Organization of the month: New library group will hold first event in February |

Organization of the month: New library group will hold first event in February

by Nancy Hamlett

The Douglas County Public Library Foundation is a single-minded organization with the goal of assisting the library’s efforts to provide Douglas County residents with the best library services and programs available.

Members of the library board of trustees and concerned citizens formed this relatively new organization in the middle of 1999.

Mike Coleman, as the chair of the foundation, heads an 11-member board that is dedicated to improving the resources available through our libraries.

“With the wealth of information that is now available, today’s library isn’t the library you may remember as a child,” said Coleman. “Increased needs in technology and the sheer volumes of resources and printed materials that are now available creates a new sets of problems – how do you afford to bring all of that into the library, and where do you house all of it?

“The Douglas County Library Foundation is working on that.”

Five members of the library foundation are trustees of the library board. The six remaining slots are filled with community members who are interested in improving our libraries.

“For the first year, we tapped on the shoulders of people who have been involved in the library in the past,” said Coleman.

Terms are staggered between one, two and three years so that the foundation has a constant influx of new members and new ideas. Coleman is joined on the foundation by vice chair Mike Riley, secretary Steve Lewis, treasurer Linda Turria and members Cheryl Bricker, Ray Tomalas, Sheila Gardner, Ron Cauley, Elizabeth Paul, Ron Pierini and Robin Mellberg.

“Anyone who is interested in serving on the library foundation can pick up an application at the library,” said Coleman. “We are particularly interested in people who are willing to work hard and can fund-raise.”

To aid in the fund-raising efforts, the foundation has been granted tax-exempt status as a public charity by the IRS, making all contributions tax-deductible.

“This classification comes just in time, as our fund-raiser is in just two months,” said Coleman.

The fund-raiser, a Champagne and Chocolate Reception, will be held on Feb. 11 from 2 to 5 p.m. at David Walley’s. The reception will honor the late Elizabeth Johnson, who was instrumental in opening the first Douglas County Public Library in 1967.

“Elizabeth Johnson spent a lifetime dedicated to improving libraries, and she was president of the Nevada State Library Association,” said Coleman. “But she was also an accomplished artist, and some of her work will be on display.”

Tickets to the reception are $15 and can be purchased at the library or from any foundation member. The foundation will also hold a raffle during the reception, with a grand prize of a one-night stay in an Amador County bed and breakfast.

“It’s our first fund-raiser, so we are testing the waters a little bit and trying to build a base of supporters,” said Coleman. “We may be a new organization, but we are excited and enthusiastic about helping our libraries.”

For more information about the Douglas County Library Foundation or the Champagne and Chocolate Reception, contact Coleman at 267-3285.