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by Gail Gilbert, Art Library

It started with one football coach, expanded to the whole Athletic Department, and included a stop for coffee along the way. The Cooper Fund for the Libraries morphed into the Cardinal Campaign for the Libraries and was celebrated with Latte in the Library. Here's how it happened.

If you remember Dave Reed, former head of Public Services in Ekstrom Library, you know he loved football. His contacts gave the Libraries an entrée to the Athletic Department and as a result, we were the first unit on campus to make a pitch to then-new Head Football Coach Ron Cooper and get a commitment of support from him. With the help of the Development Office, we targeted football fans and other potential supporters using Ron Cooper's name to help the Libraries raise funds. Not only did a number of people contribute to the cause, the Fischer Packing company contributed by giving the Libraries $200 in the name of the player who had the longest run in each football game. By the time Coach Cooper left, he had helped raise almost $11,000 for the Libraries. Those funds were used to buy materials to support the undergraduate curriculum.

When Athletic Director Tom Jurich came on board, he suggested the Cooper Fund be expanded to encompass not only football, but all the other UofL sports. Thus, the fund was renamed the Cardinal Campaign for the Libraries. At about the same time, the annual faculty-staff campaign was being planned, the university was celebrating its bicentennial, and the Faculty Senate was discussing the possibility of the Libraries getting a percentage of the donations received by each school or college. All these threads were eventually woven into the Building for Books campaign, a Libraries fundraiser aimed not only at the Athletic Department staff, but all other staff and faculty as well.

To promote the campaign, Elaine Wise, co-chair of the Faculty-Staff Annual Fund Campaign, and Tom Jurich appeared at a Faculty Senate meeting and urged all Senators to help the Libraries by contributing to the campaign and urging their colleagues to do so as well. Wise and Wood E. Currens, the other co-chair, sent a letter to all faculty and staff, encouraging everyone to "Build for Books" by donating to the libraries first and then to the college, school, department, scholarship or program of their choice. They promised that all donors would receive an invitation to Latte in the Library to celebrate the faculty and staff commitment to the Libraries.

On April 23, the latte was served and about one hundred people turned out to celebrate. The area was decorated with balloons and pictures were taken. The staff from the Development Office, with whom the Libraries had worked so closely, used the opportunity to present a gift to Hannelore in recognition of her being honored as the ACRL Academic Librarian of the Year—a Louisville Slugger baseball bat inscribed to the MVP!

The Libraries' thanks go to everyone who contributed to the success of Latte in the Library. Special thanks go to Elaine Wise, member of the Senate Committee on Libraries and enthusiastic supporter of the Libraries, for all her hard work.

As of the end of May, over $2700 has been donated or pledged by 28 faculty, 24 staff and P & A; and one student, for a total of 53 people. Just as important as the money is the fact that about 40 people donated to the Libraries for the first time because of this campaign. If you want to help build for books, contact Gail Gilbert or call 852-6741. It's never too late.