Support the Libraries

Photo of students using the study tables in Olin Library

With more than five million books and other holdings and 9 libraries on three campuses, the University Libraries are the academic heart of Washington University. Because the Libraries support scholarship in each and every discipline taught here, gifts to the Libraries benefit the entire University community and ensure that Washington University will maintain its level of excellence for generations to come.

No one graduates from the Libraries, but no one graduates without them.

  • Contact

    Department
    University Advancement
    Name
    Shannon Sowell
    Job Title
    Senior Associate Director of Advancement for University Libraries
    Phone Number
    (314) 935-5219

Click a link below to jump to more details about a specific giving opportunity:

Benefits of Giving

Friend $50-$99 annually

Friend Benefits:

  • Notices of library events
  • Subscription to the Libraries’ magazine Off the Shelf

Century Club $100-$999 annually

Century Club members are crucial to the success of Washington University Libraries, helping to build distinctive collections, support new technologies, and pioneer new programs and services.

Century Club membership begins when a donor makes an annual gift of $100 or more.

Levels of Century Club Membership

Century Club: $100 – $249
Century Club Fellow: $250 – $499
Dean’s Committee: $500 – $999

Century Club Benefits:

  • Library borrowing privileges (Contact Shannon Sowell to request a card)
  • Notices of library events
  • Subscription to the Libraries’ magazine Off the Shelf
  • Personalized virtual bookplates and online catalog entries, if applicable

Eliot Society $1,000 and up annually

Members of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society are leaders in supporting the Annual Fund, with unrestricted gifts of $1,000 or more each year. Eliot Society members become part of a like-minded network of people who believe in Washington University and work to maintain its continued excellence. The members of the Libraries’ Eliot Society support the critical mission of the University Libraries.

Levels of Eliot Society Membership

Member: $1,000 – $2,499
*Fellow: $2,500 – $4,999
*Benefactor: $5,000 – $9,999
*Patron: $10,000 – $24,999
*Danforth Circle: $25,000 or more

Eliot Society Benefits:

  • Library borrowing privileges (Contact Shannon Sowell to request a card)
  • Notices of library events
  • Subscription to the Libraries’ magazine Off the Shelf
  • Personalized electronic bookplates and online catalog entries, if applicable
  • A campus parking sticker (upon request)
  • Limited use of the athletic complex
  • An invitation to join the Whittemore House faculty club
  • Invitations to annual events: Family Night and Eliot Society Dinner

*Eliot Society members at the Fellow level and above receive exclusive invitations to special Eliot Society events.

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.

How It Works

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 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 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 Libraries’ Legacy of Books program.

How It Works

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

For all gift opportunities above, please use this form or contact Shannon Sowell.