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Research Corp. Helps Raise Money for Libraries

Posted by
May 4th, 2001

In March 1997, the WVU Research Corp. and the WVU Foundation joined together to raise $1.5 million for the WVU Libraries, over a five-year period, through the Faculty and Staff Annual Fund.

“The Research Corporation is interested in supporting research at the University, so we are very pleased that we could invest the money into the library,” said John Weete, director of Research Corp.

The Research Corp. agreed to match two dollars for every dollar contributed by the WVU community to support collection development through library endowments.

The WVU faculty and staff met this challenge in less than three years by creating over 168 library endowments worth $1.5 million.

“To reach our goal two and a half years ahead of schedule is an indication of how strongly our faculty and staff believe in West Virginia University and the need to have a strong ‘library system’,” said Greg McCracken, director of annual giving at the WVU Foundation, Inc.

According to University Libraries Dean Frances O’Brien, gifts to the University Libraries from WVU faculty and staff have centered around the acquisition of library materials such as books, manuscripts, microforms, journals and electronic resources.

Faculty and staff library book endowments made $27,000 available to the library acquisition budget this year to buy new books. With contributions from the faculty and staff, the library was able to acquire more new books representative of the academic disciplines in the WVU curriculum.

“My husband and I created a library endowment, because we have worked at WVU for 26 years and recognize the importance the library collection plays in the future success of students,” said Virginia Petersen, special assistant to the President and the Provost.

These types of commitments emphasize the importance of the West Virginia University Library System.

“A strong library system is the cornerstone of a strong and dynamic university,” said David C. Hardesty Jr., WVU president and chairman of the corporation’s board of directors.

Donations from WVU faculty and staff are important in maintaining the quality of the WVU Libraries as an academic research library. The expense of building and maintaining a collection that meets the needs of the students, faculty, and researchers, however, is outpacing available funds.

“Journal subscription prices will inflate at 12 percent for 2002, and have been increasing at double-digit rates annually for the past decade,” said O’Brien.

Because of gifts and commitments such as the one completed by Research Corp. and the faculty and staff, WVU Libraries are able to seek the resources to be competitive with the nation’s other leading research and teaching institutions and to build collections that complement the University’s academic strengths.

“We are extremely grateful for these gifts which allow us to update and enhance our collections for today’s students and scholars as well as library users in the future. A gift to the Libraries provides a lasting legacy,” O’Brien said.

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