Skip to main content

Supporting SILS 

Thank you for considering a gift to the SILS! Much of who we are and what we hope to be in the future results from the impact of private gifts from alumni and friends. Your support makes a difference in the quality of education we provide our students and the research our faculty continues to uncover.

Below are ways our donors have contributed to SILS, impacting students, faculty support, programming, and research. We are extremely grateful for the continuing support of our alumni and friends, whose contributions create opportunities and provide much-needed resources.

For more information about supporting SILS or to learn more about the impact your gift will create, contact Ty Cole, Associate Dean for Development, at

If you already know where you would like to direct your gift, feel free to visit the University’s secure online giving page.




School of Information and Library Science Fund (292901)

Gifts to this fund are unrestricted, which means they go to work immediately in core programs to support SILS students and faculty, as well as classroom and technology upgrades that facilitate learning and research.

Make Your Gift Now

SILS Student Emergency Fund (295931)
Gifts to this fund provide critical assistance to students facing unexpected financial hardship.
Make Your Gift Now
SILS Pantry (295938)
The SILS pantry provides food and toiletry items at no cost to SILS students who are facing food insecurity or who are simply in need. Donations are used to purchase supplies for the pantry.
Make Your Gift Now
BSIS Excellence Fund (295901)
Since its launch in 2002, the Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS) program has grown steadily both in numbers of students enrolled and in the breadth and depth of its curriculum. Employers quickly discovered our graduates have both the technological expertise and the interpersonal insights to become valuable team members and burgeoning leaders. Today, information science majors have one of the highest rates of success after graduation compared to students from other academic majors at Carolina. Top companies like Google, Credit Suisse, SAS, and AtlanticBT welcome our graduates, who find rewarding work in a variety of roles, including business analysts, UX (User Experience) architects, database designers, and information security specialists. To keep this momentum going, we need to continue investing in the program and our students. The BSIS Excellence Fund provides the resources to meet the demands of a program intrinsically tied to evolving technological and business trends.
Make Your Gift Now
Deborah K. Barreau Award for Teaching Excellence (292954)
Deborah Barreau was a masterful teacher, known for her dedication, commitment, and kindness. She was highly regarded by her colleagues and students for her exceptional mentoring skills and her ability to create a classroom environment that encouraged creativity and understanding. In addition, she was an internationally known scholar in the areas of information systems, organizational behavior, organizational communication, and personal information systems.

In February 2012, SILS renamed its Award for Teaching Excellence – originally established in 1995 – in memory of Dr. Barreau, who had received the award twice, as well as the Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).

The award recognizes one full-time faculty member and one adjunct faculty member each year. Students within the school nominated faculty and a selection committee, including recent recipients, the Dean, and student organization representatives, choose the winners, who are recognized at the annual SILS spring commencement ceremony.
Make Your Gift Now

Edward G. Holley Student Research Fund (292959)
A major figure in 20th century American librarianship, Edward Holley served his chosen profession as library administrator (director of libraries, University of Houston, 1962-1971), library educator (dean & professor, UNC School of Library Science, 1972-1985), and library historian.

He produced over 100 books, articles, and essays on topics as diverse as library biography, the history of library education, copyright, library administration, and the place of personal morality in public life. His contributions were recognized with almost every major professional award, most notably the ALA Melvil Dewey Award (1983), ALISE Award for Professional Contributions to Library and Information Science Education (1988), the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award (1988), and the Beta Phi Mu Award (1992).

As Dean at UNC, Holley implemented the doctoral program and the internship program with the Environmental Protection Agency Library, and provided the leadership for the master’s program to grow from 36 to 48 credit hours in a time of decreasing resources. Holley was named William Rand Kenan, Jr., professor in 1989 and held that distinguished appointment until his retirement at the end of 1995. In 1994, he was honored with a festschrift, For the Good of the Order: Essays in Honor of Edward G. Holley, the title bearing witness to his tireless professional devotion.

This fund provides student research awards, especially for expenses incurred for research on the master’s thesis.

Make Your Gift Now

ibiblio General Trust Fund (292967)
Directed by SILS Clinical Professor Paul Jones, is home to one of the largest “collections of collections” on the Internet. It is a conservancy of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. Its goals include expanding and improving the creation and distribution of open source software; continuing UNC-Chapel Hill’s programs to develop an online library and archive; hosting projects that expand the concepts of transparency and openness; and serving as a model for other open source projects. operates in partnership with SILS and Carolina’s Information Technology Services. To explore this resource further, please visit
Make Your Gift Now
Gary Marchionini Student Research Fund (295941)
In honor of Gary Marchionini’s stellar accomplishments in his more than 14 years as dean of SILS, the Gary Marchionini Student Research Fund has been created. The fund will encourage and support student research, particularly among undergraduates, by supporting expenses such as supplies, equipment, data access, and travel. 
Make Your Gift Now
Barbara Moran Global Fund (295905)
In 2017, Barbara Moran, Louis Round Wilson Distinguished Professor and SILS dean (dean from 1990-1998), retired after 30+ years of transformational leadership, teaching, scholarship, service and a commitment to leading inter-cultural dialogue within the library and information professions. The Barbara B. Moran Fund for Global Programs, the idea of several members of the School’s Board of Visitors, pays tribute to Moran’s career, and it will help SILS remain true to her vision of and commitment to global programs and experiences. The Moran Fund enables SILS to:

  • Create new global educational experiences for students, and
  • Build new global programs and further enhance the ones we have.

Here are two examples. There are more.

