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Friends of FPL Donate $250,000 to Fayetteville Public Library | Arts & Culture

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Friends of FPL Donate $250,000 to Fayetteville Public Library
Friends of FPL Donate $250,000 to Fayetteville Public Library

FAYETTEVILLE – The Friends of the Fayetteville Public Library unanimously voted to increase their pledge to the NEH Challenge Grant by $45,000 Monday, June 25th for a total of $250,000. Their donation is the largest single pledge amount to the grant fund.

The Friends decided to take action when they learned how much was still needed to meet the NEH Challenge grant before the July 31st deadline. The Friends have always been committed to the grant, they had pledged the original amount back in 2007, but discussion soon turned to increasing the amount at their monthly meeting Monday afternoon. During discussions, Maylon Rice, Friends member commented, “The money doesn’t do any good just sitting in the bank. We are here to help the library.”

The Friends of the Fayetteville Public Library raise money and support the library in a variety of ways. Their main revenue source is the Friends Bookstore which they maintain and operate inside the library. “I would never have imagined this day when I started volunteering nine years ago. We rarely made $1,000 dollars a month, and now we are averaging $2,500,” shared Friends volunteer, Jake Lamkins. “Everything we have been working on for the past five years has been leading up to this day.”

With the Friends donation, the library must still raise $138,000 before the July deadline. “The library and the community are so lucky to have such a supportive group of Friends. This grant will help us add to our collections and continue to offer quality programs,” commented David Johnson, Executive Director of the Fayetteville Public Library. So far, the library has raised almost $1.7 million.

In 2006, the Fayetteville Public Library was one of seven institutions in the United States to be awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. The NEH challenged the library to raise $1.8 million and receive $600,000 to establish an endowment to help fund the library’s Humanities collections and programming. “That is what was exciting to us as a Friends group. The idea that our part will ensure the library maintains a vibrant Humanities collection in the future for our community,” stated Kim Ratliff, Friends of FPL President.

The deadline for NEH fundraising is July 31, 2012. Donations to the NEH Challenge Grant can be mailed to the Fayetteville Public Library at 401 W. Mountain St, Fayetteville, AR 72701 or made online at www.faylib.org/content/donate-fpl.

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