Library Flood Recovery Fund Gets Nearly $100,000

by ekramer on September 4, 2009

Financial donations have been pouring into the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation since the August 4th flash floods caused nearly $5 million of damage at the library’s main branch. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Foundation director Mary Hunt says the Library Foundation has received nearly $100,000 for the Flood Recovery Fund, and that donations are still coming in.

“It has slowed down a little,” says Hunt, “but I’d say it peaked early last week and we’ve got people doing fundraisers for us.”

Businesses  and other groups have organized events. But Hunt says a large part of the donations are from individuals and range from $1 to $10,000.

This comes after the recession caused an 18 percent decline in household income, but only a 2 percent drop in individual giving, says Patrick Rooney, who heads the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University.

“It suggests that Americans have remained very committed to philanthropy,” Rooney says, “and that they have been quite generous during a difficult period in our history.”

Hunt, of the Library Foundation, says the donations have come from an array of individuals and organizations.

Whole Foods and Barnes and Noble both came to us and wanted to do fundraisers for us,” she says. “And then you have that grassroots level, everything from Consuming Louisville dot com bake sales to blogs. And then you have this national response from 23 different states.”

Hunt says many donors have held fundraising events without being asked to.

“People doing fundraisers for us, just came to us and said, ‘We want to do this for you’ — people like Whole Foods, and Barnes and Noble, and the Louisville Bar Association and the University of Kentucky-Louisville Alumni Club.

The August 4th flash floods caused nearly $5 million of damage at the library’s main branch. The library’s director, Craig Buthod, has said it hasn’t yet been determined how much will be covered by insurance.

Hunt says the library foundation is still holding its annual fundraising campaign that started with the new fiscal year in July. She says the foundation wants to raise $1 million for reading materials and scholarships for staff among other things.

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