How You Can Help the Libraries

Securing public funding for construction of the Fenwick Library addition, which opened in January 2016, was a huge boost for the university. Now comes the challenge of providing long-term endowments and meeting ongoing costs for essential services through private philanthropy.

Fenwick is just one of five libraries at Mason. Others are the undergraduate-focused Gateway Library, the law school library, and the facilities at the Arlington Campus and the Science and Technology Campus. Together they receive nearly two million visitors annually. Last year alone library staff taught more than 1,100 instructional sessions, reaching nearly 22,000 participants. And the level of digital access is incredible: 7.5 million database searches annually, for example, and 4.6 million article downloads from electronic journals.

Just as today’s libraries serve many purposes, so too have librarians themselves evolved to meet an array of student and faculty needs. No longer just researchers and organizers, they are now called to be digital experts, trainers, and cultural translators. And they need support for all of these roles. As a critical component of the Faster Farther campaign, Dean Zenelis and his staff have identified five major funding priorities:

  • Expanding the depth of research —includes enhancing digital and print materials, such as journals, subscriptions, electronic databases, and other knowledge resources. Need: $1 million
  • Strengthening the undergraduate experience —includes modernizing the Gateway Library at the Johnson Center, making it a technologically rich facility that is welcoming and conducive to learning. Need: $500,000 
  • Building a Digital Scholarship Center —includes improved cyber-infrastructure for Fenwick and support for student and faculty digital projects. Need: $500,000 
  • Supporting university and community outreach —includes public programs such as lectures, seminars, and exhibitions to firmly establish the library as the center of intellectual life on campus. Need: $500,000
  • Preserving rare and unique collections —includes support for the Special Collections Research Center, with its growing collections of 10,000 rare books and 600 archives and manuscript collections, as well as an expanding set of “born-digital” materials. Need: $500,000

Librarians like to say that “no student graduates from the library, but every student uses the library to graduate.” In fact Mason’s students, faculty, and researchers rely on the library’s resources every day. That means that every endowment established and every dollar contributed is a vote of confidence in them and in their promising futures.

Support the University Libraries

The library offers philanthropists a wonderful array of naming opportunities at every level for student study rooms, resource centers, gathering spaces, exhibition galleries, and more. To make a gift or to discuss giving opportunities, please contact Kathleen Kehoe, Director of Development, at 703-993-8740, or by email at