Sustaining Oregon's Libraries

Oregon Public Library Innovation Fund

Oregon’s 131 libraries have the highest circulation per capita in the United States, yet they receive one of the nation’s lowest percentages of government funding.  The current level of funding is not enough to sustain such high usage.

Libraries function as educational institutions, community centers and places that bring diverse residents together, so OCF donors responded with the creation of the Oregon Public Library Innovation Fund.

This fund has expanded the boundaries of what libraries can do, including spurring the development of low-income housing near libraries, offering parent education, increasing kindergarten readiness for younger children, providing low-income Oregonians with access to technology and improving the literacy rate of children and adults. 

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"Our new library is the place where our community
discovers the joy of reading, is inspired to life-long learning and enrichment, and feels empowered to unify and celebrate our diverse population."

Cornelius Public Library

The Library Innovation Fund has helped many Oregon libraries become more than just places to check out books, instead creating welcoming centers of community that improve civic engagement, support art, culture and creativity and prepare the next generation of workers for Oregon businesses.

One example is the Cornelius Public Library joining with local partners to develop Cornelius Place, a community center and library in a mixed-use housing and community facility that serves low-income, low-literacy residents. The new, larger library is becoming a major cultural center not just for Cornelius, but also for residents of the nearby cities of Hillsboro and Forest Grove. The facility meets multi-cultural and multi-generational needs with traditional programming, arts, culture, improved technology and an expanded Spanish-language collection.

You can support this fund by making a contribution online, mailing a check to OCF with Oregon Public Library Innovation Fund in the memo line, or working with your donor relations officer to make advised fund grant recommendations. The fund also accepts IRA qualified minimum distributions. New to OCF? Contact us to get started.