Publication Date

Fall 2013


As I promised in the Spring “News,” 2013 has been jam-packed with events and celebrations. The Sesquicentennial Celebration has been a focus both for the campus and the Libraries. Our Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has provided historical documentation of the past 150 years, including a rich collection of photographs and memorabilia, that appears at almost every event related to the celebration. Rob Cox, Head of SCUA, and his staff are due special commendation for their extraordinary dedication in working with such a broad community of constituents to make campus history come alive. We are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the opening of the “Library tower”—officially named the W.E.B. Du Bois Library in 1994. Most alums since 1973 have a favorite story about the library, which often include “urban myths” that continue to this day. In this issue, we have debunked some of those myths. But, more importantly, the “Tower” is symbolic of the central role the Libraries play in the daily lives of students—24/5, plus weekends. Today’s libraries are essential to the teaching and research mission of the university—especially as we move from a print environment into the digital age. A third major initiative in 2013 is the UMassRising Capital Campaign. The Libraries’ goal in the $300 million campus-wide fundraising effort is $45 million. To this point, we have achieved approximately 86% of our goal. The Libraries must raise an additional $6 million, from now through June 2016, to be successful. Every gift—from $25 to a bequest of $1 million—is important and essential. UMassRising is about more than money. Importantly, it is about taking the Libraries’ services, collections, and facilities to the next level of excellence, for the students, the faculty, and the Commonwealth. Your continued support of the UMass Amherst Libraries will help us continue the excellent work you see documented on the following pages. Our staff is encouraged and invigorated to know that their efforts are being supported and enhanced by the generous donations of each of you—our Friends. As always, thank you for your support—now, and in the future.

Jay Schafer

Director of Libraries