Give to the library

A message from the director

Love books? Looking for a unique way to honor someone? Want to create a bit of immortality that will promote medical knowledge and keep your name in front of future generations? If you answered, "Yes!" to any of these questions, how about establishing a named book endowment to support the Cleveland Health Sciences Library?! For as little as $10,000 you can set up an endowment fund that will generate continuing income that the library will use to buy books, or journals, or electronic resources. You can specify the name of the fund and, if you wish, the format and the subject area of the materials that will be purchased. A bookplate with the endowment fund name will be placed in each item purchased, reminding readers of your generosity each time they open the book.

The Cleveland Health Sciences library is fortunate to have almost 25 such book endowments already established or in process. Almost all of them have been established by members of the Cleveland Medical library Association, or faculty of Case Western Reserve University's health sciences schools. Several have been established as memorials to family members who were closely associated with the library. The market value of the funds ranges from $10,000 to over $150,000, and collectively they generate over $55,000 in earnings each year. Those earnings are used almost exclusively to buy textbooks and specialized monographs for both the Allen Memorial Medical library and the Health Center library collections, though occasionally the funds are used to buy journals in the appropriate disciplines. If the resolution is broad in scope, the library even applies a fund's earnings towards licenses for electronic resources!

Book endowment funds have become an increasingly important source of revenue for the library. Although they generate about 2% of the library's annual revenue, they provide the only continuing support for discretionary purchases of individual books. Journal subscriptions and database licenses consume virtually the entire operating account materials budget, leaving no money for anything else. Another special feature of book endowments is that the earnings can carry over from one fiscal year to the next, allowing the library to "save up" for a special, expensive set of books.

The principal can be built up over time until the $10,000 minimum is reached. All that is required is paperwork stating that the intent of the gift is to create a book endowment, and all contributions will be held in a special account that will grow as deposits are made. If such an account is established in memory of someone, friends and family of the deceased may make donations at any time. When the minimum is reached, a resolution will be drafted and sent to the Case Board of Trustees for approval. Moreover, contributions can continue to be made to an established book endowment. Some families make annual contributions to an endowment. Others set a goal of $40,000 or $50,000 and continue to add to the principal until their goal is reached. Others make small gifts in honor of a family member's milestone birthday or anniversary. Such contributions result in increased earnings for the library immediately, and we welcome such "midcourse corrections."

This information was originally provided by Virginia Saha, who retired on March 7, 2014. The library looks forward to working with all individuals and businesses interested in promoting health sciences education. Should you be interested, please contact me, Kathleen C. Blazar, M.S.L.S., the Interim Director, at 216.368.1361 or by email to

Other funding opportunities

Health Center Library 40th Anniversary Buy-A-Byte fund >>

Case Western Reserve University >>

Cleveland Medical Library Association >>

Dittrick Medical History Center >>

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing >>

School of Dental Medicine >>

School of Medicine >>