25, No. 17, March 16, 2006
Library seeks a little help from
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
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
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. (See March 2, 2006, issue of “Inside
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
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.”
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
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