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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Reed College a grant of $35,000 to fund the Orbis Consortium regional library services center. The funds will be used to plan a building that will house shared library materials, support preservation and digitization services, and provide office and meeting space for Orbis consortium staff.

"This facility will aid teaching and research by helping libraries share their collections, provide electronic delivery and fast retrieval of print originals, and ensure excellent environmental conditions for the long-term preservation of library collections," said John F. Helmer, executive director of Orbis, which combines the library catalogs of 20 Northwest public and private institutions of higher education. Orbis provides students, faculty, and staff with 48-hour delivery of materials from the shared collections of over 10 million books, sound recording, films, maps, and more.

Reed College librarian Victoria Hanawalt said, "The regional library services center project is a tremendous opportunity to build on the remarkable record of effective collaboration of Orbis libraries."

Members of the regional library services center task force will work with the Orbis directors council to hire consultants to develop and review building plans, study development and operation of similar storage facilities, gather input from member libraries, and finally, select a building site. Once the planning phase is done, the consortium will proceed with design, development, construction, and occupancy of the facility.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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