Alyssa Arre, Photo Editor

The Department of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation made a mark on Joseph Lambert, ’59. This January, Lambert and his associate Harold Schleifer committed $1 million toward the creation of the Joseph N. Lambert and Harold B. Schleifer Director of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservations as an endowed position.

“[Lambert and Schleifer] recognize the critical role that libraries play in advancing and preserving knowledge,” UR President Joel Seligman said. “Their commitment will allow collections that were once the preserve of a handful of scholars to be widely available through the Internet.”

Schleifer’s relationship with the world of libraries began early when, at 14, he got a job shelving books at the New York Public Library. The library later awarded him a full scholarship to Columbia, where he pursued a Master’s degree in library science. Schleifer  worked on several library staffs before serving as dean at the University Library at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona).

Lambert also discovered his interest in libraries early while working at Rush Rhees library as an undergraduate. While his stint was short-lived — lasting only the four years of his undergraduate experience — he remembers the UR libraries fondly, noting that the “Welles-Brown Room with its leather chairs and fireplace was such a comfortable place for relaxing.”

Given their library experience, Lambert and Scheifler have a deep appreciation for the work of the Rare Books Library. During a project dedicated to the renovation of Schleifer’s Cal Poly Pomona University library, Schleifer drew upon several studies done at Rush Rhees Library.
Schleifer credits some of his success in the renovation project towards work done at UR and now acts on the River Campus Libraries advisory board.

Smith is a member of the class of 2014.


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