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Leon Raney Endowment Fund
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Leon Raney Endowment Fund 



In August 2010, the South Dakota Library Association Leon Raney Endowment Fund was established with the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). Named to honor Dr. Leon Raney, distributions from the fund will be used to support professional development grants, scholarships, and SDLA conference grants for SDLA members.

Leon Raney came to South Dakota State University in October 1972 as the first librarian in the state to hold a doctorate in library science. He served as Dean of Libraries at SDSU for almost 25 years until his retirement in 1996. A tireless advocate of library services for all groups within South Dakota, Raney played a major role in the planning and construction of Hilton M. Briggs Library and his leadership made it one of the flagship libraries in the state. He took an active role in state, regional, and national library affairs and served as SDLA President, South Dakota’s ALA Councilor, and delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries, as well as the State Library’s LSCA Board, and the Board of Trustees of the Center for Research in Denver.

Dr. Raney played a leading role in the planning and development of the South Dakota Library Network (SDLN), negotiating contracts and serving on the executive board. Raney had the unique ability to understand the needs and responsibilities of his university library in the context of the entire state community of library users, always looking for ways to promote cooperation.   His willingness to articulate and communicate the challenges of and opportunities for libraries and librarianship in South Dakota with decision makers proved invaluable for the state.

Not only did Raney create a library environment that welcomed and nurtured young professionals, he advocated for the establishment of an SDLA scholarship fund. In the early years, this took the form of a savings account established with the proceeds from various fundraising efforts, including the sale of Black Hills silver membership pins. SDLA recognized Raney’s contributions by naming him Librarian of the Year in 1983 and honoring him with the SDLA Distinguished Service Award in 1995.  It was appropriate for the SDLA Board to recognize Raney’s passion for libraries and librarianship by naming the newly established scholarship and grant endowment in his honor.  After his retirement from SDSU, Raney began a second career as a long distance truck driver. He resides in Brookings, SD, with his wife, Mary, when he isn't on the road.

How do I make a donation?

Tax deductible contributions to the fund can be made through the South Dakota Community Foundation. Due to technical accounting rules, it is NOT possible to make an online donation to the SDLA Leon Raney Endowment Fund at the SD Community Foundation website.   To make a donation, please make checks payable to SDCF-SD Library Association Endowment or to SDCF with the SD Library Association reference in the memo. Mail this form with your contribution to: SDCF, PO Box 296, Pierre, SD  57501. The SD Community Foundation will process all donations and send an acknowledgement/receipt to the donor.

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