The Daily Gamecock

Library seeks $15,000 from class of 2012 for study room technology

Senior Legacy Campaign to help build endowment fund for renovations


With their final semester not yet begun, 2012 graduates are already receiving their first donation solicitations from the Office of Annual Giving.

The Senior Class Legacy Campaign is calling on each member of the class of 2012 to donate $20.12 for study room technology renovations.

Cellphone service, ergonomic furniture, new computers and other updates will be introduced to the Thomas Cooper Library over the next few years, but these additions won’t come cheap. Cellphone service will cost almost $45,000 to accomplish, a replacement PA system costs $12,000 and the cost of recarpeting a single floor is $175,000, according to Dean of Libraries Tom McNally.

In order to offset these costs, the library is hoping to solicit at least $15,000 through next year’s campaign. The collaboration between the Office of Annual Giving and USC Libraries began in 2008 and has collected more than $35,000 for the library, according to Assistant Director of Annual Giving Steve Farwick.

Most of this money, along with endowments from private donors, alumni gifts and state and university allocations, has gone to the library’s most recent repairs, including a full exterior face-lift, renovations of the lower-floor study rooms — paid with $1 million from the board of trustees — a refurnishing of the mezzanine and replacements for the building’s drinking fountains. McNally said library repairs in the past five years have totaled $9.1 million.

“The reality is libraries are changing dramatically because students use us in different ways than we used to,” McNally said. “We have to change constantly. Over one million people come through the library every year, and we’re doing our best to respond and keep up with student requests.”

Study rooms and new furniture have been in highest demand, McNally said, as the library has become a hub for group study.

Through class legacy donations, alumni gifts and estate plans, McNally hopes to create an official endowment fund to pay for yearly additions and renovations. The library currently works on a total budget of $15 million, but employee salaries and new resources whittle that amount down to about $1 million for needed repairs.

This year’s senior class leaves thousands of letters for McNally to personally sign, but he has high hopes that this year will rope in the largest amount received from a class so far. Annual collections from the Legacy Campaign have nearly doubled from $6,700 at the end of 2008 to about $12,000 at the end of 2010. So far, the class of 2011, the last of whom will graduate this December, has raised $11,458, according to Farwick. Whether the increasing giving trend continues depends on how much students notice the renovations.

The “Leave Your Mark at USC” email is still sitting in fourth-year political science student Anna Janosik’s inbox. She said that although she doesn’t use the library much for studying, she’s hasn’t ruled out giving up $20.12 before heading off to graduate school.

“The tech lounge has definitely improved the most since I’ve been here,” Janosik said. “They’ve done a good job in working with the space they already have.”

Fourth-year  Information Science student  Megan Coker, who has a particular affinity for the Thomas Cooper after four years of copious researching and studying “ in the stacks,” thinks the Senior Legacy Fund will be an effective way to continue keeping the library relevant and updated for the many students who use it.

“The library on the whole seems more dynamic than it was when I first became a student at USC,” Coker said. “I remember in Freshman year walking through the lower levels of the library without seeing anyone, now you can only go a few feet before seeing someone studying, reading, or working on a computer or… with classmates.”


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions