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12th Annual Dinner in the Library Focuses on ‘Building for the Future’ Sept. 18

Dinner set in iconic Geisel Library building benefits UC San Diego Library’s greatest needs


  • Sherilyn Reus and Jade Griffin

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  • Sherilyn Reus and Jade Griffin

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Image: UC San Diego Dinner In The Library

The University of California, San Diego’s 12th annual Dinner in the Library will take place Friday, Sept. 18 in the university’s iconic Geisel Library building. The event, which is open to the public, will celebrate the theme “Building for the Future,” with proceeds supporting the UC San Diego Library’s collections, services and learning spaces. Festivities will include dinner and cocktails, a silent auction and a keynote talk from Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library.

“The UC San Diego Library plays a vital role in supporting the university’s world-renowned research and instruction,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Private support from Dinner in the Library helps ensure that the Library remains at the leading-edge of the nation’s academic libraries. We are pleased to have Sarah Thomas of Harvard Library join us to share her insights on the enduring value and impact of libraries.”

Image: Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library

Sarah Thomas

Dinner in the Library attendees will hear from Thomas on a topic that is of critical interest to readers and lovers of knowledge and libraries. Her talk, “Back to the Future with the Brave New Library,” will focus on how libraries are changing to meet evolving scholarly and public needs in new and often unexpected ways. Before joining Harvard in 2013 to head the university’s vast library system, Thomas served as Bodley’s Librarian, overseeing the libraries of the University of Oxford, including the renowned Bodleian Library, which dates back to the 12th century. She was the first woman and non-British citizen to hold Oxford’s head librarian position, and published “The Bod Squad” in Transforming the Bodleian (2012), detailing her experiences. Previously, Thomas served as the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University.

“We are thrilled to host Sarah Thomas for a talk addressing the future of libraries in the digital age,” said Brian E.C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian. “Like many libraries across the nation—and around the globe—we see library facilities and resources being used just as much as in the past, but in different ways. It is critical that academic libraries such as the UC San Diego Library continue evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our students, scholars and researchers. I can think of few speakers, if any, better suited than Sarah Thomas to expound upon this evolution—and to do so with wit and grace.”

The UC San Diego Library provides access to more than seven million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the intellectual needs of scholars, students and community members. Library users have 24/7 digital access to almost 600,000 e-books, 42,000 e-periodicals and about 300,000 items from the Library’s digitized local collections.

With a lead gift from Audrey Geisel, the UC San Diego Library recently launched the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative to update and enhance key interior spaces of the Geisel Library building. With additional support from alumni and friends, the project will ensure that the Geisel Library is as inspiring on the inside as it is iconic on the outside, continuing to function as a vital and innovative facility that enables UC San Diego’s talented students, faculty, and staff to excel.

In addition to Thomas’ talk, the evening will also feature the presentation of the Geisel Citation for Library Philanthropy. The 2015 recipients are the late Kenneth and Dorothy Hill, who were longtime supporters of the UC San Diego Library and the campus as a whole. Their substantial gift to the UC San Diego Library of some 500 rare volumes formed the nucleus of The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, now widely recognized as the world’s most extensive gathering of publications documenting early voyages of exploration and discovery in the Pacific. Housed in the Library’s Mandeville Special Collections, the Hill Collection now comprises more than 2,000 works dating from the 16th century to the mid-19th century. The maps and charts it contains, along with its anthropological, botanical, and zoological reports, continue to have international scholarly impact. In recognition of the Hills’ support of the Library and its Special Collections, the main reading room in Mandeville Special Collections is named in their honor. Nearly four decades after their initial gift in 1974, the Hills’ generosity is continuing to make an impact on scholarship and learning at UC San Diego.

Sponsors of the 2015 Dinner in the Library include: Audrey S. Geisel/San Diego Foundation/Dr. Seuss Fund; Don and Maryann Lyle; Diane and John Berol; Karen Dow; James M. Hall; UCSD Alumni; Dr. Joel and Nancy Dimsdale; Elsevier; The Evans Foundation; Standish and Theresa Fleming; Julianne J. Larsen and James Forbes; The San Diego Foundation; Union Bank; United Capital Financial Advisors, LLC; Dr. Ruth Covell; EBSCO Information Services; Phyllis and Dan Epstein; Pauline Foster; George and Alison Gildred; and Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg.

Tickets for Dinner in the Library are available for $225 per person or $1,800 per table. Cocktails and the silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and Thomas’ talk following at 7 p.m. For more information or to register for the dinner, please click here. RSVP by Sept. 8.

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