Skip to main content

Driven. The Campaign for the University of Minnesota Libraries

By October 5, 2018September 16th, 2023No Comments

As part of the University of Minnesota’s Driven campaign, the University Libraries is building on its award-winning mission of advancing knowledge and enriching lives. Together, with our donors and friends, we will elevate our capacity to serve our faculty and students, Minnesota, and our global community.

The Libraries’ $18 million campaign has four priority areas:

  • Advancing Leadership and Innovation
  • Enriching the Student Experience
  • Advancing Research and Scholarship
  • Enriching Our Collections and Content Services

Walter Library

Advancing Leadership and Innovation

The University Libraries has been a trailblazing service provider and problem solver on a number of fronts. In response to rising costs of higher education, for example, our innovative staff developed the Partnership for Affordable Content, a collaborative effort with faculty that saves our students money on textbooks and other course materials while improving the curriculum.

“I was already feeling overwhelmed with the cost of attending college, so when I was told the reason that there was no required textbook to buy was because it was online for free, I felt relieved,” said Marie Vanderwarn, a student in the College of Science and Engineering. “The savings could be put towards groceries and other basic needs. Plus, the e-book was available immediately, and I could access it nearly anywhere instead of needing to lug around a physical book.”

Goal: $4 million
New funding will allow us to engage more faculty and graduate students in the creation of new programs and services that benefit the University of Minnesota, other public and private colleges and universities in Minnesota, and researchers and scholars from around the world.

Enriching the Student Experience

Grusha Agarwal

Grusha Agarwal

The Libraries is a significant driver behind the sharp increase of U of M students who stay in school and graduate within four years. A recent University of Minnesota research study demonstrates that undergraduate students who use our libraries, programs, or services are 40 percent more likely to graduate within four years than those who do not. This support includes the SMART Learning Commons — a one-stop resource for students needing research, technology, or writing help.

“Being able to help first-year students navigate the Libraries’ vast resources is a very rewarding job,” says Grusha Agarwal, a Peer Research Consultant and student employee with the Libraries. “For many, this is the first time they’ve attempted to write a research paper. We are able to guide them to the most appropriate resources while teaching them critical skills for future research projects.”

Goal: $2 million
New funding will allow us to reach more students, helping them on their path to academic success.

Advancing Research and Scholarship

The Libraries has always been at the center of academic life for our students and faculty. But as technology has made vast amounts of content available anytime and from any place, research and learning are now taking place on multiple fronts. We must establish new centers for digital scholarship and transform our spaces to become as adaptable as possible to accommodate changing information-delivery methods.

“We worked with the Libraries to create a new secondary research tool for our students to advance their knowledge and data-gathering capabilities,” says Kate Reigel, Professional Director of the Master’s Program in Supply Chain Management in the Carlson School of Management. “Our students are serving as consultants on experiential learning projects during their capstone for several Minnesota companies. The tool allows our students to find source materials, create fact-based recommendations, and deliver increased value to these corporations.”

Goal: $4 million
New funding will allow us to reconceive our spaces, strengthen our faculty partnerships, and advance research and scholarship.

Enriching Our Collections and Content Services

Joseph Haj
Photo by Keri Pickett

The University Libraries has collections of incredible breadth and depth — ranging from the remarkable history of performing and literary arts to our acclaimed children’s literature collections to the unique history of computing. Our rare and special collections, valued at nearly $1 billion, are one of the University’s most prized assets.

“The University of Minnesota Libraries has managed and preserved the Guthrie Theater Archives since 1965. I can’t think of a better steward of these invaluable assets,” says Joseph Haj, artistic director for the Guthrie Theater. “As part of the Libraries’ Performing Arts Archives, the Guthrie collection is an extraordinary resource for the local and national theater community — and for scholars and historians now and well into the future.”

Goal: $8 million
New funding will allow us to acquire distinctive collections and better protect and manage existing materials through conservation efforts and digitization, while improving our users’ experience with spaces for community engagement.

A Message from University Librarian Wendy Lougee

In 2017, the University of Minnesota Libraries received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. We are only the third academic library ever to win the Medal in the program’s 23-year history — a testament to our innovative work in supporting a diverse and expansive set of communities.

Through this campaign, we have chosen to build on our strengths, and we ask you to join us in Advancing Knowledge and Enriching Lives for those on our campuses, for residents throughout the cities and townships of Minnesota, and for scholars around the globe.

Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

More posts by Mark Engebretson

© 2024 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Privacy Statement | Acceptable Use of IT Resources