Last year Lincoln County libraries recorded 182,151 visits–an average of 10 trips to the library for every county resident and almost double the national average of 5.3 visits per year. At a time when advancements in technology put a world of information within arm’s reach, that’s a remarkable statistic.
When the Foundation began fundraising for the endowment fund in 2008, libraries offered 543 programs to the public. Last year, county libraries hosted 853 programs with total attendance of 16,136. Residents continue to come to the library to check out items (circulation is up 30% since 2008), but clearly, they are coming for other reasons as well.
Lincoln County libraries are true community meeting places. They offer areas for children and teens, WiFi, work spaces and meeting rooms. Library staff helps patrons in ways not even imagined ten years ago–troubleshooting digital devices; guiding students through online resources; and assisting computer users as they navigate online resumes and job applications, student financial aid and Medicare enrollments.
Lincoln County does a good job of supporting library services with tax dollars. With endowment earnings, however, we can do more. We can sponsor early literacy initiatives like the Born to Read program, bring in guest authors, expand digital resources, improve functionality with new equipment and furnishings and promote reading for every age.
We are immensely grateful for the generosity of endowment fund donors. Recently, donation totals topped the $100,000 mark and the endowment fund grew to $401,000. That is amazing! And, thanks to Wyoming legislators, the potential for growing the fund continues. The “Endowment Challenge” was scheduled to end this summer; however, state legislators extended the deadline. We now have until June 30, 2017 to receive 2 to 1 matching funds on donations totaling $343,000.
We are asking for your continued support of this tremendous opportunity. You can mail your tax deductible donation to the Lincoln County Library Endowment Fund, 519 Emerald Street, Kemmerer, WY 83101 or donate online by choosing “Foundation” at the top of this page.
Lincoln County Library Foundation Board