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A Wish for the GW Libraries

“I learned more about research, resourcefulness, and common sense working behind the circulation desk than in any of my classes.” says former Eckles Library student staff member Michelle Bradbury, BA 2011.  “I made friends, met mentors, and learned what was important for a successful worklife. Eckles wasn't the place I went to make money, Eckles was my home away from home. My boss and my coworkers were my family and support system. Working at Eckles was the most worthwhile part of my college education.”

Student staff members are vitally important to the daily work of the libraries.  Much more than just checking out books, student staff is the public face of Eckles.  They provide a friendly introduction to the resources and technology available to freshmen and assist graduate students getting started with their research.   Student staff further provides backup for the building and the safety of the patrons within, a responsibility that teaches student staff members valuable leadership skills.  It is because of these hardworking students that we are able to keep Eckles open 119 hours per week.   

With the launch of the GW Libraries’ new Wish List on our website, your philanthropic support can assist us in providing valuable work experience for GW students, and filling a vital role for our patron service. The Wish List highlights a rotating group of items that have been carefully selected by our librarians. This includes print and electronic materials, digitization projects, and student positions.

Freedom Riders MapSeveral Wish List items would provide important academic resources for interdisciplinary research and scholarship on topics as diverse as the history of go-go music, the civil rights movement, and an early nineteenth century view of the Holy Land.  For instance, helping us to purchase the digitized microfilm collection, We Were Prepared for the Possibility of Death, Freedom Riders in the South, 1961-1962 would enable faculty and students to access primary materials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including timelines for freedom rides; correspondence between the FBI, White House, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy; informant reports from inside the Ku Klux Klan organizations; and local and state police reports.  These rich research materials would foster innovative scholarly research by students and faculty in a range of disciplines, including history, American studies, political science, and Africana studies.

The list of items on the Wish List will continue to change and evolve, as items are acquired and future opportunities are identified. To learn more about how to support the work of the GW Libraries, please contact us at gwlibdev@gwu.edu or 202-994-8928. 

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