The Salem Public Library Foundation has been recognized as the 2022 Library Supporter of the Year by the Oregon Library Association.
This award is given to a person or organization involved in various activities in Oregon on an unpaid basis. This may be as a volunteer, friend, board member, government official, or individual. The recipient has shown commitment to supporting and promoting Oregon libraries.
The Salem Public Library Foundation is recognized for the consistent support of the library's programs, services, staff, and its particularly exceptional work in 2021-2022 to provide support for the library's renovation project. The 50-year-old building was repaired and reimagined beyond the scope of the public Seismic and Safety Bond that provided the base funding.
The Foundation worked tirelessly to support the initial effort to pass a $18.6 million General Obligation Bond Measure in 2017 to address the building's seismic, safety, and accessibility issues. The Foundation then stepped in to raise money for additional design and construction on the building that went beyond those elemental features, including replacing concrete blocks with windows on the west side of the building, replacing a staircase, expanding the Teen Scene, an enlarged Discovery Room in the Children's Library, and vast improvements to the Library entrance.
"We are so honored to be chosen to receive this award," said Foundation Executive Director Kate Van Ummersen. "The Salem Public Library Foundation Board deeply values the library staff and all the ways they serve the Salem community. We are delighted to provide meaningful enhancements to our amazing library."
In addition to this exceptional support, the Foundation has continued with its regular and deeply impactful giving that supports Salem Reads: One Book, One, Community, Sprinkles Grants, and the Art Collection.
The library representatives from Salem Public Library would like to specifically recognize Kate Van Ummersen in this award, as she has made it an intentional practice to collaborate with the staff, and recognizes the expertise and commitment of the library workers, focusing on using the Foundation resources to make it easier for SPL to provide excellent service to their community.
"We congratulate the Salem Public Library Foundation for earning this award through their consistent good work and an impressive level of support for the seismic and safety renovation," said Kim Carroll, City Librarian at Salem Public Library. "The board's enthusiasm for supporting our library is apparent in our building and in our community."
The Oregon Library Association provides advocacy, education, leadership and collaboration to continually strengthen Oregon's libraries and the communities they serve. Over 1,000 librarians, library employees, and library supporters are part of the association.