The Hood River County Library Foundation donated more than $50,000 to the Hood River County Library District for the upcoming 2017-18 fiscal year, helping to bridge a gap in the collection budget as well as funding new and continuing projects. This is the largest annual donation the Foundation has made since the Library District was formed and the Foundation credits its generous donors for this accomplishment. This follows the Foundation’s 2016 campaign to build the Endowment Fund, which is now over $100,000 thanks to raising $55,537 during last year’s endowment drive Including $19,995 from individual donors and a $26,736 matching gift from the Gorge Community Foundation.
The donation to the District will fund several new projects as well continue support for electronic resources. One exciting new project is the creation of a makerspace in the Children’s Library. This is an area where people can gather to share skills and create projects using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, and traditional arts and crafts supplies. Makerspaces have become popular additions to libraries in recent years to inspire interest in science, technology, and design.
Funds will also contribute to the District’s efforts to digitize the Cascade Locks/Bonneville Dam Chronicle, which documented the construction and first years of the dam as well as being a community newspaper for Cascade Locks, North Bonneville, and Stevenson from 1934 to 1939. The library has secured a grant and donations from community members for this project, and the Foundation’s donation will complete the project budget.
In preparation for the state minimum wage increase and upcoming capital projects for the Hood River Library building, the District reduced the General Fund collection development budget, meaning less money to purchase new books, DVDs, and other materials for the library. The Foundation’s donation, which includes $6,400, for collection development, combined with other donations helped bring the collection budget up to the amount the District spent in fiscal year 2016-17. “The District is currently spending 8.9% of the operating budget on the collection, but aims in the future to spend 10%, which will be close to the national average.” said Library Director Rachael Fox.
As in years past, part of the Foundation’s donation will fund the library’s magazine and newspaper subscriptions and popular electronic resources, such as Library2Go, TumbleBooks, Ancestry.com, Auto Repair Reference Center, and Pronunciator. It will also fund movie licensing so the library can continue to host movie events for kids and teens and weekend movies for the residents who come on the Odell Express bus.
The Foundation is very grateful to the generosity of individuals, families, and businesses in our community and beyond for the opportunity to supplement the Library District’s budget and help bring out libraries from good to great.