The Story of the $60 Gift
On the following pages, you will see and read about the transformative renovations in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library and the Science & Engineering Library that were completed over the summer. An important part of the story that the photos don’t tell is how these projects have been funded. Unlike major infrastructure improvement projects (including the new elevators and the electrical upgrades), the renovation of interior library space is not directly funded by the state or the campus. The success of the Procrastination Station café over the past several years encouraged our Campus Auxiliary Enterprises to invest in creating the new and larger facility that responds to student requests for more choice and quality in the services and “product” of the café.
The renovations in the Science & Engineering Library, Special Collections & University Archives, and the Music & Media Floor are largely supported by gifts from generous individuals like you – Friends of the Library. Over the past several years, a major focus in our library fundraising has been for facilities improvement. Through Annual Fund giving, support of the Dinner with Friends, and special gifts and bequests, we have been able to transform library spaces for our students – floor by floor, area by area, and room by room.
The true success of this story is the $60 gift. Over the years, the average donation to the Friends of the Library Facilities Fund has been about $60. It took approximately 4,000 individual donations at that level to fund the renovations of the Science & Engineering Library – and the results are amazing. Students like Civil Engineering senior Zach Bemis ’13 (see page 3) appreciate the new group study rooms, additional technology, and comfortable study spaces.
The moral of this story is not that we only want donors to give $60 per year, but that any and all donations, no matter how large or how small, are vital to making and keeping UMass Amherst Libraries at the top of our game for the thousands of students entering our doors daily.
Director of Libraries