Library foundation formed

Mohave County Library supporters have formed a foundation to establish an endowment to supplement tax-based funding to expand collections, add programs for adults and children and improve library buildings.

The Mohave County Library Foundation Inc.

will raise money to support public libraries through gifts, bequests, programs of planned giving and grant funds, according to Bonnie Campbell, county library director and ex-officio member of the foundation board.

The foundation opened a $1,000 account at Mohave State Bank, and it is hoped will raise several million dollars within five years.

Campbell said she has worked toward establishing the foundation since she was named library director in August 1999.

She said her predecessor, Debbie Burnham-Kidwell, did some of the preliminary work.

"People have been asking us if we have a foundation so they can contribute their estates," Campbell said.

"Those gifts have gone to other foundations.

All the gifts are tax-deductible."

The foundation can raise money to remodel library buildings, buy equipment and bring in guest speakers, Campbell said.

The county library system operates on a $3.5 million annual budget, has collections totaling 184,000 books and other materials, and has about 50 full-time employees.

"We need a vehicle that will transport all our materials throughout the county," Campbell said.

"We have to use (our) cars to do that.

We have to use staff time to do it.

We have a courier service through (Mohave Community College), but it doesn't cover all our libraries."

Foundation funds could pay for a van to transport books and other materials to library sites and drop off and pick up books in the Hualapai Mountains and the Butler area, Campbell said.

The library maintains branches in Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, and operates smaller "station" sites in Dolan Springs, Meadview, Oatman, Valle Vista and in other outlying communities.

Campbell said the foundation differs from the Friends of the Library because it may open an account and accumulate interest, whereas the Friends groups must spend everything they raise from fund-raisers such as book sales.

"The foundation does not replace the Friends," she said.

"The Friends groups have always been important to us."

"The Friends support it," said Jim Hudson, president of the Friends of the Kingman Public Library.

"We raise money for the library and we occasionally get gifts for $500.

The foundation is a vehicle to accept bequests and large gifts.

We just raise funds locally and help support the library.

Our budget is no more than $8,000 a year."

The foundation, which meets quarterly, recently elected a board of directors to three-year terms, Campbell said.

Officers are president, Bernard M.

Weiss, Lake Havasu City, vice president, John C.

Stacey Sr., Lake Havasu City, and secretary-treasurer, Gene W.

Newman of Valle Vista.

Directors include Robert Brooks of Kingman and Phyllis Reints of Lake Havasu City.

Joining Campbell as an ex-officio member is Len Druian, who chairs the Citizens Library Advisory Committee.

The foundation board will consider requests from the libraries.

The committee advises library staff on policy and reports to the county supervisors, Campbell said.

For more information about the foundation, call Campbell at (520) 453-0718 or Weiss at 680-0654.