Health

Kathy’s Korner

Legacy gift will bring books to hospitalized children for years to come

Legacy gift will bring books to hospitalized children for years to come

Kathleen “Kathy” Swendiman’s career spanned 40 years in the world’s largest library, the Library of Congress. Now, the library at N.C. Children’s Hospital will forever reflect her love of books and learning through the Kathy’s Korner Library Endowment. Alan Swendiman’s generous gift to honor his late wife will help the library provide more books to children receiving care – and keep them reading and learning – while hospitalized.

“Kathy loved to read. This gift is a confluence of a love of learning, reading, health and children,” said Swendiman, who worked with UNC Children’s to create the endowment after his wife passed in 2019. “It seemed to me the perfect way of recognizing her contributions and honoring her at the hospital.”

The impact of the endowment will be two-fold: to bring reading material to children who are hospitalized and to provide resources for the teachers at UNC Hospital School.

Located on the seventh floor of N.C. Children’s Hospital, the library provides books and reading activities to children, young adults and teens in four main locations throughout the medical center in Chapel Hill: N.C. Children’s Hospital, N.C. Cancer Hospital, N.C. Neurosciences Hospital and the psychiatric emergency department.

Plans are underway for a “Kathy’s Korner” sign to greet visitors at the library’s entrance. But aside from new signage, funds will go entirely toward meeting the ongoing, huge need for books and other reading materials.

When asked what Kathy would have thought of her new ‘Korner,’ Swendiman said: “She would pause a moment and say, ‘That’s a great idea – I really love that.’ Then she would smile, thinking of the joy that these books will bring to so many children.”

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