Thank you for lighting the Library’s way

Thanks to you, the Library surpassed its goal during the Light the Way fundraising campaign. (Photo by Keegan Houser/UC Berkeley)

Light the Way: The Campaign for Berkeley was one of the largest university fundraising campaigns ever undertaken. As part of the effort, the UC Berkeley Library set an unprecedented goal — to raise $150 million by the end of 2023. Thanks to our amazing donors, we surpassed that goal, raising a record-setting $155,536,726.

Whether you have supported the Library Fund, the Center for Connected Learning at Moffitt Library, or one of our other campaign priorities, the Library is so grateful for your generosity. Here are a few of the accomplishments made possible by your philanthropy.

Goal: $150 million

Total raised: $155,536,726

Donors: 10,397


Campaign priority highlights

Library Fund

Because of donors like you, the Library has been able to address its most pressing needs through this critical fund. During the height of the pandemic, the Library developed a digital version of its popular course reserves program, giving students seamless access to materials for their classes at no cost. In 2021, UC Library Search was launched, unifying the collections of libraries across the University of California system under one virtual roof. The Library has also hosted multiple memorable exhibits in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, including one on the legacy of The Daily Californian, and has launched and expanded innovative programs, such as Library Data Services, which helps students, faculty, and researchers access, share, and preserve data.

Center for Connected Learning at Moffitt Library 

Moffitt Library, the go-to campus destination for undergraduates, is looking radiant, thanks to the prodigious support of donors. The beloved library, which already welcomes more than 1 million visitors per year, is in the midst of a bold transformation that will greatly expand its capacity. In 2016, the library’s fourth and fifth floors were upgraded, bringing new vitality to those spaces. An additional $58 million was raised to overhaul the lower three floors, which will open up hundreds of spots where students can work, learn, and connect with one another.  

Western Americana collection

Thanks to the success of the campaign, The Bancroft Library is able to shine an even brighter light on the West. Bancroft’s Western Americana collection, the library’s most heavily used, allows researchers to unravel the complex history of our region. The $8 million in funds raised is helping the library build this vital collection and connect materials with the communities they represent. Donations have provided financial support for the acquisition and cataloging of artifacts that deepen our knowledge of California; the preservation of Bancroft’s Western Jewish Americana archives; the collecting of stories of women leaders at Berkeley; and much more.

Work+Learn program 

With your support as donors, the Library is able to employ hundreds of students per year in its workforce. We are one of the campus’s leading employers of students. Our impressive student workers serve in key roles, helping host events, create social media posts, preserve and digitize materials, and more. On-campus jobs are a great benefit to students, who earn money to finance their education, and often develop skills that are relevant to their careers.


The Library initiated a sweeping effort to digitize its world-class treasures, so that students, researchers, and people across the globe could access these valuable resources online. To streamline that process, the Library launched its Digital Lifecycle Program. We also developed a robust Digital Collections portal, which provides access to the Library’s rare and unique digitized special collections, books, photographs, and more. These efforts, fortified by support from donors like you, have had a dramatic impact. In the 2022-23 fiscal year, for example, the Library scanned nearly 2 million images and added 47 collections to its portal, making the materials available to an even wider audience.

Scholarly communication and open access

The Library is working to ensure that more UC Berkeley research is freely available to people worldwide. As part of that commitment, the Library created the Office of Scholarly Communication Services, which helps students and scholars navigate the complex world of academic writing and publishing. Library leaders have also played key roles in helping the UC system negotiate open access agreements with publishing industry giants. In 2022, UC reached the milestone of having secured agreements with 15 publishers. Through these deals, more than half of UC research has become eligible to be published and read at no cost.


World-class collections drive world-changing research. And the Library’s collections, with more than 14 million volumes, are truly outstanding. How many libraries can say they helped solve the mystery of van Gogh’s ear? A document in library collections shed new light on that old question. With donor support, we also acquired the oldest known letter that Mark Twain wrote to someone outside of his family.