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Give to Atkins Library

As the center of intellectual life at UNC Charlotte, the J. Murrey Atkins Library provides exceptional collections, spaces, services, and technologies to the more than 1.4 million students, faculty, and researchers who visit our library annually. We inspire innovation, support research, and cultivate scholarship by connecting people, ideas, and resources.

When you make a gift to Atkins Library, you invest in the future success of the 30,000 students we serve as well as help us support the research efforts of our renowned faculty. Please support the Atkins Library by contributing to one of the projects below. Your gift is deeply appreciated.

Join our Friends of Atkins Library program for a minimum gift of $49 per year.

 Atkins Library has been added to the Amazon Smiles Charity List. Just like Amazon’s wedding and baby registries that you may be familiar with, Atkins has listed dozens of items needed in departments throughout the library. Currently, 33 items are listed, and more will be added in the future. Prices range from $7 for a reusable heat resistant craft mat to $7,000 for a handheld 3D scanner. A donor goes to the list and picks one or more of the items to buy, then Amazon handles the receipt and ships items directly to us. 

Atkins Library preserves and shares the history of Charlotte. As part of this mission, we have been conducting oral history projects since the 1970s. Life and Legacy Personal Histories is a philanthropy program that offers the opportunity to support our community-engaged oral history projects while preserving your own family's history. 

  • Select a family member (or friend or colleague) whose stories and recollections you would love to preserve for posterity. 

  • We will conduct and record a 1-hour interview to professional standards. 

  • We will send the recording to the interviewee in a handsome package that includes instructions for the family on how to preserve the recording for generations to come. 

  • We request a gift of at least $1,500 to our oral history fund for each interview.

For more information on the Life & Legacy Personal Stories Philanthropy Program, contact Dawn Schmitz, Associate Dean for Special Collections & University Archives, or 704-687-1674. 

Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donors are encouraged to consult with their legal, tax, and financial advisors prior to making a donation.

Life & Legacy Personal Histories

Purpose of the Program

  • Supports our collections of rare books, maps, and manuscripts, which are used in course instruction, by scholars, and by the general public.

  • The library does not have a budget for conservation work or purchases of rare materials.

  • Promotes our mission as a large research university library.


Gifts fund professional services such as:

  • Protective, custom box for a rare book ($300-$500).

  • Repair of binding and pages for a rare book ($1,000-$5,000).

  • Conservation of large map ($3,000-$4,000).

Collection Development

  • Gifts of $1000 or more fund purchases of rare books that complement existing special collections and support both instruction and research.

Donors are recognized in the library catalog record.

There are numerous opportunities in Atkins Library to create a lasting legacy by naming a study room, a creative technology space, some comfortable seating, or even the Atrium after a person of your choice. Below are some ideas to consider.

Group Study Rooms
The Library offers nearly 60 Group Study rooms, most of which are equipped with a computer and a whiteboard to facilitate group learning and presentations. Students reserve rooms online, which keeps them occupied almost continuously during the academic semesters.

Area 49
Our technology-intensive area located on the second floor north called Area 49 includes the Visualization Lab, EZ Video Studio, Multimedia Lab, Gaming Lab, MakerSpace, and Teaching + Technology Theater (T3). Staff of the Technology Support Desk lends equipment and assists students in using the labs. The purpose of Area 49 is to give students the opportunity to integrate a variety of current and emerging technologies into their coursework and practice using technologies they will later use in the workplace.

Graduate and Silent Study Room
This space is dedicated to the unique needs of the University’s 5,000+ Graduate Students. Surrounded by glass walls overlooking a beautiful campus vista, this recently-renovated space is a quiet haven for intense concentration. Graduate students can store materials in lockers and spread out on Google-like hoteling desks.

The Library’s three-story Atrium presents a grand space as patrons enter the building. While its main purpose is for student study, the furniture is purposefully versatile - allowing this space to be used for large events and exhibits. This is an iconic space that students will remember fondly as “their library.”

Atkins Library has built a reputation in the library profession for innovative thinking and cutting edge technologies. Endowed positions will allow us to attract and retain the best and the brightest minds to continue exploring new forms of scholarship and training the next generation of scholars. Below are examples of endowed positions in academic libraries.

Dean of the Library
As the Library’s Chief Executive, the Dean of the Library is a persuasive advocate, a coalition builder, and an influential spokesperson on national information policy matters. The Dean’s endowed title will contribute to the incumbent’s ability to create success in all these spheres.

Associate Dean of Special Collections and University Archives
As the leader of a priceless collection of rare and unique materials, the Associate Dean of Atkins Library’s Special Collections/University Archives plays a prominent role in the intellectual and cultural life of our region. High visibility is critical to the success of the incumbent in establishing and providing access to great collections.

Subject Specialist Librarians
The genius of Atkins’ approach to public service lies in the deep disciplinary knowledge of its librarians. Endowed subject librarian positions will help the library attract individuals whose ability to teach and advise is matched by their credentialed immersion in the subjects they represent.