  • Our longstanding summer seminar programs in Prague and London show how a significant relationship can grow over time. Through the Moran Fund, we can develop new experiences— like our recently launched semester-long exchange program to Seoul, South Korea, and our Dublin program—for our BSIS, MSLS and MSIS students.
  • The fund will also enable us to build new programs that advance the SILS global footprint. We have aspirations for SILS students to study in community with students in Africa under SILS faculty. A transformative educational experience like this would benefit all parties involved and build important cultural bridges.

Make Your Gift Now

Irene Owens Fund for Diversity & Global Programs (295930)
SILS Distinguished Alumna Irene Owens (PhD ’95) created this fund in 2019 to support new students of color and those interested in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). The fund will make it easier for such students to matriculate to SILS and enable them to engage in local, national, and international programs related to their interests. It will also further enhance local and global opportunities already offered by SILS.

While working at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Owens completed several goals and services as a librarian/information professional and then decided that she needed another mountain to climb. At that time, she had no idea where that mountain was or how best to climb it. What she did realize was that SILS was a great place to prepare her. Her studies here were challenging and equally rewarding, supported by effective mentoring, especially that of Ed Holley and Barbara Moran. A portion of her studies included a summer study abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. This study abroad helped her more fully understand that information and library science – at its very core and essence – is local, national, and international, as well as interdisciplinary.

The fund is available to all students with particular attention given to the cultural diversity of the student body.
Make Your Gift Now

The Mae Lipscomb Rodney Fund (295929)
SILS Distinguished Alumna Mae Lipscomb Rodney (PhD ’86) created this fund in 2019 to recruit and support SILS PhD students. Multiple transformative life and professional experiences led to establishing the fund. Receiving a Minority Presence Grant for two years allowed the School of Library Science PHD residence requirement to be met without incurring a large debt. Having the terminal professional degree afforded opportunities to accomplish life dreams far beyond the initial goal. A rewarding challenge, but unexpected, was leading the transformation of an academic library when all libraries were progressing from cards to online systems. A long rewarding professional career illustrated the need for the next generation of librarians to have a chance to fulfill and exceed their life dream. The value of the UNC education, professional contacts, along with family traditions of helping others created a new dream. An opportunity to reach back and bring another person into the profession was finally realized in 2019. The fund while available to all students, particular attention is given to enhancing the social, economic and cultural diversity of the School.
Make Your Gift Now
SILS Alumni Engagement Fund (292960)
The SILS Alumni Engagement Fund, established by the SILS Alumni Association (SILSAA) in 2005, underwrites special programming that helps SILS students develop as professionals by connecting them with SILS alumni through activities including field experience and networking events, thematic panels that complement the SILS curriculum, and receptions at professional conferences. The School and the SILSAA Executive Board plan and implement this programming, which our students consistently rank as one of the most valuable aspects of the SILS educational experience.
Make Your Gift Now
SILS Alumni Inclusion and Diversity Fund (292998)
The SILS Alumni Inclusion and Diversity (SAID) Fund is devoted to improving the inclusiveness and diversity of students, faculty, and staff in the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), as well as increasing involvement and engagement of SILS minority alumni. The SILS Dean uses gifts for the SAID fund to underwrite and enhance these very important activities.

  • Student support: Assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships help achieve a diverse student body in all SILS degree programs.
  • Faculty support: Professorships, opportunity funding, and retention funding to get and keep excellent scholars from diverse backgrounds.
  • Mentoring: A new, donor-funded mentoring program will support direct connections between alumni and current students, helping ensure SILS students continue to succeed after they graduate.
  • Research: Special funding encourages students to pursue research on topics related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Speaker Series: Visiting speakers engage, inspire, and challenge the entire SILS community – students, alumni, faculty, and friends.

Make Your Gift Now

SILS Student Assistantship Fund (292972)
This fund supports graduate assistantships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. Not only do these assistantships provide students with much needed financial aid and invaluable practical experience, but they also play a key role in the successful operation of the School and the advancement of faculty research priorities.
Make Your Gift Now
Story Squad Gift Fund (292976)
Story Squad is a literacy outreach initiative bringing storytelling of world folklore to children and adults throughout the community. Our vision is to start a national movement to re-instill oral storytelling in early childhood curricula in order to foster such early literacy skills as knowledge of story structure, engagement in story worlds, and empathy with fictional characters. Donations to this fund help provide small stipends for the student storytellers when they perform (so that the cost to the community for our services remains moderate), travel costs, and other operating expenses. For more information about recent Story Squad activities, visit
Make Your Gift Now
Susan Steinfirst Memorial Fund (292904)
The Steinfirst Community Lecture in Children’s Literature honors the memory of Susan Steinfirst, a professor of children’s and young adult literature at SILS from 1976 to 1996. Dr. Steinfirst dedicated her life to the promotion of children’s literature by teaching future librarians and by publishing scholarly works in the field. The biennial lecture is made possible by the Steinfirst Memorial Fund, which was established through gifts from Professor Steinfirst’s husband, Gene Story, as well as other family members and friends, in 1997.

The Steinfirst Artist-In-Residence Program gives Triangle area youth an opportunity for in-depth study with internationally acclaimed authors and illustrators. Established in 2016, the annual program was partly funded by a gift from Professor Steinfirst’s niece, Julia Steinfirst Howard, and her husband, John. Julia Howard remains an active partner and helped SILS envision the Steinfirst expansion.
Make Your Gift Now

The Mary Boone Bernsen Fund for the School of Information and Library Science (295918)
SILS Distinguished Alumna and former State Librarian of North Carolina, Mary Boone Bernsen (BA, ’66 MSLS ’73) created this fund in 2017 to provide scholarship, fellowship and/or assistantship support to SILS graduate students.

Make Your Gift Now