Thank you library donors!!! From the anonymous $500,000 donor that sparked the “Help Us Make $1 Million for the Library” campaign late last year to this month’s announcement of grants from the Paul G Allen Family Foundation, individuals are setting down their books and reaching into their pockets to help sustain libraries in these challenging times.
The anonymous $500,00 matching donation prompted so many people to give that the day the story broke so did the Foundation’s website which was flooded with people who wanted to donate. Donations came in all sizes. The “Help Us Make $1 Million for the Library” campaign exceeded it’s goal late last year.
The Paul G Allen Family Foundation’s $90,000 grant to The Seattle Public Library is intended to ”strengthen the ability of librarians to meet patrons’ needs and promote libraries as centers for lifelong learning,” said vice president, Susan Coliton. The Seattle Times reports that the money will fund a readers’ advisory staff at each library to help patrons understand how to use online tools to select books and media; new services such as podcast book talks, virtual book groups and personalized reading lists; and training for 175 librarians and staff.
Library staff, building maintenance and collections are funded through the city budget. Troubling city economics have impacted all city services. At The Seattle Public Library, the 8.5% reduction in general fund support is resulting in reorganization and staffing, collections, and training reductions as well as a one week library closure sometime in 2011. Private donations to The Seattle Public Library Foundation help expand the collections, fund free public programs, and enhance facilities.
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