What should you do when you’re looking for a good book? Visit your Stillwater Public Library! In the month of September, more than 32,000 items circulated through our library’s real and virtual check-out counters, including books and magazines, audio books, and electronic materials such as e-books, e-magazines, and downloadable audios. In addition, residents and visitors came to the library to use a computer (1,907 times), and access the wireless service (5,084 times). These are just some of the ways our library benefits the community. There are also programs for all ages and interests, story times, and space available for meetings and social events.
Perhaps you’ve wondered, how is this excellent resource and community hub funded? Dear library patron, please read on. If you live, work, or shop in Stillwater, you are a stakeholder in the Stillwater Public Library.
As an unaffiliated library (not part of a larger library system), the Stillwater library receives the bulk of its funding from the city’s general fund, which is raised by levying sales tax. When you shop in Stillwater, your tax dollars support the library. Please shop local when you can!
Donations are a significant source of funding for the library, and can be earmarked for specific materials or areas of interest. For example, family and friends of Julia Koerner, a longtime member of the library’s Second Friday book club, recently made a generous donation in Julia’s honor that allowed the library to purchase 24 book club kits.
The library receives a portion of its funding from the state government each year. The allocation is determined by the board of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL, a state agency), and varies from year to year. Receipt of state aid is not automatic – libraries must meet certain rules designed to maintain a standard of service across the state. Some federal grant funds are administered by ODL; this money is available to help with programming and to improve library services. Earlier this year, the library purchased a “Charlie Cart” mobile kitchen classroom to aid nutrition education in any environment with funds from a Health Literacy grant from ODL.
To implement special projects and programs, our team of dedicated librarians applies for competitive grants from many organizations. In the past year, the Stillwater library won grants from the Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Oklahoma Humanities.
Two important local entities provide financial support to the Stillwater library: The Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, and the Stillwater Public Library Trust. The Friends of the Stillwater Public Library is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for individuals to join together to support the Stillwater library. Membership is open to anyone, and dues are $10 per year, or $100 for a lifetime membership. The Stillwater Library Friends holds a used book sale twice each year to benefit the library. Funds raised by this group help the library purchase books, materials, equipment, programs and more. The Stillwater Library Friends is also the primary support for the hugely popular children’s summer reading program. To join “The Friends,” and find information on the next book sale, please visit http://library.stillwater.org/friends_of_the_library.php.
Created by city charter in 1984, the Stillwater Public Library Trust receives and administers contributions for the benefit of the library. Income from the trust supports programs, collections, and services that cannot be financed through the library’s normal operating budget. The trust is governed by a five member volunteer board, which encourages donations to the library. Individual or corporate contributions to the trust benefit the library, and the community, for years to come. Please consider the Stillwater Library Trust when you are thinking about estate planning or planned giving. For more information, go to http://library.stillwater.org/library_trust_board.php
I believe our Stillwater library is the jewel in the crown of the city’s cultural district. Information on making a donation, joining the Stillwater Library Friends, or contributing to the Stillwater Library Trust is available on the library website, under the “contact” tab. To discuss making a donation in person, please contact the library business office, or library director Stacy Delano. Libraries are for everyone; please visit or call the library today!
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Robin Cornwell, Chair, Stillwater Public Library Board.