News from the Dean: Friends of the Library’s Gift to the University Library

Since 1966, UMKC Friends of the Library (FOL) have presented the University Libraries and the UMKC community with an Annual Gift for the purchase of library materials. The cumulative amount of the Friends’ Annual Gifts in its first 50 years came in just under $1 million. Early on, the process incorporated the submission by faculty for proposals that articulated a faculty member’s need and lack of availability in any regional library. The criteria for the type of resources to be funded has been consistent over the years. Friends of the Library funds were for one-time purchases only. No new journal or database subscriptions have been considered, but in recent years one-time purchases of journal backfiles have been funded. Over the years the Friends have modified the process and the criteria as new formats such as data sets, multi-media, and electronic books have come into being but only for one-time purchases. New in 2014, the Friends made $10,000 of their gift available upfront to be used to fund immediate or “on demand” faculty requests purchased at the time of need. The Friends of the Library Annual Gift is made possible through endowment distributions. The Friends of the Library also fund an annual student scholarship which was introduced in 2009 and provide funding to sponsor library programs, exhibits and events. We are so grateful that they continue to provide funds for library collections each year as they have the option of using those funds for other purposes altogether.

With each new year the Friends of the Library Board reevaluates and makes changes as appropriate. This year the Friends of the Library (FOL) Board voted to handle their Annual Gift to the Library differently than in the past, positioning the libraries so that we may serve you more expeditiously. Their intent is to be more efficient and streamline the labor-intensive gift process while maintaining the original spirit of the FOL gift to provide resources that faculty determine are needed to actively meet crucial curricular needs. While we will not be putting out a call to Faculty for proposals this year, we ask that you continue to communicate with your Librarian Liaisons about your resource needs.

The Friends of the Library voted to donate $25,000 to the UMKC University Libraries to be spent in various areas that have typically been funded by the FOL. Specifically, they have allotted funding to the following categories:

    • $3,000 Film & Video Streaming: Last year the FOL funded $1000 toward streaming licenses to augment the library budget for this type of resource. Since streaming licenses can cost up to $300 for one title, the $1000 was used very quickly. Due to the growing need for steaming of films and videos for classroom use in many disciplines, the FOL saw the need to increase funding for this type of resource. Faculty can request licensing by the library for specific titles for class use. To do so, use the Swank Digital Campus Streaming Video Request form to make a request.
    • $3,000 Diversity Initiatives: The FOL has been very generous in its funding for library programs and events for diversity initiatives over the past few years. They are now expanding to materials that directly support diversity and inclusion as it relates to any aspect of the teaching and research at UMKC. Please contact your library liaison if you have questions about what might be included but, really, it applies across the academic interests of the University.
    • $3,000 Music Score Collections: Every year the FOL has funded collections of Music Scores where faculty proposals have been vetted by the Music Librarian. This allocation continues that practice and level of funding. The Music Librarian will work with the Conservatory faculty to determine the area of greatest need.
    • $4,800 Purchase on Demand: The Libraries introduced this program a couple of years ago for the purchase of e-books and this allocation augments funding towards the program. A large collection of e-books records have been added to the catalog but the books are not actually purchased until the 4th use of a given title. This means that the library is only paying for an e-book when it is actually needed but it is immediately available when the requestor clicks on the link. This program stretches the Library’s budget as the cost is less than a dollar per book compared to an average of $57 for a print book. This funding category still allows faculty (and students) to request what they actually need but with no labor-intensive effort to write a proposal or for the library staff to order and process the item.
    • $11,200 Purchase of JSTOR Arts & Sciences XIV: The FOL has generously funded the licensing of several JSTOR packages that provide access to back issues of journals in all subject disciplines. This year they are funding the new JSTOR package, Arts & Sciences XIV, which covers Archaeology, Asian Studies, Education, Languages & Literature, Law and Political Science. While JSTOR does not include the current issues of journals in a package, it significantly adds to our collections with these back-runs of important journals.

This new system moves us from a position of asking you once a year, what resources you need, to responding to your curricular resource needs year round. We are always grateful for the annual gift from the FOL and ask that you please continue to communicate your needs through the appropriate Library channels. We are committed to fulfilling and supporting your resource needs to the best of our ability which has been once again expanded by this generous gift. We will be evaluating the success of this new approach in the coming year and adjust accordingly based on what we learn. We welcome your input.