Over the past two years, the Elbert County Libraries Foundation (ECLF) has been focusing on laying a solid foundation for fundraising in Elbert County. The Foundation was formed in 2009 to support the mission of the Elbert County Library District. To date, we have raised almost $50,000 for the libraries.
Through the Foundation, libraries in Elbert County have received grant money to support its Books for Babies program. This program is designed to place a book in the hand of every child who was born in Elbert County in 2011 and 2012. This year, to replace that program, the Library District launched the “1000 Books before Kindergarten” program, encouraging parents to read to their children to increase learning preparedness by the time the child enters school. This program was funded with a generous grant from the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation as well as a donation from Walmart.
The Foundation has participated in a variety of community events over the past two years, bringing information about library services to festivals in Elizabeth, Elbert, Kiowa and Simla. We sponsored a booth at the ElizaBash street festival in June, and we plan to be at the Harvest Festival in Elizabeth on October 26.
The Elizabeth Library has hosted a couple fun community events over the past couple of years too. In 2012 the library grounds were the site for the first annual Elizabeth Music and Arts Festival. This past summer, we hosted a traveling circus under the big top. Both events were a great way to welcome more people to our new library location.
The Foundation plans to continue to draw the community into the libraries. Once we demonstrate the value of our libraries to our communities, we hope that people will feel encouraged to donate money to support additional library space and programming monies to the libraries.
We are looking for more people to join our Foundation Board. If you are someone who is passionate about libraries and the role they play in your community, please consider joining us. We need people who can help with specific fundraising events, identify potential donors in our communities, and generally raise the awareness of the value of libraries in Elbert County.
Foundation Board member Laura Kissinger says, “Reading is such an important part of life and our children learn through example. By being a part of the Foundation, I am teaching my daughter to love reading and enjoy the endless adventures that books can provide.”
Contact me if you are interested in joining the ECLF Board, 303-646-3792.
Kari May lives in Elizabeth and is the director of the Elbert County Library District. She can be contacted through the library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the library at www.elbertcountylibrary.org.