Rallying community support for libraries
This celebratory year presents an unprecedented opportunity to highlight the critical role of the libraries. Leading the effort to engage support across the campus and beyond are Ann Brookshire '77 and Tav Lupton '79, members of the SMU Libraries Executive Board and co-chairs of the Central University Libraries (CUL) Campaign Steering Committee for The Second Century Campaign.
Both believe the proposed renovation of Fondren Library Center is long overdue.
"Have you seen the library lately? It has not kept up with the vast improvements made elsewhere on campus," says Brookshire. "It needs to be a warm, inviting place while stepping forward into the next cycle of modern technology."
Lupton concurs: "Most of the infrastructure now in place pre-dates the digital era and needs to be upgraded to support evolving information needs and technology. Likewise, the importance of collaborative spaces was not recognized when the building was originally configured, and we need to enhance those areas."
Lupton, president of Lupshire Management Company Inc. and Lupshire Restoration Inc., traces his association with the libraries to graduate school, when he spent many hours doing research in Fondren Library Center. "I've been a supporter in the 20 years since."
Brookshire, a certified public accountant, brings a layered perspective to her role as advocate: she is an alumna and an SMU parent. She and husband Bradley W. Brookshire '76, who serves on the SMU Board of Trustees, are members of the Parent Leadership Council. Two sons have already completed degrees — Trent '01, who is currently enrolled in the Cox School of Business' Executive MBA program, and Wood '05, '11 — and a third, Cliff, is majoring in Spanish, finance and economics and will graduate in 2015.
All SMU alumni are library alumni, she says. "We all used a library at some point in our college years, so we all have a stake in ensuring a healthy future for the libraries."