Striving to enhance our Library!

The Forest Grove Library Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization, was 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.

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.

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1st Campaign: “Help Write the Next Chapter”

The 1998 bond measure was to expand the existing building only. In 1999, a group of library advocates came together to determine a strategy for funding a renovation project for the older part of the library to integrate its use better with the newer portion of the building. In 2000, several community leaders were recruited to organize the Forest Grove Library Foundation, initially for this renovation project with a goal of raising $1 million.

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 needs some finishing touches.

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2nd Campaign: “The Story Unfolds”

In the 30-year-old original part of the library, there are some furnishings that are nearly that old. With new carpeting, new woodwork, new windows, the old furniture not only doesn’t suit the new facility, but it tends to hinder the efficient use of the building’s features.

In late 2010, the Foundation decided to embark on another project to raise $250,000 for furniture, art and signage to complete the library’s facelift:

  • Tables and chairs are needed for the expanded Rogers Room, a community meeting and event space.
  • The adult fiction, children’s and Spanish language sections need furnishings.
  • Updated signage for book shelves and sections are necessary.

Additionally, Ed Carpenter, an internationally renowned glass artist, is donating a special piece he designed especially for the Forest Grove Library in memory of his mother, a former local library patron; the Foundation must raise funds for materials and installation.

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 late 2011/early 2012.

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