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New facility dedicated at W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake


BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 22, 2004 – A new executive resource center dedicated earlier this month at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake will allow the 4-H conference center and University Libraries at Virginia Tech to offer a wide range of educational programming to area residents and conference center guests. The state of the art facility was made possible through a private endowment.

The new facility, dedicated at a ceremony held Dec. 9, will be open to area residents beginning Jan. 3, 2005. The new executive resource center will be open both day and evening hours Monday through Thursday and during the day on weekends.

The facility features both wired and wireless connections to Virginia Tech, including wireless computer capability that allows Internet access at the Skelton Center campus. The lake library will house three computers and a substantial collection of books. The center is seeking donations of reference books as well as volumes on classics, local, regional, and state history.

"This partnership is not simply about providing a first-rate facility; it also creates new opportunities to enhance the center's outreach mission to the surrounding community," says Eileen E. Hitchingham, Virginia Tech's dean of libraries.

The W. E. Skelton 4-H Conference Center was built in 1966 on 120 acres of land donated by Appalachian Power Company on Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County. It is one of six 4-H educational conference centers in Virginia the needs of 4-H youth in twenty-one jurisdictions in Central and Southwest Virginia. It also serves the public throughout the year as a location for conferences, retreats, and other community meetings.

Established in 1872 with a collection of 500 volumes, University Libraries at Virginia Tech now includes holdings of more than 2,100,000 volumes. Library patrons also have access to a large and continuously expanding collection of electronic databases and full content journals provided by the library. University Libraries is a selective depository for federal documents and a member of the Association of Research Libraries.