23, No. 8, Oct. 16, 2003
UI launches fund drive to support
campaign to raise at least $30 million in private gifts for the University
Library was announced Oct. 10 during the UI Foundation’s 68th
annual meeting on the Urbana-Champaign campus and during a dedication
ceremony at the library to mark its 10 millionth volume.
The multi-year fund drive focuses on gifts for current use and those
to be invested in endowment to provide support in perpetuity in three
general areas: collections, people and preservation.
“The library is critical to every one of the core missions of
the university – teaching, scholarship, the making of future citizens,
and the university’s engagement with the broader community, here
and around the world,” said Chancellor Nancy Cantor.
In the area of collections enhancement, campaign contributions will
help to maintain the traditionally strong collections in the main library
and the 41 departmental libraries on campus, help acquire material in
emerging areas of teaching and research interest, and strengthen access
to electronic, digital and other non-print resources.
The campaign hopes to also ensure that the library’s collections
will remain available years from now. The future of both print and digital
materials is at risk because of the instability of the media on which
they are contained. Nearly 40 percent of the Library’s holdings
are in danger of deterioration. The preservation priority of the campaign
seeks to conserve valuable artifacts from among the more than 22 million
items contained in the library, to treat endangered materials to prevent
further damage, to reformat content of unsalvageable items to other
media, and to install environmental controls to slow the rate of deterioration
As the largest public university library in the world, the UI Library
is respected for the strength of its collections and the personalized
services of its librarians.
The University Library campaign seeks to enhance faculty and provide
salary and research funding in perpetuity by establishing named endowed
chairs for positions such as University Archivist and Preservation Librarian,
named distinguished professorships for heads of departmental libraries
and for library faculty specialists to promote research in specific
disciplines, and to create new endowed positions to advance the use
of special collections in research and teaching.
Libraries today must provide the facilities necessary to support growth
in collections and accommodate the current group study and individual
learning styles of students. Through the campaign, the campus seeks
to match the quality of library facilities with the quality of its collections.
Facilities development priorities include renovation of the main library
building, including the Reference and Circulation rooms, the Stacks,
the University Archives and the area studies libraries. Private gifts
also are sought to reconstruct and renew the Undergraduate Library,
the Chemistry Library located in the 100-year-old Noyes Laboratory,
as well as other departmental libraries. Most of the departmental libraries,
according to UI officials, are small based on campus standards.
“The success of the library campaign is central to the future
of this great institution and our ability to effectively serve faculty
members, students, citizens of Illinois, and scholars worldwide,”
said Paula Kaufman, university librarian.