Aslaku Berhanu, a reference librarian and cataloger for the Blockson Collection will succeed Charles Blockson as interim curator of the collection upon Blockson’s retirement Dec. 31.The Blockson Collection includes African American historical items dating back to 1581. Some materials in the collection include an edition of Dale Carnegie’s “Lincoln Unknown” – an autobiography of President Abraham Lincoln – in which an inscription tells the reader that the leather binding of the book was made from the skin of a lynched black man.Blockson said that Berhanu’s experience and tenure at the collection made her a good candidate for the position.Interim Provost Richard Englert described Berhanu as “the ideal person to provide care and continuity for the collection while we search for a permanent curator,” in a statement to the Temple Times.Berhanu has worked with the collection since 1988. She received a bachelor of arts in education from Addis Ababa University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and her master of library science degree from Rutgers University.But Blockson, who donated his collection to the university in 1982, said the job of curator is not just about the books.”Everything is not in the books,” he said.It’s also a job with the community – one that takes developing a relationship with the community of scholars, researchers, students, tourists, who visit the collection year after year, he said.Both Berhanu and Blockson are members of the search committee, chaired by Vice President of Student Affairs Theresa Powell, which was formed to find a curator who will replace Blockson when he retires at the end of the year.Blockson will serve as curator emeritus and will “help out when it’s needed,” he said.”I’m committed to working with the university and the president,” Blockson added.Berhanu will take over effective Jan. 2, 2007. She could not be reached for comment because she is out of the country.Sullivan Hall up for space reviewThe president has commissioned a review of space utilization in Sullivan Hall, which houses the administrative office of the president, the Blockson Collection and Tuttleman Counseling Services. The review is underway, according to Mark Eyerly, the university’s chief communications officer.Charmie R. Snetter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.