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Coe Library Reading Room Dedication Thursday at UW

November 14, 2011
Library interior
The Alma Doke McMurry Reading Room provides a relaxing environment for studying and reading. (UW Libraries)

The new Alma Doke McMurry Reading Room in William Robertson Coe Library will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.

"This room is a wonderful addition to our library," says UW Libraries Dean Maggie Farrell. "The reading room is accessible anytime Coe Library is open and can be used for studying, reading or just relaxing."

Located in what was the main porch entrance to the original Coe Library, the room is funded through an endowment created by Wyoming natives and UW graduates Carol McMurry and Pat Spieles of Loveland, Colo., honoring Carol's grandmother, Alma Doke McMurry.

Carol worked at Coe Library as a student. Both Pat and Carol currently serve on the UW Libraries Development Board.

"My passion for libraries was instilled in me by my grandmother, Alma Doke McMurry, who took me every Saturday to the stately, old Carnegie Library in Casper," McMurry says. "It was a replica of Monticello and became a quiet refuge for me from the flurry of activity of my large extended family."

Farrell says the McMurry-Spieles Endowment for Library Excellence will allow UW libraries to undertake several projects not possible through state funding.

"We will strengthen our professional development activities for librarians and staff through this funding," she says. "In addition, the Alma Doke McMurry Reading Room and our popular reading collection will further our goal to promote reading."

The McMurrys' $1 million gift was matched by the state to create a $2 million endowment.

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