Investiture of Paula Kaufman

A $5 million gift has established a deanship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Professor Paula T. Kaufman, university librarian and dean of libraries for the University of Illinois, will be honored as the inaugural Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries at an Investiture ceremony hosted by Chancellor Richard Herman and Provost Linda Katehi on April 29, 2009.

The Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson University Library Deanship is one of the first deanships at the University of Illinois to be endowed at this level.  The seven-figure donation will create an endowment—a permanent trust that is invested to provide a long-term source of funding—which will be used to finance the perpetual needs of the University Library.

Paula Kaufman joined the University Library in 1999 after serving in key library positions at the University of Tennessee and Columbia University.  She has four decades of experience as a librarian and has written and made presentations on a number of issues pertaining to scholarly information, privacy, copyright, research libraries, recruitment, and leadership.

“Juanita and Robert Simpson have bestowed the greatest possible honor to the University Library with the establishment of this deanship.  By endowing this position, they ensure that our Library continues to attract leadership of the highest order and they make certain President James’ vision of a great library that recruits the best faculty and students to this University is secure,” said Professor Kaufman.  “I am humbled and honored to be the first person to carry the title of the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of the Library and University Librarian.  It is only through the Simpsons’ foresight and generosity that this is possible.”

Robert E. Simpson and Juanita J. Simpson have supported the University Library for over 20 years and share Professor Kaufman’s passion and vision for the University Library.  Through their committee work at the Library, the Simpsons provided leadership for the successful completion of a $30 million campaign to raise awareness of the Library’s needs for support of its collections, facilities, and faculty.  Their gifts for this deanship, as well as for the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book & Manuscript Library Chair, have provided invaluable funding for Library programs and projects.

Do you have a story you’d like added to the Library News & Events? If so, please contact Heather Murphy ( ).

Book Collecting Contest

To foster the love of books and introduce students to the pleasures of book collecting, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sponsors an annual book collecting contest. The competition, co-sponsored by the University Library and The No. 44 Society , includes separate judging and prizes for undergraduate (The Harris Fletcher Book Collecting Award) and graduate student collections (T.W. Baldwin Prize for Book Collecting).

The prize for undergraduate collectors is named for Harris Francis Fletcher (1892-1971), professor of English (1926-62), who collected books and manuscripts that form the John Milton collection at the University of Illinois. It is considered the most comprehensive Milton collection in the country. The graduate prize honors T.W. Baldwin, who put together a remarkable collection of imprints from the age of Shakespeare, with strengths in Elizabethan drama, pedagogy, religion, and social history.

First prize for each category is $1000. Winners are asked to talk about their collections at the May meeting of The No. 44 Society. Winners are also encouraged to use some of their prize money to attend Bibliography Week in New York (generally held in late January), and winners are offered an invitation to a special reception at the country’s premier book collecting organization, The Grolier Club. All contestants receive a student membership in the Friends of the University of Illinois Library.

Book collectors are encouraged to enter. The deadline for submissions is 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2009. For more information and entry rules, please visit .

Do you have a story you’d like added to the Library News & Events? If so, please contact Heather Murphy ( ).

Finals and Commencement Hours

Spring Finals 2009:

Please visit for library hours during Spring finals, May 7 – 17, 2009.

Commencement 2009:

All University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign libraries will be closed Commencement Weekend, May 16-17, 2009.  However, the first floor of the Main Library is open from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17, for visitors and students to view the University Honors Bronze Tablets.

Do you have a story you’d like added to the Library News & Events? If so, please contact Heather Murphy ( ).