The Salem Public Library Foundation, established in 1981, is a community-based group of library supporters who raise and administer funds for enhancement projects and programs at the Salem Public Library. The Salem Public Library Foundation is a non-profit organization which operates independent of, but in collaboration with, the City of Salem.
The IRS has determined that Salem Public Library Foundation is an exempt organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3). Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Our Federal Tax ID # is 93-0799658.
Mission and History
The mission of the Salem Public Library Foundation is to support enhancement projects, programs and services of the Salem Public Library.
Following its founding in 1981, the initial efforts of the Foundation were to build an endowment and the purchase of computers for patron use. In the early 1990's the Foundation Board raised money to supplement public funds renovation and expansion of the Library building. Other Foundation projects have included the installation purchase of a library delivery van, and help with construction of a dedicated Library facility in West Salem (which opened in 1995). Additional efforts have included supporting funding levy efforts, establishing a circulating art collection, and the purchase of a bookmobile in 2002.
More recent projects have included the renovation of the Library’s Anderson meeting rooms, and construction of the Library’s dedicated “Teen Scene” area, which opened in 2011.
In 2014, thanks to community support of the Foundation, the Children’s area and Discovery Room were transformed into a modern, multi-functional area with capacity to meet the growing demand for varied-age children’s programs. The Foundation also funded new entrances to Children's area with whimsical tree trunks and local wildlife created by local artist, Kristin Kuhns.
In 2017, the Foundation and Paul Gehlar funded the creation of the Gehlar Reading Room in memory of Paul's wife.
In 2020, the Salem Public Library is undergoing a safety and seismic retrofit. As part of that project, the Foundation will fund four enhancement projects that were not covered by the bond measure. These projects will have lasting impact on the quality and usefulness of the space.
Board of Directors
The Salem Public Library Foundation is operated by an all-volunteer, community-based Board of Directors.
Current board members include:
Gina Johnnie, President
James Montgomery, Vice President
Judy Martin, Past President
Sarah Strahl, Secretary
Matt Marler, Treasurer
Louise Newswanger (Rep. from the Library Advisory Board)
To be filled (Rep. from the Friends of Salem Public Library)
The Board meets monthly and Committee meetings are called as needed. Led by a President (elected annually with a Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary), the Board of Directors works with Foundation staff to carry out the functions of the Foundation which are: