21. July 2015 · Comments Off on 4 key points on the Andreessen & HP donation to libraries · Categories: Uncategorized

200px-Marc_Andreessen            200px-Laura_Arrillaga-Andreessen

(Photos from Wikipedia)

One of the big stories that librarians will recall from May is the partnership between the Andreessens (Marc Andreessen and his wife Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen) with Hewlett Packard to donate roughly $170,000 worth of computers, printers and other equipment to public libraries in Ferguson and Baltimore. USA Today’s Jessica Guynn wrote a great article on this which is worth revisiting.

There were really 4 key points to the story for me:

1) Key philanthropists and influential members of the business community do care about libraries. This may be on account of positive experiences based on previous library use and or observing what libraries currently are doing to be of service in the community. To quote from Guynn’s article, “Arrillaga-Andreessen says her local library nurtured a lifelong relationship with reading and books. “Libraries were a safe haven and provided access to another world as we were growing up,” she said.”

2) Philanthropists and those in the business community care enough about libraries to want to make a meaningful contribution. In this instance the contribution is a six figure donation of computers, printers, and other technical equipment.

3) Positive connections made between the library and the philanthropist increase the likelihood of effective philanthropic engagement. Equally important positive press about libraries and the great work they do will increase the likelihood of  philanthropic engagement. In this instance the Andreessens were “moved” by the work of librarians in Ferguson and Baltimore.

4) The question now is, how are libraries planning to keep engaging with philanthropists and the business community? Brainstorming how to continue to spread the news about the great work that libraries do should be something every librarian will want to think about.


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