Libraries Build Community
Today’s libraries play a crucial role in communities, providing far more than just book lending services. Library resources and services — including literacy programs, book clubs, high-speed internet, job training, community events and offsite programs — benefit community members of all ages and backgrounds.
When local taxes don’t fully fund these services, libraries often seek grants and donations, or set up endowment funds, to secure a reliable income.
The Chetco Community Public Library in Brookings has relied on an endowment fund for years, but it’s cautious local investments in CDs weren’t keeping up with inflation. Endowment fund board member Georgia Nowlin, who also serves on OCF’s South Coast leadership council, suggested OCF as an endowment partner, and the rest of the board agreed.
“It has the possibility to grow in a way that none of us as board members could manage,” says Judy Seyle, a board member of both the Chetco Community Public Library and the Chetco Community Public Library Fund. “We don’t have the investment skill and knowledge, and OCF does.”
“It’s meant to be there for the long term — to make our organization sustainable not just now, but 20 years from now, or 30, 40 or 50. It’s making sure that, regardless of what happens in the rest of the world, we have this gift that we are preparing for our community.”
Director, North Bend Public Library
The North Bend Public Library is another South Coast institution partnering with OCF for its endowment fund. “We look at our endowment as a way to enhance the services that we are able to provide to the community,” says Director of Library Services Haley Lagasse.
“In five years, we’ve doubled our balance. And that’s not something that we would have had the capacity to do without OCF.”
OCF manages nearly 40 library-focused endowment funds across the state with a total value of more than $15 million.