The Durham Library Foundation was founded as a 501 (c) 3 organization devoted to developing and encouraging long-term financial health and growth of the Durham County Library. The Foundation solicits gifts from many sources, including those not available to a government-funded library. Private contributions are used to fund programs and improvements that the library could not otherwise afford, and those funds have ensured an extraordinary level of service for Durham County citizens.
REBUILDING MAIN LIBRARY
In 2016, Durham County citizens resoundingly supported a bond issue that provided $143,000,000 for a new Main Library. In place of the original structure now stands a library that can bridge the legacy of traditional library services to the high-paced demands of the digital media age. While the public support paid for planning, design, construction, and basic furnishings, the Durham Library Foundation donated $1,200,000 for upgraded furniture, equipment, and technology. While the Grand Opening of Main Library has been delayed due to Covid-19, library staff and volunteers stand ready for the time when libraries can safely reopen. It will be a place of extraordinary service and community pride.
DURHAM COUNTY LIBRARY SUPPORT
The Durham Library Foundation raises money for far-reaching programs and services that would not be funded by the county. In 2020-21 the Board allocated annual donations, special one-time gifts, and a percentage of established endowments to create a pool of $156,138 in available funds for library proposals.
COLLECTIONS - $73,642
System-wide expansion to alleviate hold times for materials during Covid-19.
LIBRARY FEST - $52,000
The inaugural 2021 Library Fest is a week of fantastical programming, renowned authors, and a celebration of all things library. Featured author live webinars include Brit Bennett, Tayari Jones, and Yaa Gyasi. Check Events page for more information.
TECHNOLOGY KITS - $31,281
The Bragtown Family Literacy Center proposal requested funding for forty Technology Kits containing a laptop, hot spot, and user instructions. In the Bragtown area, between 19%-26% of households do not have internet access, compared with 10% of Durham County as a whole.
CHILDREN’S LITERACY - $16,715
This funding goes to provide Push and Play Readalongs for early readers with audio accompaniment, helping narrow the digital divide for households without technology. East Regional Library Reading Kits are assembled for specific reading levels to assist COVID at-home learning. The Foundation also assisted with digitizing oral histories in the North Carolina Room ($1,000) as part of the Durham Civil Rights Exhibit and allocated $2,000 for Virtual Sign Language Programs.
L IS FOR LIBRARY
In February 2019, individual donors who contributed at least $50 have their names acknowledged within a large L graphic alongside the front entrance of Durham County Main Library. Over $12,500 was raised for system-wide programming; the funds were allocated in 20-21 to provide for Library Fest featured authors.