The Dayton Metro Library Foundation supports strategic initiatives of the Library that fall outside the general operating budget. The Foundation funds special projects and unmet needs that make the Library a more exciting, relevant and engaging place for literacy, learning, entertainment and community engagement. Our major goals include:
- Enhanced Education: The Foundation supports the Library in its mission to be a vital resource for kindergarten preparedness and enhanced education at all levels. The Library is a partner in the region's "Big Goal" - guided by Learn to Earn Dayton - to ensure every young person is our community is ready to learn by kindergarten and ready to earn upon graduation from college or after earning a post-secondary certificate.
- College/Career/Workforce: The Foundation supports the Library's launch of a one-stop shop and community resource for students and adults to find the right college/certificate program and receive assistance along the way to achieve personal success.
- Technology: Libraries continue to be about information and access; with approximately 3 million visitors and more than 500,000 hours of online usage in 2015, the Library is bridging the digital divide for many in our community. The Foundation helps the Library meet the needs of a changing society by providing the most up-to-date technologies, such as computer coding robots, music- and movie-making software and interactive technology to serve DML patrons.
- Accessibility: The Library is a free, community resource - but sometimes access is about more than cost of entry. To benefit members of our population who are unable to access the Library because of geography, physical limitations, language barriers, or other personal reasons - the Foundation supports the Library in its goal that all be able to utilize its programs for their own empowerment.
- Facilities: To maintain the Library's role as a civic commons that is open and free of charge - and to expand its role as a true neighborhood destination with learning, meeting and creative spaces - the Foundation is dedicated to filling the new buildings with innovative and exciting programming and resources. While the bricks and mortar of the facilities plan has been generously provided by the voters of Montgomery County, donations to the Foundation help fill the beautiful new facilities with important enhancements that meet community needs.
Recent programs that receive Foundation support include:
The annual Summer Challenge provides fun and learning for tens of thousands of infants, children, teens and adults, all while combating the "summer slide" that too often results in lost knowledge. In 2015, the Foundation made its first significant gift to the Library in support of this program. With the Foundation’s support, the Library raised participation by 15% over 2015; 15,569 infants, children and teens logged an impressive 245,442 hours of reading and activities. The Foundation can help fund special celebrations of the community's accomplishment, prizes to encourage children to keep reading during the summer and fun activities that tie hands-on experiences to what kids are reading.
To enhance the new Library buildings, the Foundation supports a local public art initiative to bring original, high-quality art installations into each Branch for free, public interpretation.
The Foundation helps the Library serve as an exciting destination for learning and community. Foundation funds have enhanced the facility plan through the purchase of everything from technology in meeting rooms to hands-on manipulatives in Imagine! portals for early childhood development to outdoor furnishings that create a safe community gathering space.
The Foundation supports the expansion of programs to support high school students as they research and prepare for post-secondary opportunities. Dedicated space in our new facilities, expanded specialty collections and programs that engage young adults converge to create a Center of Excellence where students can learn about their options, create strong applications and prepare for life after high school.
Through private donations, facilities have been upgraded to a performance level, including assets as stage lights, quality sound systems and flexible seating. More than just creating a room – our generous donors have created the opportunity for everyone to experience the arts with funding for engaging arts experiences such as Muse Machine performances, music concerts, poetry readings, and film screenings. Visit the Suzy Bassani Theater Off Third or the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Forum to imagine what’s possible!
These examples are just a few of the ways the Foundation and the community are coming together to enable the Library to Reach Beyond.