Geisel Family Gift Sires New Librarian Slot

    Audrey Geisel, philanthropist and widow of the late Theodor “”Dr. Seuss”” Geisel, has continued her long-running support of the UCSD Libraries with a $1-million donation – the largest the system has received in its history.

    The gift will inaugurate the Audrey Geisel University Librarianship, a position for which Geisel handpicked UCSD’s current chief librarian, Brian E.C. Schottlaender.

    The librarianship entails the creation of a permanent fund that will serve the 10 campus libraries. The funds will allow Schottlaender to obtain rare materials and recruit needed staff.

    Geisel and her late husband have made many previous donations to the UCSD library system in their efforts to improve literacy. Now, Geisel serves her late husband’s legacy as the president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. She has previously donated approximately 8,000 of her husband’s original works, which can now be found in the Mandeville Special Collections Library inside Geisel Library.

    Geisel Library, which was known as the “”Central Library”” until 1995, was renamed to acknowledge the couple for their contributions to the library system.

    “”The UCSD libraries … are an invaluable resource for students, faculty and the community – a place where minds are inspired and enlightened to new heights,”” Geisel said in a press release. “”It is a great pleasure to help in enhancing these vital resources for the future.””

    Schottlaender said he foresees a great future for the UCSD Libraries. His 25 years of experience in the field of literature have earned him great recognition, and since 1999 he has served as the chair of the San Diego Library Circuit consortium. He has also served at the California Digital Library and UCLA.

    Of all the libraries in the UC system, UCSD’s libraries are ranked third in size with approximately 3.5 million works, outnumbered only by UC Berkeley and UCLA. Schottlaender referenced the strengths of the UCSD collection, which includes information about Southern California history, 20th-century American poetry and the Spanish Civil War. Schottlaender said he wants to obtain more materials in these areas, with the help of the funds from Geisel’s donation.

    However, building a substantial physical collection is not prioritized on the list of improvements for the system, Schottlaender said. Since UCLA is only about two and half hours away, materials can be moved from its library system to UCSD’s, significantly reducing the need for additions to the UCSD collection. Instead, Schottlaender said he is more interested in developing better online access to resources.

    “”It all comes down to access,”” he said. “”We’re trying to concentrate on digital delivery, and we’ve really been working on building our digital library collection. UCSD has that reputation for being innovative, and so we try new things to try to uphold that reputation.””

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal