Love your library? Give back

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 19:00

You can help make the library even better by making a donation to the Friends of the Library and Anchorage Library Foundation. When you contribute to these organizations, we invest in special projects that help the library go above and beyond what they can do with their regular budget.

In just the past few years, community members like you have helped the Friends and Foundation open new libraries, launch initiatives in early education and keep the shelves full of great books and movies.


Why donate to a publically supported institution?

The Library receives the majority of its funding from public sources — the Municipality of Anchorage provides the library’s annual operating budget and the Alaska State Library provides funding for the library’s statewide programs like Interlibrary Loans and reference support for rural libraries.

In recent years, the State Library has also made major investments in APL technology through the Online with Libraries program.

Your financial support is critical because funding from individuals like you is what enables the library to go above and beyond in its service to the community. Many of the library’s most important initiatives are made possible entirely by the support of the Friends and the Foundation. Exciting projects like Teen Underground, summer reading programs and the new early literacy center at Loussac Library.


What is the difference between the Friends and the Foundation?

The Friends of the Library help the library maintain high standards on a day-to-day level. Their donations put books and movies on the shelves.

The library’s budget for collections lags far behind national standards, so without this gift from the Friends, we wouldn’t be able to order new titles and grow our digital book collections.

The Friends also pay for all of the library’s youth summer reading programs, which is critical for the academic success of thousands of Anchorage-area schoolchildren. In 2013, the Friends donated $90,000 to the library.

The Anchorage Library Foundation is responsible for the long-term growth of the library. The Foundation raised money for new libraries in Chugiak-Eagle River, Muldoon and Mountain View and opened Teen Underground and the Early Literacy Center at Loussac. They are currently raising money to open the Innovation Lab at Loussac Library and launch the Loussac Renewal.


What is the Loussac Library Renewal?

The Loussac Library Renewal is a once-in-a-generation renovation of one of our city’s most important and well-used civic institutions. Completing the first project of the Renewal, the entrance renovation, is absolutely critical to the future health of the library.

Over the next few months, the Library Foundation will lead a campaign to pass a Municipal bond April 1 and secure a $10 million capital grant from the state legislature. With these funds in hand, the library will be able to begin the entrance renovation project by summer 2015.

Another important thing that the Library Foundation and Friends of the Library do is advocate for adequate public funding because we believe that public libraries should be free and supported by our local government.

For the past two years, thanks to vocal library supporters, the Assembly has given major budget increases to the library to purchase new technology and materials. This way, we can ensure that your donations fund innovative and exciting new projects, and are not used as a replacement for public funding.


How can you help?

We need your help to be successful. Our library is only as strong as the community that supports it. If you believe that our community deserves a strong and vibrant library, we hope you will get involved today.

Making a gift is easy — you can donate online here: or or send a check in the mail to Friends of the Library/Anchorage Library Foundation, P.O. Box 244714, Anchorage, AK 99524.

You can also give to the Anchorage Library Foundation through Pick.Click.Give when you register for your PFD. We value every dollar you give and promise a great return on your investment. Become a library champion today.


Toni Massari McPherson is the community relations coordinator for Anchorage Public Library.

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