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Book Society seeks contributors for endowment

Nov. 12, 1998

BY ERIC GUEL

Reporter

Eric_Guel@baylor.edu

'Books are the treasured wealth of the world, the fit inheritance of generations and nations,' Henry David Thoreau wrote.

In keeping with the writer/philosopher's ideas, in November 1996, Baylor University Libraries established the Baylor Book Society.

A group of people at this year's homecoming contributed more than $3,000 to the society, said John Wilson, assistant professor and head of government documents.

The society is a way for people to honor and remember someone special by contributing $500, $1,000 or $1,500 to the society endowment. The gift to the endowment is never spent. However, the interest from the money is collected and used to purchase one new book annually.

'We're trying to make sure the next generation is taken care of,' Wilson said. 'We have very little endowment for the library, and this is a way to help those who will be here in the future.'

The group that donated $3,000 did so in memory of one of their friends who died a few years ago, Wilson said.

'I think that it helped to give a sense of closure to her family and friends,' he said. 'Her memory will live on. For years to come students will use the books purchased in her honor.'

Linda Cobbs, access services librarian, also said she believes it is important to monetarily support libraries.

'I've worked with Baylor for 23 years, and I'm aware of just how important the need for money is at the libraries,' she said. 'We need money to build our collection, buy new titles and replace old, worn-out books.'

Wilson said he believes the Baylor Book Society has been successful so far.

'To this point we have 114 members,' he said. 'So far this year we've had $19,295 donated to the endowment.'

Contributors to the society can donate the books purchased from the interest on their donation to any person they choose; parents, close friends, faculty, staff and even organizations.

Cobbs said she believes one of the most important things the society does is provide knowledge.

'Books do wear out but knowledge doesn't,' she said. 'The knowledge that these books provide will be passed on for years.'

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