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Release: July 27, 1999

Fund honors UI Librarian by supporting innovation

IOWA CITY–The University of Iowa Libraries has created The Fund for Libraries Innovation, Service, and Entrepreneurship, an endowment to fund unique pilot projects which improve or expand UI Libraries services.

The planned $100,000 endowment is in honor of Sheila D. Creth, UI Librarian who has headed the UI's Main Library and 11 branch libraries since 1987. Creth, a supporter of collaborative efforts and innovative programs at the Libraries, will resign at year's end to begin a career as a management consultant.

The fund will provide small grants to support creative and innovative efforts in library services. Libraries staff and UI retirees may apply for funds for pilot projects that are tested within single or multiple library departments. Grant applicants may choose a team approach involving faculty or students.

Bruce Johnson, professor of accounting, and Libraries board member, has led the effort to establish the endowment in Creth's name. Johnson says Creth brought "tremendous energy, enthusiasm and vision to the task of leading the UI Libraries into the next millennium.

"The fund serves to foster the values and vision that are at the heart of Sheila's approach to library leadership. What people outside the Libraries community may not fully grasp is that these accomplishments were largely due to the climate of innovation and excellence Sheila created within the organization," Johnson says.

To date, $36,000 of the $100,000 endowment goal has been reached, says Selden W. Smith, the UI Foundation's director of development for the UI Libraries. Additional fund-raising efforts will be undertaken by members of the Libraries' Advisory Board and by the UI Foundation.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private gifts to the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide support for a broad range of projects and programs at the University of Iowa.