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Dana Library receives $180,000 grant to create two media-rich learning spaces

February 19, 2013

 The John Cotton Dana Library, at Rutgers-Newark, is already a 'hot spot' on campus for diversity research, the study of jazz, and wide-ranging academic support. The library will soon boast another feature, certain to attract broad interest - two new group learning spaces equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia resources.

In the fall semester the library was notified that it received a $180,000 grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to create two multimedia group study spaces on the first floor of the library. One group study space will focus on multimedia production, with a widescreen LCD panel and workstations with multimedia authoring and editing software for digital productions. The other group study space will focus on collaborative teamwork, with a SMARTboard and workstations with business presentation software for collaborative presentation design. Both rooms will boast comfortable furniture, easily accessible power and data ports, and cutting-edge computer equipment.

The new multimedia group study rooms, slated to be completed in December 2013, will be uniquely positioned to also draw on preexisting strengths of the library. Both rooms will be located near the library's reference desk and the computer lab, allowing users to consult with reference librarians and computer lab staff and to learn about digital resources that might support their projects.

The Booth Ferris Foundation, based in Dallas, Texas, was established under the wills of Willis H. Booth and his wife Chancie Ferris Booth. Willis H. Booth was vice president of both the Guaranty Trust Company and Hotpoint Electric Heating Company. The foundation set up in his and his wife's names makes grants primarily for education, smaller colleges, and independent secondary schools, with some support for urban programs, social service agencies, and cultural activities.

Dana Library administrators worked closely with staff at the Rutgers University Foundation to secure this grant, drafting and refining a proposal that reflected the input of a number of partners within the Libraries and the Foundation. The Rutgers University Foundation also served as the primary contact with the grants administrator at the Booth Ferris Foundation. The grant to the Dana Library is the first award Rutgers has received from this foundation in over 20 years and only the second grant ever received from the foundation at the university.

Assistant Chancellor and Director of the Dana Library, Mark Winston, the Principal Investigator on the grant, noted the key role that Jennifer Smith, who oversees Corporate and Foundation Relations for Rutgers-Newark, played in securing this important source of funding.

The Dana Library looks forward to welcoming students to use these exciting new study spaces starting in the spring 2014 semester. The Rutgers University Libraries are grateful to the Booth Ferris Foundation for their gracious support of this project.