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The Lawrence R. Sipe Collection at the International Youth Library

March 11, 2014

The International Youth Library in Munich, Germany
I heard news that my former grad school advisor and professor at UPenn, the late Dr. Lawrence Sipe's amazing children's book collection has found a home at the International Youth Library (also known as Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in Munich, Germany. Dr. Sipe passed away suddenly in my final year of grad school and I've always wondered what would become of the hundreds of children's and young adult books that lined the shelves of his almost legendary office.

It turns out that the Children's Literature Assembly along with the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) and Dr. Sipe's heirs raised funds to cover the costs of sending the approximately 4,200 volumes from Philadelphia to the IYL in Munich where they will remain and be known as the Lawrence R. Sipe Collection. What a great legacy to leave behind! So many children, children's literature scholars and researchers pass through the doors of the IYL, the largest library for international children's and youth literature in the world. I hope I will be fortunate enough to visit the collection there one day myself. Dr. Sipe always spoke highly of the International Youth Library.

Hearing this news of the collection, I couldn't help reminisce on the hours I spent as Dr. Sipe's graduate assistant restocking the books on his office shelves and discussing children's literature with him. My time with that wonderful collection of books was such a valuable professional development experience, I would even say pivotal. And I know so many of his students and colleagues at UPenn enjoyed his books. I still feel sad whenever I think about Dr. Sipe's passing, but wherever he is, I trust he is smiling knowing his beloved books have found a safe home where they will be put to good use.

Dr. Sipe at the International Youth Library a few years ago. Gone but not forgotten!