While books are constantly evolving with regard to format, the essential mission of the academic library remains that of collecting, curating, and preserving the record of scholarship in any format for generations to come. We invite donations of any size to support the collections needs of a rapidly growing university. Our gift policy explains options for used and privately owned materials.

  • One-Time Funding Supporting Subject Area or Curriculum. EX: Funding for books for Engineering

  • One-Time Funding to purchase a specific resource EX: Purchasing a primary source database of historical newspapers.

  • Fund an endowment to purchase materials every year EX: Create an Endowment dedicated to purchasing books and ebooks for the collection.

In our Spring 2019 student survey, students requested that our group study rooms be renovated with new furniture and technologies. As part of the Library's strategic plan to "continuously seek to increase/renovate collaboration and quiet study space," five first-floor group study rooms were renovated with new paint, writable walls, furniture, and technology including screens with Air Media wireless presentation technology. These study rooms are always the first ones reserved each day and are the most heavily used in the building.

The cost is $12,500 per room, which can be spread over three annual payments.

Renovated Study Room

Atkins Library seeks donations to support the purchase of emerging and prevalent technologies and equipment that can be circulated from or incorporated into Area 49 and our other services and spaces (including study rooms) for students to use in their coursework and to prepare them for future employment. We must continuously refresh and update the equipment we offer to students to keep up with wear and tear and changes in technologies. We want to work towards an endowment for this purpose. Atkins is every UNC Charlotte student's source for technology learning, experimentation, ideation, creation, and mastery.The library makes available the technologies that students incorporate into their academic work and prepare to use in the workplace. 

Want to celebrate a loved one, colleague, or friend who has/had a passion for knowledge and reading? The Honor with Books program enables you to recognize an individual through a permanent contribution to the J. Murrey Atkins book or e-book collection that will support learning, research, and teaching for years to come. Each gift features a bookplate in the Library’s catalog. The appropriate subject specialist librarian will select a book or e-book matching the criteria you provide (normally a topical area). Honor with Books presents a unique opportunity for you to purchase a memorable and enduring gift to honor the individual you wish to celebrate and simultaneously make an impact on learning and research at UNC Charlotte.

  • Minimum of $150 per gift

  • Establish an endowment: $25,000

Each spring, the Library awards the Atkins Library Undergraduate Research Awards to student researchers as part of the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). A team of library faculty evaluate the projects on methodology, use of library resources, and recommendation by a faculty advisor. They select the winners of five awards of $1,000 each. The previous funding source for these meaningful awards disappeared after 2020. 

The Atkins Fellows program is an eleven-week paid summer residential fellowship for students at the mid-point of their Library, Archives, or Information Science degree program, or those within one year of having completed such a program. It provides each fellow with a work experience that is focused on professional-level tasks, with high levels of independence and creativity while also supporting Atkins Library's mission, goals, and initiatives. These fellowships give Masters in Library and Information Science students from ALA-accredited programs across the United States valuable, hands-on experience in an academic library.

Beginning in 2020, Academic Affairs ceased funding the program at $8,000 per fellow per summer. External funding sources would help re-launch this high-impact program.

Atkins Library employs nearly one hundred students each year to work throughout our buildings and gain job experience. We mentor our student assistants to become successful in their academic goals, in future careers, and in leadership. We would like to award a student with a scholarship each year. The estimated cost is $5,000 per year. An endowment of $25,000 would make this scholarship a permanent program.

Atkins Out Loud is an initiative sponsored by the J. Murrey Atkins Board of Advisors to give students, faculty, staff, and community members the opportunity to perform before an audience on campus. Individuals receive a $150 honorarium and groups receive a $300 honorarium sponsored by the Board, which goes to their department or student organization to be spent for the benefit of the students on sheet music, trips to perform, or other needs. Gifts of any amount will help students excel in their creative passions.

Atkins Out Loud - Indian Dance

UNC Charlotte authored books previously published by UNC Press in print could be converted to ebooks for about $500 each and stored in Niner Commons

Charlotte and UNC Charlotte: Growing Up Together
By Ken Sanford
Published 1996 (Since this one is older, it may not be possible to convert it, but we can look into it.)

Dean Colvard: Quiet Leader
Marion A. Ellis
Published 2004

The Making of a Research University: James H. Woodward and UNC Charlotte, 1989–2005
William Thomas Jeffers
Published 2016

If you would like to give an unrestricted monetary gift in any amount, please visit UNC Charlotte’s Make a Gift page and follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Access & Opportunity box

  2. Click Library

  3. Click Atkins Library Fund

  4. Click one of the boxes on the right for payment

If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to “UNC Charlotte Foundation," write the Atkins Library fund name in the memo portion of the check, and send it to:

UNC Charlotte
University Advancement -  Gift Processing Office
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

If you would like to discuss other ways to contribute to the collections, facilities, technologies, services, or programs of Atkins Library that support our students, faculty, and researchers, please contact Bob Price, Associate Dean of Planning, Innovation, and Engagement at 704-687-0490 / or Judy Lekoski, Director of Development at 704-687-0084 /