The University Library is reaching out to faculty members during April as part of its capital campaign, a campus wide initiative through which the library hopes to raise $30 million for acquisition and preservation, facilities construction and renovation, and the creation of endowed faculty positions. Thus far, more than $18.9 million has been raised through the campaign.
During April, the Library will invite faculty members to participate in the Library Friends Annual Fund Program. Gifts to the annual fund typically are unrestricted and used to address the most urgent needs throughout the library system. However, faculty members may choose to support the departmental library that they use most often or specific programs or initiatives.
“The library is an important part of every faculty member’s teaching and research,” said Paula Kaufman, university librarian. “Faculty support will reflect the strength of this relationship and demonstrate how essential the library is to the university’s missions.”
Kaufman said that many retired and current faculty members already have made significant contributions and that the library is looking forward to a strong partnership with faculty members throughout the campaign. “To succeed in the future, the library needs the support of faculty, just as faculty need the support of the library. It truly is a reciprocal relationship,” Kaufman said.
The Friends group, which was established during the 1972-73 academic year, has more than 3,500 members and has contributed nearly $2.2 million to the library in the past five years.
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics pledged $500,000 to the campaign, which will be used to create a Learning Commons, a model program combining computing resources and information services in a contemporary, easy-to use layout. The library and Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services will collaborate on designing the learning commons.
Most of the library’s facilities were built to house print-based media, and with funds from the campaign, the main Library building and the Undergraduate Library will be renovated to better meet contemporary needs.
During the past 20 years, the library’s purchasing power has been eroded from a combination of factors, including dwindling state support for higher education, double-digit price increases caused by inflation, and general price hikes as well as the shrinking value of the U.S. dollar against the Euro when purchasing publications from Western Europe. Due to budgetary constraints, the library canceled more than 1,000 serial titles during the last few years.
Access to electronic materials, such as full-text journal articles, electronic books and reference guides are critically important to many disciplines and increasingly preferred by faculty members and students. However, electronic journals cost on average 10 percent to 30 percent more than their print equivalents, with prices rising an average of 10 percent to 12 percent annually. Additionally, electronic and print versions of some materials must be purchased simultaneously because future access to electronic versions is not assured.
Another challenge facing the library is preservation and conservation of the nearly 24 million items in its collections, 40 percent of which are at risk of physical deterioration because of poor environmental conditions in library facilities and the acidic content of paper used in scholarly publications. With a $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, $700,000 in matching funds and contributions of $1.4 million from more than 1,000 “Library Friends,” the library is designing and equipping a conservation laboratory that is expected to open this summer.
For more information about the campaign, contact the Library Office of Development and Public Affairs at 333-5682.
Be a Library Friend
The UI Library is looking for several gifts to enhance its collections:
- $300 for the City Planning and Landscape Architecture Library to purchase “Trip Generation,” 7th edition, a three-volume reference work on transportation planning, to benefit research and teaching in urban and regional planning, landscape architecture and transportation engineering.
- $449 for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library to purchase “Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture and Society in the United States.”
- $450 for the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art to purchase “Armenian Painters in the Ottoman Empire, 1600-1923,” which provides information on artists not found readily in other biographical dictionaries.
Funds for the History and Philosophy Library to purchase: “Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Culture, History and Politics” ($270); “Indian Religious Traditions: An Encyclopedia” ($285); and the “Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture” ($395).
- $3,520 for the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library to purchase four lounge chairs for a new reading alcove.
- $10,000 for microfilming issues of the vaudeville industry journal The Player not already owned by the UI.
- $12,000 to purchase seven exhibition cases for the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
For more information about needs of the library, go to www.library.uiuc.edu/friends/index.php and click on “Library is Looking.” Gifts can be made online or by calling the Library Office of Development and Public Affairs at 333-5682.