Thursday, May 8, 2008

Academic Libraries have Friends (and Donors!) Thursday 10am

Academic Libraries have Friends (and Donors!) Thursday 10am
Emily Silverman Director of Library Development and Communication UMass Amherst

Jay Schaeffer University of Massachusetts - Amherst. Director of Libraries
This series on library advocacy is underwritten jointly by MLA and ACRL.

Umass Amherst has 49 staff.

Silverman reaches out to alums. They have had a FRIENDS of the DUBOIS LIBRARY organization since the 70’s

Tips from Emily:
1. Believe in yourself - Her belief: this library is valuable, unique, does something that no other campus entity can, keeps evolving
2. Look like a winner – They changed from a “Woe is us” attitude in budget downturns. Quit whining.
3. Ask ask ask
4. Who do you know?

Some innovations with that CAN DO attitude which help U Mass
Creation of LEARNING COMMONS - open 24/5 hrs some days, landscaping, plantings, natural light with the support of admin, writing center, career services, to bring about the concept of the learning commons to implement all kinds of services withing the library.
There are workstation clusters, lots of light. Café called Procrastination Station. Individual and group seating. New policies. You can eat in the CAFÉ , we can staff 24hrs. Quiet study 2nd floor. Cellphone booths (funky red tubes where you can do your cellphone calls), laptop loaner program, digital repository) 600,000 to 1.2 million users in the last few years = potential DONORS

The LEARNING COMMONS was selected by the 50th reuion for Class of 1955 gift Library renovate one side of the library with landscaping, 1957 3 other sides for a pedestrian commons + an ongoing maintenance gift.

They sell a library mug, publicity is just a 8.5X11 trifold. They are not an official 501c organization. Members who donate $25 or more receive library FRIENDS newsletter, annual report and events. The newsletter is now few words, lots of pictures.

Creation of the courtyard gardens in the center of the library.

Ongoing Assessment
Surveys of users and nonusers, focus groups, events, information communication.

They let people know that they have taken their suggestions to heart.

They have defined their potential donors. Alums, Admin, Fac, Collectors of all kinds of things, Busines leaders. Some institutions look to parents of students.
They have worked with their retiring Faculty. Huge cohort of recently retired. The help them with their own personal libraries, ideas for giving their treasures to libraries when they are ready to downsize.
They look to alums for all kinds of fun realia. Freshman beenies, etc.

Events Had talk from famous alums, Jane Yolen. Ken Turan, Boston Antiquarian International Book Fair.

Business sponsorships for FRIENDS fundraising events.

The Second ASK. Any donors to UMass Amherst get in the Spring, a handsome note, asking for a second gift devoted to the library.
Bursar bills have a $65 “give to the library” addons.

They have some ENDOWMENT FUNDS.
21st Century Library Technology Fund to support technology and infrastructure initiatives
Friends of the Library Endowment Fund to build the collections.
John W. Bennett Labor History Collection Endowment
Ann Elder Bestor Memorial Library Endowment for Business Reference
for business reference materials
Howard E. and Margaret E. Barr Bigelow Endowed Fund for the Life Sciences Collection for biological sciences and geosciences journals
Randolph W. Bromery Library Endowment Fund to support initiatives that enhance the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois, and to encourage academic scholarship that builds upon the contributions of the W.E.B. Du Bois Papers and related collections
Library Archive Fund for the preservation and restoration of archives
Oswald Tippo Library Endowment Fund for the acquisition of exceptional materials that enrich the scholarly collections
Veli W. and Ida G. L. Wallenius Library Endowment Fund for the acquisition of library materials and support of library programs representative of diverse cultures

Since the learning commons, donors have decided to fund technology and facility rather than just collections...
They have turned that joke /dog of a library into a benefit.

Recognizing donors. U Mass sends letters to donors $100 or more.
SMALL donors need to be recognized too. That’s good stewardship. They now send a colorful little Post card with students on the front.
There’s a difference between Donors and Friends. Friends often support the library philosophically, but they are not big givers.


There is a “Director’s Council” These are people who are interested in advocating for support for the library. They are personal donors of at least $1000 to the library. Some have friends who are major donors for the library.

Parting shot from Jan Schaeffer: Always respect EVERY donation. Be visble, be sociable, be an advocate.


1 comment:

poirier said...

I found this presentation useful. Do I have the permission to post about it in my own blog? Instead of full coverage I would summarize some main points and pose my own action questions. Thanks!!!
--Maureen Perry,
University of Southern Maine