Bridging the Gap — Bringing Students, Faculty, and the Community Together
Cally Gurley, UNE’s special collections librarian, watches everyday as students come scrambling in and out of every campus building once they have been dismissed from their classes, but none more so than the library and gallery spaces in and around UNE’s campuses. “The Ketchum Gallery itself was only built in 2014 so it is relatively new. It was added to the front of the library and now it's the first thing that people see when they walk into the library. So that's a transformative experience for everybody,” she remarks.
These spaces serve as a bridge to connect students to the community and the immense resources available to them. There are thousands of journals and books at their disposal, librarians are always working with faculty to provide classes in researching techniques as well as providing new spaces for classes to be held, and students and faculty can also have their own works displayed. Additionally, the library provides students with a multitude of electronic resources, support staff, and even employment positions. The Ketchum Library alone employs about 30 student workers and both the Ketchum and Albplanalp libraries are normally open on a 24 hour basis throughout the year.
Gurley, also a regular donor to the university, has been a proud part of the changes regarding the library spaces. “It's much easier for me to make a gift as staff because I have my gift deducted directly from my paycheck. It's not huge, but it does add up. I've been here 19 years and it feels good to be able to contribute to the unbelievable diversity of programs that the university provides. When people make a gift, whether gifts-in-kind, such as fine art, or monetary gifts, they're contributing to the overall health of the institution. And the overall health of the institution makes it a better place for the newer students who are coming in, for the faculty and staff, and for all future students.”