Wright State ERC director donates hundreds of books to Fairborn schools

Stephanie Bange with books

Stephanie Bange, director of Wright State’s Educational Resources Center, donated more than 400 books to Fairborn City Schools. Bange received the books as a member of the prestigious 2015 Newbery Award committee.

Fairborn schoolchildren have hundreds of new books to read thanks to a donation from Wright State University’s Charles and Renate Frydman Educational Resources Center (ERC) and its director, Stephanie Bange.

Bange arranged to donate more than 400 books to Fairborn City School libraries after serving on the prestigious Newbery Award committee, which selected the winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and Honor Books earlier this year.

The books will be delivered April 16 during National Library Week.

Bange said she wanted to impact the lives of young people and spark an interested in reading and learning to read.

“To match the right book with the right student, or the right person, can unlock all kinds of worlds for all the kids,” Bange said. “I want to unlock and unleash them.”

“When you get that boy or girl to discover reading for the first time or have an early successful reading experience, it is magic for them. It’s also magic for the librarian, seeing its impact the lives of kids,” she said.

Joan Gudorf, district librarian in Fairborn City Schools, said the school libraries were honored to receive the donated books.

“All of these titles will have a huge impact on our school libraries, providing students with a wider range of choices plus helping our collection to stay current,” Gudorf said. “These are books that will excite our students and will encourage them to read and to develop a love for reading.”

As a member of the Newbery Committee, Bange received more than 550 books from publishers. She read, skimmed or looked through all of the books.

“It was a great year for children’s books,” she said.

In addition to donating books to Fairborn schools, Bange added many of the books to the ERC’s collections, donated some to Wright State’s Dunbar Library and gave a few to her children. She has also set some aside to give away during conference presentations and ERC programming.

The 2015 Newbery Medal winner was “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander. The committee selected “El Deafo” by Cece Bell and “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson as Honor Books.

Founded in 1922, the Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. Past winners include “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman.

To prepare for the Newbery Committee selection process, Bange held a mock book discussion at Wright State with retired and active teachers and librarians and one with a class of eighth-grade students at Warner Middle School in Xenia.

After the selection was announced, a school in Hilliard invited Bange to Skype with two classes to present a position paper on the students’ selection for the Newbery and learn more about the Newbery Medal process and other books.

Bange also gave a talk on her experience to the Ohio Library Council’s Southwest Chapter Conference and will give a presentation next week at the Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Curriculum Materials Center Spring Workshop, which represents libraries affiliated with college education programs from across the state.

The Educational Resource Center is an academic support unit of the College of Education and Human Services. Its mission is to provide intellectual and physical access to current state-of-the-art materials, equipment and services.

Bange joined the Educational Resource Center in 2009. Previously, she was a children’s librarian at the Kettering-Moraine and Wilmington-Stroop branches of the Dayton Metro Library for 12 years. She has also worked in various librarian positions around the United States and in the Philippines.

She received a bachelor’s degree in school librarianship from Northwestern State University and a master of library science from Louisiana State University.

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