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April 21, 2004

Friends of the Library Announce Amount of Endowment Fund

Friends of the Library at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (FOL) held a special community celebration on Wednesday, April 21, in BellTower Books, located on the fourth floor of the ULM Library. At the event, FOL announced the amount of their endowment to the library and revealed a commemorative poster designed by a local artist especially for the event.

FOL presented a $110,000 endowment check to ULM President James Cofer. FOL has raised this money to help with regular funds for special purchases for the library, its operating fund, and The Friends Fellow, established to recruit scholars to utilize ULM's Special Collections materials in their research.

Cofer said, "We are grateful to the Friends of the Library for their contribution to this institution. Their organization and today's gift emphasize the importance of a library at a university. The ULM Library is a place where students and faculty come to learn, gather together, and further scholarly activity. With this gift, we can continue to make our library a comfortable and accessible place. We wish FOL much success in the future."

Following the endowment announcement, Dr. John Knesel, ULM associate professor of biology, officially opened the search for The Friends Fellow's third recipient.

BellTower Books, a resale bookshop, also held a book sale to celebrate BellTower Books' tenth year of operation. The shop is managed by volunteers and provides an ongoing source of income for the FOL organization.

Jason Nelson, a local artist and ULM graduate of the Visual Arts Department (now the School of Visual and Performing Arts), signed copies of his BellTower art print. In describing his creative process for the poster, Nelson said he wanted to add different elements to the familiar ULM belltower. "Everyone has seen the belltower, so I stretched it and colored it. Okay, we're talking about the written word here, so I put some Shakespearean text in the background," said Nelson. "The poster was about 60% done by this point but it looked too polished and 'photoshopped.' I added the very worn, canvas texture that makes up the figure and much of the middle to offset this look, giving it a more natural, traditional feel."

FOL is very pleased with the results of the artwork and is honored to have a ULM alumnus involved. "I think it's great that he is doing this as a ULM graduate. Now he's a professional in the community who is using his talents to give back to ULM through FOL," said Elaine Smith, President of FOL.

FOL is a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and financial support for ULM's Library. Building the endowment fund is one of their primary goals. Smith noted, "The Friends of the Library board members are unanimous in the goal to grow the Library Endowment as a means to help build a collection for the future. Some contributions are specifically given with the stipulation that the gift will be added to the endowment fund." FOL has made additional contributions in the past.

FOL memberships are available in the shop or at the Library Office. For additional information, please call the University Library office at 342-1050.

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