Striving to enhance our Library!

The Forest Grove Library Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created in 2000 for two purposes: 1) to assist the Library in meeting various capital expenses associated with the expansion of the existing facility; and 2) to provide long-term support for Library needs that cannot otherwise be met through public funding.

Read more about library funding
The Forest Grove City Library serves the citizens of Forest Grove and Western Washington County, Oregon. Founded in 1909, the Library is a department of the City of Forest Grove and a member of Washington County Cooperative Library Services, a consortium of public and special libraries that provides county-wide services in addition to local library service.

In 1998, Forest Grove voters approved a $2.2 million bond measure to double the size of the 1970’s era library. Construction began in 2001 and was completed a year later. The new building now measures 22,000-square feet in the heart of downtown Forest Grove.


1st Campaign: “Help Write the Next Chapter”

A 1998 bond measure expanded the existing building. In 1999, with the new construction begun, a group of library advocates came together to determine a strategy to fund a renovation project for the older part of the library. That was completed in 2007.

Read more about the renovation project

The goal of the renovation was better integration between the old and new parts of the building. In 2000, several community leaders were recruited to organize the Forest Grove Library Foundation. Their initial goal was to raise $1 million for the renovation project.

In 2001, the Foundation hired a grant writer and library development consultant, and recruited a campaign committee. Over the course of the next five years, grants from private foundations brought in one-third of the goal; 30 community events were held, including an auction, dinners, golf tournaments and publishing a cook book, which contributed more than $30,000; and individual gifts/donations and bequests, plus a city library endowment fund, made up the rest of the fund raising goal.

In early 2006, the $1.3 million fundraising goal was reached, and the renovation was completed in 2007. Now, the library needed some finishing touches.


2nd Campaign: “The Story Unfolds”

In the 30-year-old original part of the library, there were some furnishings that were nearly that old. They did not suit the new carpeting, new woodwork and new windows. So in late 2010 the Foundation decided to embark on another $250,000 fundraising effort for art, furniture and signage.

Read more about the ”Mollie’s Garden” art project

First, the Foundation wanted to take advantage of an incredible opportunity to obtain a wonderful piece of art for the library.

Mollie Starbuck, raising her family in Gales Creek, spent several years as a patron and volunteer at the Forest Grove City Library. It was truly one of the joys in her life. When she passed in 1998, the library received many donations in her memory. Mollies son, Ed Carpenter, is an internationally renowned Portland-based artist who works with various materials and their interaction with light. When the family was asked how the memorial gifts to the library should be used, Ed offered to create an art piece for the librarys new skylight. He worked with the library architects, FFA, to configure the space appropriately. Ed donated his talent, time and materials for the art piece. The Foundation raised about $70,000 for the installation and lighting, with contributions from community members and businesses, the Forest Grove Public Arts Commission, the Friends of the Forest Grove Library and the city.

The library piece is made of special glass in magenta and amber colors. The light reflected through the 20 steel tubes with fins of glass changes as the viewers position shifts, creating a kaleidoscope of colors.

This project also includes collaboration by metal artist Eric Canon and wood artist Greg Kriebel, both of Forest Grove. Their contributions focus on the enhancement of the four wooden columns and new light sconces under the skylight. All three artists have known each other many years but this was their first collaboration.

Mollies Gardenbecame an important addition to the Forest Grove City Library and the community with an April 2015 dedication. As an exemplary representation of public art, it is a fitting testament in a building devoted to the light of knowledge.

In 2011-12, before the Mollies Gardenproject, the Foundation raised $100,000 through grants and donations to furnish the expanded Rogers Room as a community meeting and event space. To complete the library’s facelift, in mid-2015 the Foundation began fundraising for furniture in the adult fiction section.

This fund raising campaign will encompass the same strategies as the first project — grants, events and individual/business donations — with a completion date estimated at 2016.

girl with project
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