Message from Jay:
Honoring the generosity of library donors has traditionally been a function of the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries newsletter. Last year this listing of some 5,000 donors required twenty pages with five columns of small print. This year we have even more names – 6,344 to be exact (and we are always in danger of omitting at least one person’s name in a list this long). To list or not to list, that is the question. Most donors enjoy seeing their names in print and we love to provide a documented list of our Friends, both as individual recognition and as a demonstration of the extensive support the Libraries receive on an annual basis. On the other hand, it is the donors’ contributions that pay for the newsletter, and is a sixteen-plus page list of names the best use of these funds? One suggestion this year was to list only the contributions above a certain dollar level. Depending on the chosen level ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000), this could significantly reduce the number of pages required to acknowledge donors. My immediate reaction was to reject this proposal. Every donation given to support the vision and mission of the UMass Amherst Libraries is vital to our success, no matter the sum. A $10 donation from a student is as meaningful as a $600,000 donation from a major corporation, especially when the gross annual earnings of both are considered. Obviously, money matters. Support from the state legislature, student fees, and research income provide only a baseline of support for the library budget. We depend on the contributions from our Friends to take the Libraries – our collections, services, and facilities – to the next level of excellence. We hope the activities, accomplishments, and aspirations described in the following pages affirm your support for the UMass Amherst Libraries. A complete listing of our donors is available at www.library.umass.edu/friends/donors.html. Please know, as you review this list, that the library staff and I thank each and every donor and we appreciate knowing that you are our Friends.
Director of Libraries