On Friday, June 16, 2017, over 70 library supporters gathered for an event sponsored by the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries. The event included drinks, hors d’doeuvres, a library scavenger hunt, and a silent auction.
The program included a talk from local authors Jill Orr and Alex George. Jill, an MU alum, writes humor essays about parenting on her blog, An Exercise in Narcissism, and published her first novel, The Gold Byline, in April. Alex is the author of the national and international bestseller, A Good American. He is also the founder and director of the Unbound Books Festival, and is a member of the Friends of the University Libraries Council. Attendees also heard remarks, from Ann Riley, vice provost for libraries and university librarian, and Kelli Hansen, special collections librarian.
The event raised around $9,000, which will be used to support the digitization of unique materials from Special Collections & Rare Books. Materials chosen for digitization will be uploaded to the HathiTrust Digital Library–a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure the cultural record is preserved and accessible.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event or gave a donation! Friends of the Libraries events are a lot of fun and a great way to support our libraries. We hope you’ll join us for our next event.
James B. Nutter, Sr., the founder of James B. Nutter & Co., passed away on July 7, 2017, at his Kansas City home. Nutter graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in 1949. Along with creating one of the largest privately owned mortgage banking firms in the nation, he was generous with his time and money, giving away much of his wealth to charities and causes, including libraries.
Nutter once stated that he was inspired by his father’s appreciation of libraries, “My interest in libraries comes from my father, who felt that libraries are one of the most important things our country could have. So when I had an opportunity to make an improvement in the MU Libraries, I wanted to do so.”
Nutter was one of the early donors to MU’s first major fundraising campaign, For All We Call Mizzou, donating $1.25 million to the Libraries for an information commons.
The James B. Nutter Family Information Commons opened in the fall of 2004. The space immediately had a huge impact on the MU student body, which continues to this day. The Information Commons provides individual and group study space and integrates the latest online information resources and the expertise of library staff. The 25,000 square foot facility features comfortable seating for more than 300 people, and 100 fixed computer workstations. Any day during the school year, the space is full of students studying and doing research.
Nutter was married to Annabel Fisher Nutter for nearly 63 years. She survives along with his son, James B. Nutter Jr., who is president and chief executive of James B. Nutter & Co. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Ann Moore, who died of breast cancer in 2003.
In the midst of dealing with your own budget adjustments, you may be wondering what’s going on with the libraries. At this point, we are planning for a $1.3 million reduction in the materials budget for fiscal year 2018. Having already reduced our staff by 40% in the last decade, we are unable to reduce staffing much more without significant reduction in services. The Collection Steering Committee is in the process of assessing needs and determining our best options for addressing this budget reduction.
We continue to pursue all available options to support the collections and respond to your needs:
You may have seen the recent Missourian article about the libraries’ wish list of books that is being shared with the Friends of the Library and other potential donors. Subject librarians compiled this list, drawing from requests received in the past fiscal year. This list will be posted until August 1. You can help us by sharing the link with any you know who would be interested.
Although you are welcome to contribute to purchases on the wish list, we encourage you to recommend additional purchases—of any sort–to your subject librarian at any time. We all maintain request lists to draw from as funds become available. We will make every effort to meet your needs as efficiently as we can.
We are grateful for our development team and the donors who have given generously.
We are thankful for the support we’ve received from students who voted for the Student Services Enhancement Fee. The University Libraries Student Advisory Council will help us invest those funds in student-focused services.
We also appreciate departments and faculty who have collaborated with us in funding resources.
In Special Collections, we provide the opportunity to touch history, creating amazing learning experiences for over 1,500 students whose classes visit our reading room each year. Special Collections is a fantastic resource for teaching at MU! But don't take our word for it – listen to what the professors have to say:
"Students who go on this field trip always do better in the class as a whole than those who miss the field trip. This is the fourth time I've done this and it's very clear that this experience has a significant impact on student engagement and investment."
"In both classes, students were substantially more enthusiastic about the material, and had a much clearer understanding of where our texts come from and why they are in the sometimes problematic state in which we possess them."
"Students were very enthusiastic. 'This was the coolest thing ever!' 'I can't believe they let us touch this stuff!' 'This made the books come to life!'"
The Special Collections librarians have created a wish list of books we would have loved to have on hand for these enthusiastic students and faculty, but weren't able to purchase due to budget cuts. Browse the full list of titles and donate to support teaching and learning at Mizzou.
The health sciences librarians have created a list of about 100 of our "Most Wanted" books, available at many price points. These are all titles we would have loved to purchase this year, but were not able to due to recent collection cuts. For as little as $35, you can help our continued mission of supporting teaching and research at MU.
See a full list of titles, please visit library.missouri.edu/giving/wishlist/?singlebroadsubject=Medicine%20and%20Health%20Sciences
This past spring, MU librarians created a Wish List of over 400 titles that would enhance teaching and research, but that could not be purchased due to budget limitations. The response from alumni and friends exceeded our highest expectations. Fifty-six donors purchased 105 books and electronic book collections, totaling $22,270 in gifts. The gifts generated a great deal of excitement within our library staff, so please, consider this a collective “thank you” from everyone at the library!
Allowing donors to purchase specific items on topics of interest to them resulted in a broad range of interesting titles that will be heavily used in the years ahead. Here is just a sampling of the items that have been purchased from the Wish List:
- Dick Toft purchased the Complete and Truly Outstanding Works by Homer for Special Collections & Rare Book
- Ken Mares in honor of Dr. Ann Johanson purchased the American Academy of Pediatrics 2017 Frontlist E-Book Collection
- Dedra Earl purchased Margaret Thatcher: A Life and Legacy
- Suzanne Billhymer purchased Principles of Lightning Physics
- Carolyn Wenneker purchased Vogue the Shoe
- Craig Datz purchased Musical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Education, Musicology, and Ethnomusicology
As of August 1, we have officially brought the 2017 Wish List project to a close.Thankfully, our librarians are beginning to make priority purchases from our collections budget for FY2018. However, significant reductions to the collections budget over the last three years have guaranteed that many faculty requests will go unfulfilled. So, the Wish List will be back next spring, when the collections budget has been exhausted for the current fiscal year. If you just can’t wait to make another gift to support the University Libraries collections, please consider a gift to our Collections Enhancement Fund.
Endowments Support Collections – If you would like to make the University Libraries a significant part of your personal giving, you might consider a collections endowment. In fiscal year 2017, collections endowments accounted for a significant portion of our collections spending. The minimum amount to create an endowment is $25,000. Your gift can be spread over a period of years or you can even fund the endowment through your estate plan. If you would like more information about creating an endowment, contact Matt Gaunt at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 573-884-8645.