David Kirk developed video and media libraries at UCSC. Now he's arranged for a planned gift that will support McHenry Library far into the future.
"I just feel that if you've got it, you should share it," said Kirk, retired media specialist for McHenry.
Borrowing and slightly abridging a famous line from the musical Hello Dolly, Kirk said: "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around to make things grow. That's become my little theme. I want to make a gift that keeps on giving, a gift that does not go away."
Kirk, who won the Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award in 2000-2001, has a longstanding and affectionate connection to the campus and, in particular, the library.
He started working at UCSC in 1972. Ten years later he started at McHenry, where the media collection included one video machine, one VHS player, and a single videotape given by friends of the library. By the time he retired 30 years later, McHenry had more than 20,000 titles, including an impressive GLBT collection.
Kirk worked closely with professors putting their courses together while consulting with undergraduates working on senior thesis projects and Ph.D. candidates requiring DVDs and other media for their dissertations.
Upon leaving, Kirk wanted to make sure his legacy continued. In addition to the planned gift, he set up a video endowment to protect the future. "The money it generates every year allows staff to buy at least 10 or 12 needed items for faculty."
He also helped support a GLBT book endowment.
Kirk, a book lover since age 4, has left his mark on the library—and now part of it even bears his name.
Shortly after the gala rededication of McHenry following its renovation and expansion the flashy new media center was named after Kirk to honor his past work at the library as well as his long history of giving. Head Librarian Ginny Steel asked him if he would mind having the Media Center named for him.
"Two seconds later," laughed Kirk, "I said yes."