With generous support from Jack Buncher Foundation, “Love Your Library” campaign raises its highest amount ever for Allegheny County Libraries
The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) announced today that during September’s annual Love Your Library campaign, the 46 library systems in Allegheny County raised a record-breaking $1.1 million in charitable contributions, more than any previous year. Of this amount, $678,800 is eligible for a prorated match from Jack Buncher Foundation, which generously provided $200,000 in matching contributions.
Now it its fifth year, the Love Your Library campaign attracted 7,566 donors. Notably, this year saw a 47% increase in new donors, with 1,949 new participants. Donations and matching funds will be used to fund essential library services, improve facilities and strengthen the important lifeline libraries have been able to provide over the last several months, including expanded digital content and virtual programming.
“People of all ages and abilities in our region depend on libraries as a place to seek trusted information, access materials and technology, make connections with partners and learn new skills for navigating a changing economy,” said Mary Frances Cooper, President and Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “By supporting this important initiative, donors are making a real difference in our community, helping our libraries provide resources that support virtual learning, bridge the digital divide, and serve as a conduit for people seeking assistance with basic human services.”
“None of us could have projected how this year would evolve nor the challenges we would now be facing,” said Marilyn Jenkins, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Library Association. “Despite, and throughout the pandemic, libraries have continued to serve their communities, finding new ways to connect. It’s so gratifying to know that the public appreciates and loves their libraries.”
Since its inception, the Love Your Library campaign has raised more than $4.2 million for Allegheny County libraries. This special drive coincides with the American Library Association’s National Library Card Sign-Up Month.
Although libraries traditionally have received public funds to support basic operations, state funding for libraries has been reduced or remained flat for much of the past decade. Local funding for libraries in Allegheny County varies greatly from one municipality to another. Libraries reported that the Love Your Library campaign continues to reinforce the importance of library services in our community and the need for support. For some libraries, this was a major step towards a new or improved fundraising effort. Many libraries have increased their efforts to raise funds from individuals, corporations and foundations, relying more on such philanthropic support to fund essential library services, improve facilities and offer new programs.