Libraries provide the link between individual people and humanity's recorded knowledge. Collegiate study and academic research in the modern world requires library resources-lots of them. The Paul Meek Library is the one educational department on campus that has no alumni. In order to maintain first-rate service, the Library must rely on financial help from all university alumni and friends.

The Challenge

The volume of human knowledge is expanding so quickly that it is virtually exploding. Unfortunately, price increases for every type of library material, service, and environment, far exceed the general inflation rate. Continual reinvestments in electronic technology represent a perpetual cost, as do maintaining the buildings that house them. At the same time, we must preserve the materials we already have for future generations. In light of the "electronic revolution," real-life figures would surprise you.

% increase
Dodge Dakota truck
Taco Bell taco salad
Oil & lube
Average cost of book*
+ 9%
Average periodical
*Bowker Annual, 1991, 2001

Two hundred years ago colleges could flourish only on the tuitions paid by their students. As economics became more complicated in the 19th century, it was in a community's best interest to support local institutions publicly. For much of the twentieth century that mix of tuition dollars and public funding was adequate. No longer. Since the 1990s the costs of maintaining a physical facility, staffing classrooms with qualified instructors, and keeping laboratory and library resources adequate to make education a practical exercise, have outstripped traditional sources of support. Education benefits communities as well as individuals, but the investment comes at a cost. The strength of private support is an essential element of our goal of maintaining excellence and enriching learning at UT Martin, and its importance is growing.

The Response
In the face of its challenges, the Paul Meek Library prefers long-term solutions, which is why we seek your support. We work to maintain student access to up-to-date resources by participating in cooperative agreements with other libraries, purchasing and distributing materials in electronic formats, and maintaining a current body of research in various print media. Here are specific ways you can help.

<Gifts and Transfers>
<Honors and Memorials>
<Bequests and Endowments>

If information is the currency of the future, then today's students need to know how to acquire and budget wisely. Traditional funding for higher education is declining at the same time that the volume of potential library resources are skyrocketing. Corporate executives who can make substantial donations make a tremendous, visible difference to the school and its mission, but it is the pooled small contributions from "middle Americans" that together make biggest difference. Your gift to the Paul Meek Library benefits not only your son, granddaughter, or neighbor, but the students who come forever after them. Generous donor support is crucial to maintaining educational excellence at UT Martin. Please, invest in the Future.

<Gifts and Transfers> Do you have books you no longer need?
The library gratefully accepts book donations for its collection. We carefully consider all materials donated by faculty, students, and community members. Please think over these few guidelines before making a donation:
· The Meek Library supports an academic institution. Are the books written and presented on a level that would inform college students?
· Are the books current? If not, are the subjects still important today? Books in art, history, or politics probably are; business or computer books or old encyclopedias, for instance, probably are not.
· We hold material for a very long time. Is the overall condition good enough that items can be handled frequently? Will it cost more to fix them than the items may be worth?
· "Leisure reading" books like novels, particularly paperbacks, may be gifts more appropriate for a public library.
· We do not buy every book published, and we cannot keep everything that we are given, either. If your books do not fit the demands made on our collections we may sell, trade, or give them elsewhere.
· Unless you are within a few minutes driving distance of Martin and have a large number of books, the Library staff typically cannot pick up gift donations.
Here is how you can make a material gift
If you feel your potential gift meets these terms, contact our Acquisitions librarian to describe your books, and arrange to meet a librarian when you come. Should you have a large number of books (more than a couple hundred) or very valuable ones, a little extra advance time would be appreciated. Specific laws and documentation requirements often apply to such donations; we can help with that. You can reach the Library's main office at 731)587-7071 or email us at ___
It Makes a Difference
One gift allowed us to replace many out-of-print, well-worn standard books on the Civil War and World War II in the circulating collection with copies in better condition. Special Collections acquired a nearly complete set of local telephone directories from the 1950s from one thoughtful donor. A professor's weeding of his office shelves netted over 400 scholarly books on the world's history and politics. It all adds up.

<Honors and Memorials> Sponsor books or a journal to commemorate any occasion.
Celebrate someone's graduation, mark a birthday, recognize an achievement, or honor a retiree! Groups or individuals may suggest specific books (subject to library approval), specify a discipline or topic, or choose a title from the library's want-list. A gift bookplate in the book names the donor (if an individual), the occasion, and the person or event being honored. A card notifying the individual that a book has been given in their name is sent. Larger bequests can also be made.
The adopt-a-journal program applies the same gift principle to specific periodicals, over a specific length of time. You may underwrite the annual subscriptions to one or more of the academic journals, trade publications, or leisure-reading magazines that the library has or wants in its collection. To limit bookkeeping costs, we do ask that such gifts cover subscriptions for three or more years. When the issues are bound at the end of the volume, a bookplate with the donor's name is placed in the front, as with a book gift.
Contributions may be made to the Library's general endowment, as well. There your gift joins other contributions in an endowment to provide updated material for the collection. A memorial gift to the general endowment will still have a gift card sent to the individual in whose honor the donation was made. Gifts may consist of cash in any amount, or convertible securities.
Here is how you can make a memorial in someone's honor.
<link to contribution page>
It Makes a Difference
Friends and neighbors contributed over $2,000 to buy books for the Regional History Room in memory of Virginia C. Vaughan.

