From the University of Wyoming:
A $2.5 million gift from two University of Wyoming alumni who are staunch supporters of UW Libraries will create two programs: a campus reading program and a librarian position to work closely with the UW Honors College.
UW Reads aims to broaden the shared understanding of the world through the joys of a good book, and the Endowed Librarian for Academic Excellence position will serve as a liaison between the Honors College and UW Libraries, as well as overseeing the UW Reads program.
“Most people really don’t think about it in those terms but, whether you are an athlete or an art major, the library is a hub of learning, research and student life,” says Carol McMurry, donor, along with her husband, Pat Spieles. “Choosing to donate to the library was easy — it benefits every UW college and every UW student.”
Inspiring conversation and discovery, the UW Reads program is modeled on the Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts that supports dynamic reading communities across the nation. It’s based on the principle that larger conversations about shared ideas can transform communities.
Once the program is established, a book would be selected from a range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, which participants sign up to read. Based on the book, the program may include activities such as readers joining book discussions online or in person. Speakers, including the author of the book or subject matter experts, may be invited to visit campus. Panel discussions, film screenings and public readings also may be offered, and the number and type of events will evolve from year to year.
The Endowed Librarian for Academic Excellence position will support the mission and programming of UW’s newly established Honors College, as well as scholarship and student excellence in general. This person will serve as a liaison between the Honors College and UW Libraries, as well as the main point of contact for Honors College students and faculty for library services and resources. He or she also will promote collaborations with the Wyoming State Library, community college libraries and statewide public libraries.
The position also will teach colloquia in the Honors College; develop open educational resources for the Honors College in the libraries; and serve as a critical point person for students seeking essential library resources for their theses. The position will create exhibits and offer lectures and specialized workshops on library research or digital scholarship. He or she will assist with educational and research experiences at the American Heritage Center and will oversee undergraduate research awards.