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February 3, 1997

UCSC alumna and best-selling romance novelist establishes library endowment

By Barbara McKenna

A best-selling romance novelist has made a gift to UCSC--her alma mater--to establish an important library endowment.

[photo of Jayne Ann Krentz]The endowment comes from Jayne Ann Krentz, whose contribution of $10,000 has established the Castle Humanities Fund. Interest from the fund, established in Krentz's maiden name, makes it possible for the library to acquire books in the humanities that it would not be able to purchase otherwise.

"I valued learning in a climate in which the humanities were well-respected," said Krentz. "I hope that my gift helps engender in future students the same love of humanities that I gained at UCSC."

Krentz graduated from UCSC's Stevenson College in 1970 with a B.A. in history. One of the country's most popular romance novelists, Krentz has published more than 50 contemporary and historical romances, with 20 consecutive New York Times best-sellers to her credit (many published under the pen name of Amanda Quick). Along with her work in contemporary and historical romance, Krentz is the author of an important critical volume, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance. The book received the Susan Koppelman Award for feminist studies from the Women's Caucus of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association.

At the same time that she made this gift to the University Library, Krentz also made contributions to several elementary school libraries in Seattle, where she lives. "Books are so important at those two ends of the spectrum," she explained. "For children to learn to love books they need to be exposed to them at an early age, and for students to thrive in college they need to have access to as diverse a range of materials as possible."

Before she began her writing career full-time, Krentz earned an M.A. in library science from San Jose State University and worked for a number of years in corporate and academic libraries, including the Duke University library. As a former librarian, Krentz noted, she is quite aware of the changing needs of a library and of the high degree of planning and research that goes into making new acquisitions. Because of her insider's perspective, she stipulated that her gift be unrestricted--meaning that campus librarians may make acquisitions in the areas they deem most suitable for the library.

"We are thrilled Ms. Krentz has chosen to give back to UCSC through enriching the humanities materials in the library," said University Librarian Allan Dyson. "The unrestricted nature of the gift is especially welcome--it will help the largest number of students and faculty who will be using our humanities collections."

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