Why a Foundation?
The Library's Board of Trustees identified a need to strategically and creatively plan for the organization's sustained excellence, respond to immediate community needs, and nimbly react to timely initiatives. Libraries across the nation have addressed these needs with the formation of a foundation (more than 79% of public libraries have an affiliated 501(c)(3) foundation) - it's a model that works! The creation of the Dayton Metro Library Foundation provides needed support to the Library to be responsive. Through the Foundation, the Library is able to reach beyond the ordinary.
A Look at Library Funding
The Library's $28 million annual budget is funded from the state income tax through the biennial operating budget (50%) and through a county levy (property tax; 42%), as well as miscellaneous sources (8%). The other public library systems in Montgomery County (Oakwood, Germantown, Washington-Centerville) are funded the same way. Germantown and Washington-Centerville both work in partnership with community foundations for additional funding revenue for special projects. Wright Memorial Library in Oakwood has a separate foundation to support its mission although the population of the city is only 9,152 (2012 census). Dayton Metro Library is ranked among the highest in the Nation for usage and satisfaction by the Library Journal, surfacing to the top 4% of our peers out of more than 7000 systems throughout the country.
The bond issue that was passed in 2012 is making the Libraries for a Smarter Future plan a reality. The voters of Montgomery County overwhelmingly support the need to renovate and expand the Main Library, build 11 new Branches and expand or renovate 5 Branches, and move backroom functions to a new Operations Center in a renovated, historic building. Clearly, this community recognizes the Library is important!
The Foundation is here to amplify these new, modern spaces with exciting programs and unique offerings. Special literacy projects, support for kindergarten readiness, partnerships with college/career preparation programs, enhanced programs, cutting edge technology, and engaging public art are just some of the projects that can be funded through the Foundation.
The Dayton Metro Library Foundation provides support for the special initiatives of the Library that might otherwise go unfunded.