louie Children’s and Young Adult Literature Library Endowed Collection and allows the library to expand its collection of books for young readers and other patrons who are interested in children’s literature.

“I surround myself with books, and I want to leave a legacy of the love of books,” Louie said. “By helping the library expand this collection, we are encouraging both children and adults to love books.”

The Louies will be honored for their gift — and for a new work of art they commissioned for the Library — at a reception at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13 in UW Tacoma’s Library.

The books are used primarily by UW Tacoma Education students who are researching children’s literature and by students with children, according to Library Director Charles Lord.

“Children’s books are great for researching cultural norms and customs,” Lord said. “They contain a lot of useful information and images capturing the spirit of different cultures. With this endowment, we can pursue creating an outstanding global collection of children’s literature.”

The Library’s collection of children’s books was established about five years ago, after Belinda Louie and other faculty members requested it.

In addition to their monetary gift, the Louies have also promised to donate 5,000 books for the collection and commissioned a piece of Japanese paper-cut artwork to hang in the Library. The artist, Aki Sogabe of Seattle, is a well-known children’s book illustrator. The art will be unveiled at the reception Dec. 13.

Belinda Louie, a member of the UW Tacoma Education faculty since 1992, is an expert in children’s literature, literacy instruction and teaching English as a Second Language. Douglas Louie, a physician, holds a doctorate in psychology. The Louies are also establishing a named scholarship for graduate students in Education.