$25M donated to digital library

A generous donation has put the University of Calgary digital library back on track.

Last month, Don and Ruth Taylor pledged $25 million to further the creation of the Campus Calgary Digital Library, now renamed in their honour.

Don Taylor is a Calgary entrepreneur who formerly headed Engineered Air, a heating and air conditioning company. His wife Ruth is also a prominent Albertan, sitting on the Alberta mental health board.

The donation ensures the university can afford the library.

“The original projections for the project were $113 million,” explained Thomas Hickerson, vice-provost (libraries and cultural resources) and university librarian. “We received substantial provincial support, but building costs have gone up to $150 million. The $25 million makes a big dent in that.”

In addition to the Taylor Family Digital Library, a new park area dubbed the Taylor Quadrangle will be created, running east-west through campus.

“It will be a centre of campus,” said Hickerson. “A green space where buildings will not be placed.”

“Mr. Taylor is a dedicated friend to this university,” Hickerson continued. “He has created a legacy gift, a lasting source of pride for his family.”

This is not the first substantial donation from the Taylors to the university. Engineered Air also sponsored a cancer research initiative and a kinesiology lab.

“The city has been good to us,” said David Taylor, son of Don and current president of Engineered Air. “The growth of this city is based on higher education and we can be a part of that.”

The digital library aims to blend the traditional library concept with more technologically-advanced methods of learning. It will also provide on-site access to special collections like the Nickle Arts Museum.

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