Friends of the Libraries

Since 1980, The Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries have been dedicated to enhancing and extending high-quality library services through unique campus programming and the support of innovative projects.

The Friends have a broad impact on the campus and the Lehigh Valley community through funding and sponsorship of:

Join the Friends

We invite you to join this group of committed individuals and become a Friends member today. There are several different levels of Friends membership beginning at $75. As a Friend, you will enjoy book borrowing privileges at the University Libraries and receive invitations to events and receptions.

Friends giving levels:

  • $75 Library Friend
  • $200 Sustaining Library Friend
  • $500 William Chandler Patron
  • $1000 Lucy Packer Linderman Circle
  • $25 Student Friend

Become a Friend of the Library now!

Your membership is needed to help ensure that the Friends can continue supporting libraries at Lehigh.

Receive email notifications of the Friends’ programs and events

Send an email to with the word subscribe in the body of the message (leave the subject blank).

History of the Friends and Board Membership

The Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries was established in 1980 when then Director of the Libraries Berry G. Richards convened a steering committee. Her thought was that "with a new building and automation program, the library could use a base of support." In the early years, Ms. Richards directed the group's energies "to provide some cultural activities" and to "convene people who had interests in libraries." She appointed members of the University community to serve on the steering committee that drafted by-laws. Some of these Friends continue to contribute to the Board today.

The Friends has sponsored several activities annually for over forty years. Early events included an annual dinner and a book review program, as well as a regular concert/lecture series. There were also bus trips, a newsletter, and dramatic readings among other activities. With the campus community, the Friends co-hosted concerts, special exhibits of rare books and Lehigh history, and other events and festivities. Currently, the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries continue to enhance the campus social and literary scene, presenting an annual Faculty Authors Reception - “Harvest of Ideas” and lectures by renowned writers, scholars, and new faculty speakers. In addition, the Friends often collaborate with other campus groups in the furtherance of support for the libraries with the offering of literary, musical, and theatrical events.

The Friends foster acquaintance with library staff and their initiatives, and support for the maintenance and growth of library facilities and collections at Lehigh. During its over 40 year history the Friends has made it possible to add to the libraries’ collections, contributing to several important online databases as well as books requested by various university departments to further the learning and work of students and faculty. Gifts from the Friends have also been used to support library renovation and address furniture and equipment needs, as well as to fund faculty fellows and the annual Libraries Student Research Prize.

The Friends of the Lehigh Libraries continue to partner with staff in the Lehigh Development Office to assist in meeting the university's overall fundraising goals as they relate to Libraries and Technology Services and to continue and bolster Lehigh Libraries’ ability to meet the needs of students and faculty in a changing world.

Friends of the Lehigh Library Board Members:

  • President (vacant)
  • Ms. Karen Samuels, Vice President
  • Mr. Mark Connar
  • Mr. Oldrich Foucek III
  • Mr. Bill George
  • Prof. Scott Gordon
  • Prof. Kevin Lahoda
  • Prof. Judith McDonald
  • Ms. Judith Parr
  • Ms. Maria Rodale
  • Ms. Christine Roysdon
  • Dr. Lloyd Steffen
  • Prof. Stephanie Powell Watts
  • Ms. Melody Weisman
  • Prof. Shellen Xiao Wu

Ex-Officio Members

  • Boaz Nadav-Manes, University Librarian, Lehigh University Library
  • Gregory Reihman, Vice Provost, Lehigh University Library & Technology Services
  • Lois Black, Director of Library Special Collections, Lehigh University Library