<Bequests and Endowments> Would you like to really make a difference?
Perpetual gifts-bequests and endowments-have become the keys to maintaining current library and research resources. With a substantial gift you may specify support for library purchases in a particular area of study, enlarge an established purchase fund, or support a specific activity or need. For instance, due to the generosity of several donors, Special Collections is now fully funded, except for its professional staff positions. Details can be arranged many ways. Establishing such generosity properly involves the library but needs to involve the University Advancement office as well, since they coordinate gifts to the University. They can advise in tax-advantage matters, donating or converting stocks or securities, planned or deferred programs, or appreciating assets. Donors may specify the purposes to which income may be used, but when setting terms, please remember to leave the library latitude to respond to changing times and circumstances. Here are some specific needs that your gift might support.
· UTM Alumni Endowment Contributions of cash or convertible securities in any amount provide a permanent income-producing support for acquisitions. Income from the Endowment funds purchases for the general collections.
· Library Development Fund An annual-giving opportunity that supports annual library purchases directly.
· Preservation endowment Preservation is always an important issue to libraries. Currently the library needs to repair 40-60 volumes per week, representing a substantial cost. Income from an endowment for preservation will provide for the upkeep of print materials, and repairs, rebinding, and replacement of current material as merited, including the protection of new library acquisitions. As the major point of access to the world's intellectual record, libraries must also be preservers of that record. New generations of students and faculty must have on hand the books, journals, and reference material they need for learning and research. Your gift would help preserve the materials students use on a daily basis.
· Endowed positions Librarians teach students. Having knowledgeable, qualified library staff on hand to serve students and faculty is a vital campus asset. Ensure excellent services by endowing a position in the Library. Endowment income will be used to pay all or part of the position's salary and benefits, freeing budgeted funds to meet other pressing staff needs. Funding for new positions has become critical. Despite the demands for more service hours, greater implementation of technology, and increasing reference contacts, the number of library positions has remained static-which means overall effectiveness has declined.
· Facilities endowment Everyone thinks "books" but rarely ever "shelves" when discussing funding support, yet one of the most overlooked Library needs is capital improvements. A fund of this type would keep the University's capital improvements budget from being nickel-and-dimed to death! It would allow us to repair or replace furniture, acquire new shelving, make repairs and upgrades, modify or improve the environmental controls as necessary, rather than wait for improvement or repair requests to cycle through the University budget priorities. Unspent income would also provide a capital pool for financing major facility upgrades when needed. Help us keep the Paul Meek Library looking like the beautiful place it was designed to be.
· Acquisition endowments Acquisition endowments given by individuals or collectively by several donors provide the permanent means to acquire materials for future generations. A named library endowment may be established with an initial gift of $15,000 or more; income from endowments underwrites purchases of books, journals, microfilm, or other materials for the Library collection. Whether it funds print or electronic media, named library funds provide unique opportunities for ongoing support for specific disciplines, by type of material, or program interest. Books bought with endowment income have an identifying bookplate placed in each item purchased; periodicals carry the same plate when they are bound.
· Educational Resource-Support Endowments (ERSEs) This are funds pooled gradually from other academic contributions, and specifically endow library acquisition within a college's subject area. A percentage of the gift endowing a scholarship or professorship is transferred in the college's ERSE. Separate contributions are invited as well. This way a scholarship not only helps a student attend college, but also helps insure that they have appropriate materials from which to study. You can support all students in not only one discipline but also related ones, by contributing generously to specific ERSEs.
· Library Fund for Excellence Periodicals-academic journals, databases, and index/abstract services-are near the heart of collegiate education and many professions. Library subscriptions for a journal typically stand three to five times the cost of an individual subscription. Beyond that, in the past twenty years subscription prices have inflated dramatically, hurting the resource support that the library is able to offer academic programs. We have been forced to cut back severely the titles we want, just to meet rising costs for titles we must have. Gifts made to this fund specifically endow subscriptions to periodical literature and databases needed by students in their class work. Cash or convertible donations of any amount may be made.
It Makes a Difference
Income from the West Tennessee Banking Fund provides databases and other materials related to business and accounting. The Naomi Stover Ryan Fund supports general book purchases for the circulating collection. Income from the Corbitt Endowment allowed the library to acquire copies of virtually every edition of every book written by UTJC professor Harry Harrison Kroll (1935-1957), together with photocopies of his correspondence; thus, the Paul Meek Library now houses the definitive collection on Tennessee's most-published author of the 20th century and his work. The Harold and Maude Smith Endowment supplies materials and equipment for the publicly accessible Regional History room.