That’s Rentertainment, one of the largest independent video rental stores in Illinois, closed on August 16, 2015 after 30 years of service. Local resident and university employee Dena Strong developed a plan, before the store closed its doors, to keep a portion of the store’s collection in the hands of local viewers.
Strong created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to acquire the collection. Her project got the attention of several university faculty members who contacted library cinema studies and media services specialist Robert Cagle about acquiring the films for the university.
The University Library gift funded an additional $26,000 to purchase all of the chosen titles after it became apparent the online campaign still did not have enough money to afford all of the titles.
Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Wilkin explained that the University Library found it essential to keep these rare titles accessible to the public.
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