Thanks to our friends and donors for all that you have done for VCU Libraries through your gifts, support and advocacy this year. It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, but thanks to you, the VCU Libraries is emerging from the pandemic strong and ready to welcome thousands of students, faculty, and friends back to campus and into our library buildings. We are ending the fiscal year June 30 and thanks to you, we will finish strong.

This Jamboard presentation was created to thank donors remotely and to share a few of the many projects that you supported this year. Thanks for your gifts in support of everything, including contributions to the Friends VCU Libraries Scholarship Fund,the Endowment for Special Collections and Archives and the Social Welfare History Project. You gave in many areas and here are a few highlights:

Affordable Course Content: Known informally as low or no cost textbook initiatives, this is an area of growth in university libraries and VCU Libraries is no exception. Students often spend as much as $1,500 or more a year on textbooks and adopting these textbook alternatives saves them thousands of dollars in the course of their education. To date this program has saved students more than $4.3 million and served more than 45,000 students since 2018. Thank you!

Community Zooms: When we went home in March of 2020, we thought we might be home for a couple of weeks or a month at most. When it became apparent that our time at home would last much longer, VCU Libraries implemented a Community Zoom program with regular free events. With events ranging from library specific endeavors (such as navigating our website) to What’s Everyone Reading? discussions led by local booksellers, to a new series called “In Conversation,” developed with the input of the Friends of VCU Libraries Community Outreach and Engagement Committee, these Community Zooms have been a way to stay connected and get to know each other and our community a little better. Thank you!

The Friends of VCU Libraries Scholarship Endowment: This scholarship was established in 2018 and will be awarded for the first time this fall. The fund is nearing the $50,000 level which will allow an annual scholarship of $2,500 to be awarded to a junior, senior on the Monroe Park or MCV Campus, or professional student in a MCV campus program who is a VCU grad. The goal is to grow the fund to at least $200,000 to provide two annual scholarships of $5,000 each. Thank you!

Support for staff during the pandemic: The Friends of VCU Libraries Board raised funds this year to provide “Thank You” packages to our library employees who returned to on-site work in the midst of the pandemic. Thank you for recognizing the added level of stress that our colleagues accepted to keep the doors to VCU Libraries open for our students and faculty who needed to be on site.

Launch of VCU Publishing and the Jurgen Banned Art Project: VCU Publishing was launched last year. Projects amplify VCU scholarly and research findings, and provide publishing opportunities and experiences for VCU students and faculty in ways that advance research, creative expression and learning at VCU and Greater Richmond. In the planning stages, The Jurgen Banned Art Project is a pilot project in the form of a VCU student comics competition, dedicated to telling the story of banned art – books, music, film and more. The program is named for James Branch Cabell’s novel Jurgen, which was banned in 1920 when the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice declared Jurgen “a certain offensive, lewd, lascivious and indecent book.”  The final product will be featured prominently on a website dedicated to Cabell’s work that is under construction. Thank you!

Web UX: User Experience or UX is the practice of inviting stakeholders to participate in the planning and design of websites in order to provide maximum functionality for audiences. This is an area ripe for internships and often overlooked in the world of nonprofits. Thanks to your support, VCU Libraries will offer an internship in the 2021-2022 academic year to a VCU student who will gain real world, paid experience in this field; VCU Libraries will gain an improved website in the bargain. Thank you!

The Miller Collection: Dr. Joseph Lyon Miller, built a collection of rare books, manuscripts, silhouettes, and prints beginning in his days as a medical student at the University College of Medicine in Richmond (a precursor to MCV and now VCU). In 1932, he gifted his collection to the Richmond Academy of Medicine (RAM) and the collection was housed in their headquarters which adjoined the Health Sciences Library until the 1980’s. This year, VCU Libraries was able to purchase this collection and “bring it back home” to the MCV Campus and the Health Sciences Library. From its days next door, the Miller Collection served as the core collection  from which all other health sciences Special Collections and Archives sprang. Thank you!The Jamboard shows just a small portion of the many ways donors and friends contributed to theVCU Libraries this past year and helped our students and community grow and stay connected. Thanks to everyone who gave! We look forward to seeing you online and in person this next year!

Categories Donors, Friends of VCU Libraries, Gifts