Drs. Paul and June Schlueter Fund and James E. Bryan ’31 Fund enrich Skillman Library
June Schlueter, Charles A. Dana Professor of English, and her husband Paul have established the Drs. Paul and June Schlueter Special Collections Fund through a major gift to Skillman Library. The James E. Bryan ’31 Library Fund has also been established by his estate.
The income from the Schlueter fund will be used to support a lecture series entitled “The Art and History of the Book.” The lecture series will encompass topics associated with “the history, culture, production, conservation, and collection of books, of all time periods, whether in manuscript, print, or digital form.”
“The book is an important, indispensable form of knowledge,” says Paul Schlueter. “It is a crucial technology that has brought our civilization to where it is.”
The lecture series, which will be inaugurated in spring 2008, will bring a speaker or panel of speakers to campus to discuss the role that books have played throughout history. These speakers will be selected by a committee headed by the Dean of Libraries and including the Special Collections librarian.
The fund could also be used for a major acquisition for Special Collections.
“A library is the college’s intellectual center,” says June Schlueter. “This series will give people the opportunity to learn about and celebrate the book.”
The fund has been designed in a way that it can also focus on the newer electronic expression of books. Paul Schlueter says, “The lecture series has any number of possibilities so it can adjust to changing technology.”
He also stressed the importance of supporting libraries. “The library is the center of a campus. It serves as a home-away-from-home where students can truly get an education.”
This is the second major gift to the library by the Schlueters, who were also donors to the library building fund. The Rare Books room in Skillman Library is named after them.
The income from the James E. Bryan ’31 Fund will be used for library acquisitions.
When he died this past May, Bryan was the oldest continuous member of the American Library Association, having joined in the 1930s and served as its president from 1963-1964. He also served as the president of the Public Library Association and the New Jersey Library Association and had served as Chairman of the Middle Atlantic States Library Association.
Bryan’s career was spent largely in public libraries. He served as Chief Librarian of the public library in his hometown of Easton and became Head of the Adult Lending Department of the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. He later served as Assistant Director and then Director of the Newark Public Library from which he retired in 1972.