Library Foundation to Lead Charge in Fundraising Efforts for the Deschutes Public Library System

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  2/18/2020

From a collection of small buildings and outposts 100 years ago to a robust system of six libraries serving nearly 200,000 people today, Deschutes Public Library has long benefitted from the efforts of volunteers to help support its mission. That dedicated volunteer support included the work of Friends of the Library organizations, many of which formed at a time when diminished funding threatened the existence of a viable library in Deschutes County.

Deschutes Public Library is working with the Friends organizations—five in all—to transition to a single and more sustainable fundraising effort that focuses on the needs of the library district as a whole. That single organization is the Deschutes Public Library Foundation, which formed in 1993 with a mission to provide dependable and sustainable funding that supports and enhances library programs and outreach services that are not funded through tax dollars.

“The Friends have played an important role in the library’s development,” said Deschutes Public Library Board President Ann Malkin. “They helped library management and staff, the Library Advisory Councils—and the Foundation—pass the bond levies for the construction of libraries throughout the county and raised funds to help furnish new facilities. We are tremendously grateful for their support and dedication.”

Spaces in Deschutes Public Library’s six public locations that had been used by the Friends groups for book sales and storage are being converted to areas accessible to the public. For example, the space occupied by the Friends group in the Downtown Bend Library is available to the public as a meeting room space. In Redmond, the former Friends space will now provide a larger area for children’s books and services, as well as a dedicated early learning space. 

“We truly appreciate the Friends groups’ support and efforts over the years,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “Their hard work and commitment to the Deschutes Public Library has had a lasting impact in enriching the lives of Deschutes County residents. We are forever grateful for their dedication.”

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