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University Libraries receives largest gift to date

The University of Toledo Libraries has received a bequest of $500,000 from the estate of Dorothy MacKenzie Price. It is the largest gift in the libraries’ history.

The donation will provide an endowment to support a model classroom in Carlson Library and staffing in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections.

Dorothy MacKenzie Price, shown here seated by Vern Snyder, former UT vice president for institutional advancement, gave a bequest of $500,000 from her estate to University Libraries.

Price, a UT alumna and supporter of many University programs, died in 2016. She provided the funds in her will to create a state-of-the-art classroom in the library. The model classroom is part of the current renovations underway on the second floor of Carlson Library. The classroom will be used as a space for instructing students on how to access and use both basic and advanced library resources.

“This room will be instrumental in helping us introduce students to college-level research, especially in how to use the many electronic resources we have available in the library,” Barbara Floyd, interim director of University Libraries, said.

Floyd added the technology will connect UT students to the resources, and librarians will provide instruction on how to best utilize these resources in the research they are completing for their classes.

“Students who know how to use the library effectively are more successful in their academic careers,” she said.

Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive president for academic affairs, added, “The library is central to student life and student success, and this gift will further enhance our libraries’ ability to serve our students.”

In addition to $100,000 to support the classroom, an additional $400,000 will serve as an endowment to support staffing in the Canaday Center. The center houses more than 15,000 feet of unique manuscripts and archival material, and 30,000 rare books.

“Organizing, preserving and making available special collections materials is labor-intensive,” Floyd said. “To have additional funding to help provide the staff to complete this work will allow us to more effectively serve our patrons — some of whom travel to the center from around to world to use our collections.”

The Canaday Center is responsible for collecting personal papers and organizational records that primarily focus on documenting the history of Toledo and northwest Ohio. Among the center’s most important collections are records documenting the history of the glass industry in Toledo, which includes 1,000 linear feet of materials from Toledo’s glass corporations.

The center also is one of the national leaders in collecting materials that document the history of people with disabilities. These include many local organizations such as the Ability Center of Toledo, Bittersweet Farms, and the now-defunct Toledo Hearing and Speech Center, as well as collections that document disability history nationally.

“These funds from Dorothy MacKenzie Price will be instrumental in helping us to continue our mission of preserving rare and unique materials and making them available to researchers,” Floyd said.