SOURCE: OC Public Library Foundation

July 19, 2016 14:06 ET

Orange County, Calif. Public Library Foundation Awarded Non-Profit Status

Group Established to Expand Resources, Offer Support as County's 23 Libraries Build for the Future

SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 19, 2016) - Efforts are underway today by the newly-formed Orange County Public Library Foundation (OCPLF) to help the OC public libraries and their branches transform themselves into "libraries of the future."

The organization (www.ocplfoundation.org) recently achieved non-profit 501(c)(3) status, allowing it to be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and State of California and to accept private and business donations as well as grants from the other public and private foundations.

According to Peggy Schwartz, president of the OCPLF board, the foundation exists independently of the county's public library system and is separate from the various "Friends of the Library" groups.

"We established the OCPLF to support the fast-moving changes in technology and lifestyles that impact the way libraries have always been used in the past," she said. "Our goal is to serve as a fundraising and resource-generating umbrella to the existing libraries to benefit the entire library system."

Schwartz said the foundation's primary missions are to build connections between communities and libraries, promote literacy and life-long learning, and collaborate with organizations to help expand library programs.

Schwartz said among the primary objectives for the foundation this year are to work jointly with the county's largest library event, Literary Orange; celebrate the 95th birthday of the Orange County public libraries, and introduce a new county-wide program, "1000 Books Before Kindergarten," which encourages families to read a 1000 books to their children before they enter school.

Establishment of the foundation is in step with a nationwide initiative of the American Library Association based in Chicago. "Libraries are turning outward to their communities and offering the resources, services, instruction and programs that empower community members to read, explore, collaborate, learn and create," said Dr. Julie Todaro, ALA president. "They also offer a safe and dynamic environment, a community space for conversation and discovery."

More information is available at the foundation's website, www.ocplfoundation.org, including how to become a volunteer, donor or sponsor.

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