Durham library halfway there for fundraising campaign

Apr. 06, 2013 @ 08:24 PM

The Durham Library Foundation on Friday kicked off the public phase of a $1.5 million fundraising campaign.

The “silent phase” during the past year allowed the foundation to secure major gifts from GlaxoSmithKline, the Friends of the Durham Library, the SunTrust Foundation, BP, Family Fare, Wells Fargo and the C.M. Herndon Foundation.

Those gifts brought in $760,000 – more than halfway to the campaign’s goal, according to a news release from the Durham County Library.

During Friday’s kickoff, workers at the Southwest Regional Library off Sharon Road unveiled a new 3M Automated Delivery System that was purchased at a deep discount with the initial campaign funds. The ADS checks in materials and sorts them into separate bins, speeding up the process of getting those books and other materials back on the shelves.

Southwest Regional is the first library in North Carolina to use this sorter model, library officials said.

“This kind of technology is standard in most world-class library systems, and it goes a long way toward meeting our patrons’ expectations of excellent customer service,” said Tammy Baggett, Durham County Library director.

During the next year, the foundation wants to secure funding for several more campaign initiatives, such as:

  • Maintaining and improving outreach services to children, adults and seniors who can’t get to the library.
  • Bringing new and engaging programs featuring nationally recognized authors and scholars.
  • Acquiring more papers and historical documents for the North Carolina Collection.
  • Mitigating budget shortfalls due to the economic downturn so that the library can maintain and build its collection.

Elizabeth Townsend, a campaign co-chair, said the foundation is planning some unconventional methods of spreading word about the campaign.

“We have some guerilla marketing in the works for later this spring,” she said. “Our goal is to get the word out in a way that is fun, relevant and entirely appropriate for a creative community like Durham. We’ve given ourselves two years, but knowing how much this community loves its library, we would not be surprised if we reached our $1.5 million goal even sooner.”

Patrons can donate via the foundation’s newly redesigned website at durhamlibraryfoundation.org, in-person at a library branch or by texting STRIPES to 20222.