A gift of a lifetime

When Dave Morrison was first hired as a librarian in 1987, he didn’t think he would spend his entire career at the Marriott Library. Fast-forward 32 years and Morrison is now happily retired and has just made a significant financial contribution to the library.

“I feel like the library has always invested in me as a professional librarian and I’m very grateful for that. So I decided that it was time to give back,” explains Morrison.

In 1984 the library was designated as a Patent Depository Library (PDL) and therefore a need arose for a patent and trademark specialist. “Soon after I started here, my supervisor sent me to Washington, D.C., to get training from the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” says Morrison. “That was the beginning of what would become a lifetime of annual training opportunities and it allowed me to develop nationally recognized expertise in this very specific area.”

For many years the Marriott Library was the only Patent and Trademark Library (PTDL) in the intermountain region encompassing Utah, southern Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and Arizona, which meant that Morrison’s expertise was in high demand. Because the search methodology for patents and trademarks is very broad and requires familiarity with the USPTO’s specialized Patent Classification System, patrons would come to Morrison for assistance to ensure there wasn’t already a patent in existence. Once that fact was ascertained, Morrison would help patrons with the process of filing for a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.

“It was tremendously rewarding for me to help people in this way. And without the continual training that the library made possible, I wouldn’t have been able to stay current or possibly excel in my field,” says Morrison.

Morrison’s appreciation of the library’s past support has propelled him to make a very generous gift to the library. The revenues from his $50,000 endowment gift will be used to fund training for current and future librarians and library staff.

“I’m excited to know that my gift will provide training for library professionals who are passionate about their work,” says Morrison. “Regardless of where they are in their career or what their specialty is, library staff can benefit deeply from the investment in additional training.”

Naturally, the library and its staff aren’t the only ones benefitting. “Librarians help our students and faculty be successful,” comments Alberta Comer, dean of the Marriott Library and university librarian. “This is why Morrison’s gift is so important—because it ultimately contributes to the teaching, learning, and research mission of the university.”