CHICAGO - The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries is the winner of the prestigious Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award. The award is presented annually to a library organization that exhibits meritorious achievement in creating new means of funding for a public or academic library.
The University at Massachusetts Amherst Libraries developed the Library Sustainability Fund to engage philanthropic support from faculty, students, alumni and friends who recognize the value of the rapidly-growing field of sustainability studies.
The Libraries partnered with the UMass Annual Giving Office on the annual "Second Ask" campaign. Donors were contacted and requested to make one more gift to close out the fiscal year. Focusing on the Sustainability Fund, the “Second Ask"” campaign succeeded in raising more than $160,000 from 3,398 donors. Clearly, the issue of sustainability resonated with the University and with donors.
“The licensed resources funded by the Sustainability Fund will help reinforce the intersection of information literacy and ecoliteracy in the curriculum” said Carol Connare, director of development and communication at UMass Amherst Libraries. Along with the acquisition of vital print, electronic and media resources, the Sustainability Fund enlivens the UMass Amherst Libraries with co-curricular activities such as speaker presentations, educational exhibits and film screenings. A graduate fellowship opportunity is also offered through Special Collections and Archives.
For faculty, the Fund made possible a series of workshops that enabled them to form connections between their colleagues in disciplines across campus. During “Mapping Sustainability Education at UMass Amherst,” which took place in the Library’s Teaching Commons, 50 people, including faculty from 18 departments and staff from seven co-curricular offices worked together to create a set of student learning outcomes for sustainability courses. An outgrowth of this collaboration is reflected in the new Sustainability Curriculum Initiative. “Faculty may apply for $1,000 mini-grants to integrate the use of licensed library resources in their existing sustainability courses and base assignments on Information Literacy standards,” said Sustainability Studies Librarian Madeleine Charney.
The American Library Association awards the 2013 Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award to UMass Amherst University Libraries for meritorious achievement in carrying out a development project to secure new funding resources for an academic library. One of the jurors noted that “The initiative is a strategic fundraising program serving as a model for other libraries” commenting on the engagement of alumni, current students, and faculty in the project. The overall reach and scope of the endeavors supported by the Library Sustainability Fund is impressive.
Members of the 2013 Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award jury were Liz Bishoff, chair, The Bishoff Group LLC, Evergreen, CO; Carol L. Anderson, University at Albany, State University of New York; Virginia Steele, University of California at Santa Cruz; Jane Tuten, University of South Carolina Aiken; and Denise Zielinski, Joliet Public Library, Joliet, Ill.
The award will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois in June. More information about the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.