Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seattle Public Library Foundation Receives Anonymous Donation But it Must Be Matched

In case you haven't heard, it's great news for Seattle Public Library. An anonymous donor has given $500,000 to the Seattle Public Library Foundation if it can match that amount.

The library's 2010 budget was cut by $1.17 million because of citywide budget shortages. And next year the libraries could face more cuts according to the Library Foundation website.

The foundation was successful during the budget cuts in keeping the same operating hours at the NE Library Branch on 35th Avenue NE, while other libraries are now on reduced hours.

So a $500,000 donation if matched, could result in $1 million total for Seattle Public Libraries.

In an email sent out by the Foundation President, Dave McShea, yesterday around 1pm, the subject line reads: "Extraordinary Gift to Benefit Seattle Public Libraries!"

The email says:
I have some really exciting news to share...and as someone who values libraries I wanted you to be the first to know about it. Today we are announcing that an anonymous donor has pledged $500,000 to The Seattle Public Library Foundation if we can raise a matching amount through community contributions.

Here's how the gift came about. When the 2010 mid-year cuts to The Seattle Public Library's budget were announced, The Seattle Public Library Foundation got a call from the donor's representative. The anonymous donor had read the news and wanted to find a way to help.

The anonymous donor was especially concerned about how budget cuts would impact the community, in particular children and families who rely on Seattle's public libraries for so much. The donor felt this would be a powerful way to inspire others in the community to step forward and support our library system.

Our goal is to raise $500,000 to match the gift by December 31, 2010, so we can make those dollars available for Seattle's public libraries to use by 2011. Once raised, the money will be used to help the libraries serve the community - to buy more books and resources and support free public programming.

This gift essentially doubles any donation made to the Foundation in the coming months - go to for all the details.

You can also help us spread the word by forwarding this message to family and friends who love our libraries.

Thanks for your support of The Seattle Public Library Foundation!

And donations have been pouring in, so much so that the library computer system went down for a bit.

If you would like to donate, go to the Seattle Library Foundation website or if that is not accessible due to high traffic here is an alternate site. Or you can call 206-386-4130.

1 comment:

Public Library said...

Wow, that is excellent news. There are some really great people in the world. Budget cuts can way very heavy on a community. I hope David McShea and the foundation can raise the other money to match the donated amount.