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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Grant will allow the Reed library to sustain its long-standing leadership role among academic libraries in the information age

Portland, OregonReed College has received a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the school's integrated learning initiative. The initiative will unite Reed's information technology resources in a two-part project that includes the renovation and expansion of Reed's Eric V. Hauser Library and the construction of a new facility, the Educational Technology Center (ETC). The combined cost for the project is $15 million.

"The gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support the renovation and expansion of the college library," said Reed president Steven Koblik in announcing the gift. "It will have a powerful influence on learning and research for students and faculty at Reed and beyond."

"In addition," Koblik continued, "we consider the foundation's investment a sign of Reed's value as an educational leader in the Pacific Northwest. Reed is committed to being a resource for the region, not only by nurturing new generations of creative Northwest leaders, but also by lending the expertise and service of its faculty, staff, and students to others. We are thankful for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's vote of confidence in our efforts.

"We are also delighted that the Gates family has agreed to our naming the library's new reading room in their honor," Koblik said.

Outfitted for wireless and networked access to the internet, the Gates Reading Room will herald a new kind of library that functions as an information commons, where users can simultaneously access print and electronic materials.

In addition to the reading room, the $5.5 million, 16-month library project will address the overwhelming demands on current library space and usage by adding general study spaces and high-density shelving for print materials. A wired classroom for use in library instruction will also further integrate technology into library services.

The new ETC will house student computing labs, technology-rich classrooms, a multimedia center, a technology-based writing center, a public policy workshop, faculty and staff offices, and other technology-related services.

The building will include wireless network access and two student lounge areas specifically designed for wireless laptop and other mobile computing usage. Together the library and ETC will form a complementary set of resources that will enhance students’ academic experiences and contribute to more effective use of computing technology at Reed.

"We deeply appreciate the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in helping to fund the integrated learning initiative," said Reed's college librarian Victoria Hanawalt. "It is especially gratifying that the foundation has recognized the Reed library's important role in supporting the college's academic mission and in enriching the resources available in the Northwest.

"Careful assessment of our program goals remains an ongoing priority for the college," Hanawalt continued. "We look forward to sharing our experience with other libraries and consortia so that this project can inform and enhance other integrated learning environments, both public and private."


Founded in 1908, Reed College in Portland, Oregon, is a recognized leader in the thoughtful integration of information technology into the higher education environment. The four-year, private, residential, nonsectarian college of liberal arts and sciences has an enrollment of approximately 1,300 students.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to improving people's lives by sharing advances in health and learning with the global community. Led by Bill Gates's father, William H. Gates, Sr., and Patty Stonesifer, the Seattle-based foundation has an asset base of $23.5 billion.

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