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Cabell Library unveils new mothers’ room, thanks donors who made it possible

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The public got a look at the new mother's room in James Branch Cabell Library at a reception on Wednesday.

VCU Libraries has opened a new mothers’ room on the fourth floor of James Branch Cabell Library for nursing mothers for feeding babies or expressing milk.

On Wednesday, the library held a public open house to showcase its new WISDM Mothers' Room and to honor the donors that made it possible.

“I cannot overstate to all of you what an impact this is having on this campus. This room is the first of its kind on this campus. It's available to students, faculty and staff around the clock, and it's already made a huge impact on this campus,” said University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider. “I'm so delighted that we can provide this kind of resource in the library.”

University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider thanked supporters of the new mother's room, saying it will be a great resource for the VCU community on the Monroe Park campus.
University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider thanked supporters of the new mother's room, saying it will be a great resource for the VCU community on the Monroe Park campus.

Sixteen donors associated with Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine — or WISDM — pledged or gave gifts totaling $50,600 to create the new lactation room, which is reserved for breastfeeding women and their babies.

Cabell Library opened its first lactation room in 2015 on the library’s lower level. Ulmschneider said that facility, which remains open, served as a bridge while the new mothers’ room was being planned and built.

“It's comfortable, it offers privacy, it has the equipment, it has everything that you could want,” Ulmschneider said. “I'm especially proud of the work that we've done for our community.”

It's comfortable, it offers privacy, it has the equipment, it has everything that you could want

The new facility, he added, makes a broader statement about how VCU recognizes and supports the diversity of its students, faculty and staff.

“We are an enormously diverse institution in every sort of way. We don't make assumptions that every student here is 18 years old and has never had a baby. That's not the way we work. We don't make assumptions that all of our staff or all of our faculty are going to be able to have the resources to leave every day to nurse their children. We recognize the diversity of our institution,” he said.

Carol Hampton, a retired School of Medicine faculty member and former Friends of VCU Libraries board chair, led the effort to bring the mothers’ room to Cabell Library, which is named in honor of WISDM.

“We felt like for naming it for WISDM that perhaps our students especially here would know that when they choose a health care career — medicine, dentistry, pharmacy — [that] when they go over to the other campus, they would know how wonderful it will be to have mentors and a support system that they can seek out,” she said. “So we hope that by naming it WISDM does that, and we want to thank all the donors because it does make a statement.”

Carol Hampton, a retired School of Medicine faculty member and former Friends of VCU Libraries board chair, praised the opening of the facility, named in honor of the Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine organization.
Carol Hampton, a retired School of Medicine faculty member and former Friends of VCU Libraries board chair, praised the opening of the facility, named in honor of the Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine organization.

The new mothers’ room is one of only a handful on the Monroe Park campus. The MCV campus has a number of lactation rooms. For details, visit: http://hr.vcu.edu/current-employees/worklife/family-resources/

Use of the library’s lactation rooms are free and available during operating hours by VCU students, faculty and staff. Interested patrons who are members of the VCU community should go to the information desk in the Cabell Library lobby to set up access using their ID cards. Staff and faculty can also contact Assistant Head for Access Services Teresa Doherty at (804) 828-8658 or mtdohert@vcu.edu. Users with card access will also be able to reserve the rooms online for convenient times.

Visitors may also use the lactation rooms, and should visit the library’s information desk and a staff person will escort them to one of the rooms.

Both fourth floor and lower level mothers' rooms are open during regular library hours, which include around-the-clock hours Sundays through Thursdays during fall and spring semesters.

For more information, visit: https://www.library.vcu.edu/about/news/2017/wisdm-mothers-room-at-cabell-library-supports-moms-and-babies-open-house-set-for-aug-23--.html