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Laupus Library forms founding friends group

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (May 15, 2008)   —   Laupus Library, described as the heart of the East Carolina University Division of Health Sciences, is assembling a group of valentines to share its good work.

The Friends of Laupus Library, a volunteer organization, was formed April 29 to expand community awareness and increase support of the library's programs, collections and services. It is the only academic health sciences library east of I-95.

Evelyn F. Laupus, widow of the library's namesake, Dr. William E. Laupus, is the honorary chair of the inaugural friends' board. Serving as co-chairs are Dr. Walter Pories, professor of surgery and biochemistry at the Brody School of Medicine and leader of the Metabolic Institute at ECU, and N.C. Rep. Marian McLawhorn, D-Pitt, who holds a master's degree in library science from ECU.

"Whether you are a health sciences student, a health educator, a biomedical researcher or a clinician searching for evidence-based information to use in treating patients, Laupus Library links you to the quality health information, technologies and services you need," said Dr. Dorothy Spencer, director of Laupus Library and associate vice chancellor for communication and information resources.

The library serves the Brody School of Medicine, College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Nursing, the recently established School of Dentistry, the Eastern Area Health Education Center, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and the entire region. It was established as the health affairs library in 1969 and renamed in 1993 for Laupus, former dean of the ECU School of Medicine and vice chancellor for health sciences.

Members of the friends group will act as the library's alumni. They will serve as ambassadors to the community, financial supporters of the library and organizers and participants in activities and special events. Projects the friends support will benefit not only the library, but the entire health sciences division.

Proposed goals for the first year include organizing the group structure, appointing working committees and conducting at least two friends events. Inaugural board members also will be asked to serve as philanthropic role models by making an annual contribution.

The library has grown from twelve tons of donated books in an old cafeteria with one librarian to a comprehensive resource center and biomedical information program containing more than 158,000 volumes (print and non-print) operated by 15 library professionals and 30 technical support staff, according to a timeline provided by the History Collections Department.

In 2004, the library received the Karel B. Absolon History of Medicine Library, a donation of more than 2,000 items related to the history of medicine.

Previous library locations include, in addition to the old cafeteria, the Biology Building, Carol Belk Building and the Brody School of Medicine. In summer 2006, the library moved to the new Health Sciences Building, where it is increasing opportunities for interdisciplinary research and advanced learning through updated technology.

The first meeting of the inaugural board is tentatively planned this summer. If you have questions or are interested in becoming a founding member of the Friends of Laupus Library, contact Kelly Rogers, public communication specialist, at or 252-744-2232.


Contact: Crystal Baity | 252-744-2481