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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

$685,000 for Library Found in Gift Account


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Written by: Communicator StaffDecember 11, 2015

Written by Jazlynn Bebout

Last year $685,000 was found in a gift account for Helmke Library hat was donated under the previous Chancellor Michael Wartell’s tenure.

“Primarily we use [gift accounts] for projects, or a specific piece of equipment that we need,” Cheryl Truesdell, dean of the library, said.

According to Susan Anderson, head of public services, the $685,000 found in the gift account was donated under a previous library campaign and has been earning interest since 1996.

Truesdell said that no one was aware that the money was there until Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs David Wesse was newly hired and was going through all of the accounts for the first time when he discovered the money.

“We weren’t informed about that foundation, it was just in there, it was restricted to the library, but we weren’t aware of it, we don’t know why,” Truesdell said.
Truesdell says that none of the money has been used and that it is currently generating interest, which goes back into the account.

“I think the perfect use for some of that money is to enhance the renovation,” Truesdell said.

The library is planning on beginning the renovation of the library at the end of the Fall 2015 semester.

The library also uses money from its budget to pay for materials such as computers, printers and books, as well as other expenses that it incurs, such as technological repairs.
According to Anderson, the library’s budget goes into three main categories: personnel, library materials and supplies and expenses.

The biggest of those categories is personnel, where at least $1 million has been spent every year since 2013. These numbers have been growing every year, making the 2015-2016 year the most expensive one yet at $1,300,433.

Library materials, the second largest category, has also been rising since 2013. This money is to be used to buy e-books, digital collections and other textbooks.

“We ask for requests from faculty from all the disciplines so they can send us the books that they want us to order, we also have the librarians look for relevant material that they feel in their areas should be added,” Truesdell said.

The smallest category is supplies and expenses, which has remained consistently at $36,679 since 2013. This category is used to buy things such as furniture, telephones and repairs for equipment.

Within the supplies and expenses category is printing services, which has gone down in the past few years due to the increased usage of online materials.

“We also have a five-year computing and equipment replacement plan that our Library Information Technology Manager provides to us. So we know exactly what’s coming up, what needs to be replaced,” Truesdell said.

The library renovation is planned to be done in three phases, which began in October 2014 with adding new landscaping and walkways.

The second phase is to begin Dec. 21 with architectural renovations of the first and second floor and minor phases to the third and the fourth.

The third phase will occur when the library raises enough funds to begin renovating the third and fourth floors as well as the basement.

Currently, the renovation project will cost $21,350,000 and its goal is to provide students with a more technology-friendly study space. The current plans for the project include new furniture, lighting and active learning spaces for optimum learning experiences.