Series of events to benefit library

By Gabriella Scibetta

Morris Library will be the focus of a fundraiser-filled month for new additions for the building.

The Friends of Morris Library will hold many fundraisers throughout October, including a gala, a brunch, a one-man play and multiple tours. Some events revolve around the late R. Buckminster Fuller, a former SIU professor and inventor.

Rob Jensen, president of the Friends of Morris Library board, said the group’s function is to provide funding for renovations that cannot be done with of the library’s regular operating budget.


Jensen said the group has sponsored events such as constitution day, workshops, sponsored lectures and more during the last year.

He said the group has purchased equipment needed in the library such as a new microform reader, digital camera and support equipment for the printers.

Carl Rexroad, a member of the Friends of Morris Library Gala planning committee, said library funding is critical to the university.

“The library is the heart of the university and for it to succeed really helps everybody,” Rexroad said. “The library has changed so much over the last few years, it’s continually reinventing itself, and anything that we can do to help the library be successful ultimately makes the university better, too.”

“We used to just buy books for the library and now a lot of it is involved in the new technology,” Rexroad said.

He said the five power stations where students can charge their devices are the most recent additions.

Jensen said the group is supporting the installation of flat screen monitors in two of the library’s study rooms.


Jensen said the group wants to raise $10,000 at the gala held at 6 p.m. Oct. 18. There is a brunch on Oct. 19, which gives attendees an opportunity to see hundreds of objects created by Fuller, which have never been publicly viewed.

On both days there will also be tours of Fuller’s home. The home is a refurbished geodesic dome, in which Fuller lived during his time in Carbondale.

Barb Martin, director of the SIU press, said the group put money toward more than the library’s basic needs.

“They put that money toward the essential extras that help run the library beyond just academic mode,” she said. “Sometimes fulfilling needs [beyond the] academic mission of the library.”

Jensen said, the group began fundraising for the patio located on the southeast corner of the building five years ago, which cost more than $100,000.

Students, staff, faculty and community members can sign up for the gala on the Morris Library website.

Gabriella Scibetta can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @gscibetta or at 536-3311.