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Support the Libraries

Photo of students using the study tables in Olin Library

Library Borrowing Privileges | Visiting the University Libraries | Giving Programs

No one graduates from libraries, but no one graduates without them. Washington University Libraries are the academic heart of Washington University. Because the University Libraries support scholarship in each and every discipline taught here, gifts to the University Libraries benefit the entire University community and ensure that Washington University will maintain its level of excellence for generations to come.

University Libraries Annual Fund Benefits

Century Club
Eliot Society ($1,000+)
Notices of library eventsxxx
Subscription to the University Libraries Off the Shelf magazinexxx
Library borrowing privilegesxx
Personalized virtual bookplates and online catalog entries, if applicablexx
A campus parking sticker (upon request)x
Limited use of the athletic complexx
An invitation to join the Whittemore House faculty clubx
Invitations to annual events: Family Night and Eliot Society Dinnerx

To learn more about supporting the University Libraries, please contact the Director of Advancement for University Libraries, Rebecca Wagner, at (314) 935-9680.

Library Borrowing Privileges

Library Card Benefits

  • Onsite usage of databases in any of the following libraries: Olin Library, East Asian Library, Brown School Library (Social Work), Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library, Al and Ruth Kopolow (Business) Library, Gaylord Music Library, and the Law Library.
  • Check out privileges of university books (reference items, course reserves, and Interlibrary Loans not included).
  • Online access only to reserve books for pickup.
  • Permitted to check out up to 25 books.

Who is Eligible for a University Libraries Card?

Please note: If you want to obtain a library card via your Annual Fund benefits, you must first make your gift through University Advancement. University Libraries staff cannot accept Annual Fund gifts onsite (cash, checks, or credit card).

  • Century Club donors who designate their gift ($100-999) to the University Libraries
  • All Eliot Society donors ($1,000 minimum)

Obtaining a Library Card

  • If you are a first-time University Libraries user, please bring a copy of your pledge or gift receipt to the Olin Library Help Desk. The staff will issue you a library card.
  • If you are renewing an existing card for the University Libraries, please bring a copy of your pledge or gift receipt to the Olin Library Help Desk. The staff will renew your library account.

Visiting the University Libraries

Please see our Maps & Directions page for help locating the Danforth Campus Libraries and those University Libraries not on the Danforth Campus; information on visitor parking availability, accessible transportation across campus, and more is also available on the Maps & Directions page. Please Ask Us if you have any questions.

Giving Programs

The Washington University Libraries have programs that offer donors a meaningful way to pay tribute to loved ones, friends, colleagues, and others.

Honor with Books

Washington University Libraries’ Honor with Books program is a substantive and lasting way to celebrate a graduation, anniversary, or birthday, or to memorialize someone.

For as little as $100, you can honor a family member, friend, colleague, teacher, or person of your choice. Each $100 increment funds the acquisition of one new book, selected by a Washington University librarian. The names of the honoree and donor will appear in the book’s online catalog entry with an electronic bookplate.

Gifts of all sizes make a difference, and both the donor and the University Libraries benefit.

  • $100-$199 purchases one new book and gives the donor a one-year membership in the University Libraries’ Century Club
  • $200-$999 purchases additional books (1 book for each $100)
  • $1,000 purchases 10 books and a one-year membership in the William Greenleaf Eliot Society
  • Larger gifts can be targeted for the purchase of selected collections or manuscripts for the University Libraries’ Special Collections Department
  • All gifts are tax-deductible
  • Notification of gifts can be sent to the honoree or the honoree’s family

Legacy of Books

Legacy of Books is a great way to express your personal love of books or to honor others for graduations, holidays, memorial tributes, retirements, birthdays, thanks, or any other special occasion. See our Legacy of Books Wishlist for items currently in need of support for preservation.

Preserve the Past. Protect the Future.

Imagine that the written record of human thought and endeavor was slowly disintegrating, eventually becoming unreadable. Today Washington University Libraries face that daunting dilemma, as age and use take a steady toll. If our extraordinary collections are to be passed on intact to future generations, we must act. Help us preserve our past and protect our future by giving to the University Libraries’ Legacy of Books program.

The Legacy of Books program extends the life of the University Libraries’ collections – not just books but also periodicals, manuscripts, government documents, rare books, and sound and moving image recordings. Repairs are done by the University Libraries’ Preservation Unit or by independent professional conservators.

A tax-deductible gift of $100 covers the cost of preserving one general collections library book or other item or reproducing it in another medium. Larger gifts cover multiple items or more costly conservation projects. Names of the donor and honoree will appear in the online catalog entry.

People who give to this program understand that keeping existing library materials available is as important as acquiring new library materials. Some give to express their love of books, other to memorialize someone, or to celebrate a graduation, anniversary, birthday, or other special events. This generosity helps the University Libraries conserve damaged or deteriorating materials faster and gets materials back in the hands of users.

  • $100-$199: Donors receive a personalized electronic bookplate in one book, with the name(s) you designate listed in the University Libraries’ catalog, and gives the donor a one-year membership in the University Libraries’ Century Club
  • $200-$999: Additional personalized electronic bookplates and online catalog entries (1 for each $100 increment), and gives the donor a one-year membership in the University Libraries’ Century Club
  • $1,000 or more: Option to select among Special Collections items for conservation, and a one-year membership in the William Greenleaf Eliot Society

Please use this form for all gift opportunities above or contact the Director of Advancement for the University Libraries Rebecca Wagner.