Message from the Friends of Morris Library

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Morris Library is the beating heart of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale academic community.  It is among the top research libraries in the nation with well over three million books and other items, access to thousands of scholarly journals, collections of unique and rare and historical materials, state-of-the art teaching facilities, and a dedicated faculty and staff.  Not only are the collections and services heavily used by on-campus SIU students and faculty, they are also accessed in person and electronically by scholars from around the world.  Truly, Morris library serves the academic needs of a 21st century university by helping students to learn, assisting in the scholarly research of faculty, and providing service to the local community, state, and world.

I urge you to come and see for yourself what an incredible asset our library is to the university.  On floors six and seven, you will find advanced facilities for teaching, testing, and tutoring.  For example, if a student is taking a math class (calculus or below) those classes are being held in one of the advanced high-tech classrooms on floor six.  Further, students can also work independently in the math lab on that floor right near the classrooms.  On the seventh floor you will find Learning Support Services, a state-of-the-art testing facility, group-study rooms, collaborative study spaces, and a teleconferencing area.  The library’s collections, in the basement and on the other floors, include millions of books, journals, government documents, an extensive map library, and the papers of prominent Illinois politicians.  After touring the library, I would suggest that you stop for a cup of coffee and perhaps a snack at Delyte’s Café on the ground floor.  You may also want to visit the new patio on the south-east corner of the building which is furnished with artifacts from the Old Main and Old Normal buildings.  This patio, a quiet refuge for students and staff, was built with funds raised by the Friends of Morris Library.

The Friends of Morris Library organization is dedicated to the promotion and support of Morris Library.  The Friends organization provides financial resources and outreach dedicated to enhancing the library’s collections, programs, personnel, and services.  We call these resources the “Essential Extras.”  The Friends of Morris Library helps provide the essential extras that allow SIU students to excel academically, graduate on time, and achieve their dreams.  Many of the essential extras that mean so much simply cannot be funded out of the library’s regular operating budget.  The Friends are able to do this by raising funds through the annual fund raiser, book sales, and donations from members.  Over the past several years the Friends have sponsored many events at the library, including support for a number of special exhibitions and other projects.  The Friends also funded the restoration of antique art and picture frames, purchased much-needed items for the collections, and funded the acquisition of new equipment such as an advanced microform reader, support for the library’s 3-D printers, and a new scanner for the Interlibrary Loan department.  Importantly, the Friends organization is also supporting tenure-track faculty travel to professional meetings.

Why not join the Friends of Morris Library? It’s easy and so very rewarding, simply fill out our online application form (PDF format). Also, you can contact Toi Hatcher at toih@foundation.siu.edu or by calling 618-453-6742 to learn more about how you too can become a part of this active and vital organization.

Thank you.

Rob Jensen, President
The Friends of Morris Library