Friends of Folsom

The Friends of the Folsom Library is a service organization comprised of Rensselaer faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, and interested community members dedicated to enriching the collections, services, and events provided at the Folsom Library. The generosity of the Friends supports a collection of best-selling fiction and non-fiction, a browsing collection of popular magazines, and an outstanding collection of DVDs. They also underwrite the maintenance of attractive plantings and provide lounge furniture throughout the Folsom Library, and sponsor occasional exhibits and events, such as talks by local authors.

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Folsom Library, The Chronicle of Higher Education is now available to the entire campus community via Libraries at Rensselaer.

In addition to the satisfaction of participating in a service organization that actively supports library programs, members of the Friends enjoy borrowing privileges to the Rensselaer Libraries' general collection books (including the Class of '96 Reading Room best sellers and travel books), and media, including CDs and DVDs. Members also have access to materials from the ConnectNY consortium and its expedited borrowing program via the Libraries' online catalog.

Board of Directors  |  By-Laws

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Fourth Carl A. Westerdahl Forum

On October 21st, 2019 at the Auditorium, in the Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer Libraries held the 4th Carl A. Westerdahl Forum, entitled Every Appearance of Permanence: Data Preservation Issues in the Digital Age.

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Third Carl A. Westerdahl Forum

Third Carl A. Westerdahl Forum

On September 11, 2017 at the Auditorium, in the Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies, the Third Carl A. Westerdahl Forum featured a presentation by author Erica Wagner and archivist Jen Monger. The topic of discussion was Ms. Wagner's biography of Washington Roebling, RPI class of 1857 and Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Photo of Professor Lester A. Gerhardt

Second Carl A. Westerdahl Forum

On April 20, 2016, the second Carl A. Westerdahl Forum featured a presentation by Professor Emeritus of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering Lester Gerhardt entitled “Aerospace and Rensselaer: Then, Now, and Tomorrow." The talk highlights the role Rensselaer people and programs have played in the aerospace industry, from 1930s aeronautics to the space shuttle and beyond. Joining Dr. Gerhardt as panelists are Rensselaer Provost Prabhat Hajela and Jennifer (Parker) Keyes ’02, operations research analyst at NASA’s Langley Research Center, who examine the post-Shuttle era, changes in the aerospace industry, and the continued preparation of Rensselaer graduates for careers in space. The host for the evening was Institute Trustee Paula L. Simon ’68.

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Stringing cable on the Williamsburg Bridge. Othniel Nichols and Leffert Buck in work clothes looking up as cable is strung. Two other men are visible near the cable shoes.

The Inaugural Carl A. Westerdahl Forum

On October 16, 2014, the first Carl A. Westerdahl Forum featured a presentation by Frank Griggs ’56, engineer, bridge restorer, and historian. His talk was entitled “Making the Connection: Rensselaer Graduates Who Built Bridges over the Hudson." Joining him are panelists Chris Letchford, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer, and George Christian, M.S. ’76. Their discussion focused on the role Rensselaer alumni played in the growth of bridge design locally and nationwide in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Support the Friends of the Folsom Library

To support the Friends of the Folsom Library using a credit card, please visit the Rensselaer Giving website.

To support the Friends of the Folsom Library using a check, please make the check payable to “Rensselaer” with “Friends of the Folsom Library" in the memo section and send it to:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Gifts Processing Center
P.O. Box 3164
Boston, MA , 02241-3164

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