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Mary Irwin, Libraries Development Officer, Smith College

Elizabeth Myers,
Director of Special Collections, Smith College

In 2015, Smith College decided to rebuild rather than renovate the century-old main campus library. In this presentation, we will focus on the steps taken to educate and engage the extended Smith College community to raise funds both for the construction and the programming the new library made possible. While the college floated a bond for the entire $120 M project, central and library development staff were asked to raise $35M. When this was achieved one year into construction, the goal was raised to $45M. By the time the library opened, support worth $58.5M had been secured.

Speaker Bios:

Mary Irwin is responsible for building financial support for the Smith College Libraries and raising awareness about its strengths and needs with alums and others. She has managed the operations and activities of the Friends of the Smith College Libraries for 25 years. She works closely with the Dean of Libraries, senior staff and central development on library fundraising projects and donor stewardship, coordinating gifts for all library departments. Before Smith, she worked in corporate marketing in Paris and New York while also working as a French-English translator. She received her B.A. from Maynooth University in Ireland. Mary has attended ALADN conferences in San Diego, Boston and Fort Worth.

(Eliza) Beth Myers joined Smith College in 2014 as Director of Special Collections. She previously held positions at the Women and Leadership Archives in Chicago and the Walter Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in Detroit. She is currently a member and Vice President of the Society of American Archivist Foundation Board. Individually and as part of a team, Beth has raised 4.5M in funds while at Smith. Her current research interest is in grief culture as an extension of archival work.