Thanks to two local benefactors, the SLO County Library Foundation has announced a donation of $119,525 to benefit children and adults who visit any of the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries’ 14 locations or make use of the county’s Library by Mail program.

The majority of the donation, $65,525, will support the collections budget of the library this year, helping to purchase books and other materials for lending to patrons. The donation is made possible by a bequest received by the Foundation from Sarah Day, a resident of Morro Bay who died in 1999.

The remainder, $54,000, will support the 2024 Summer Reading Program. That gift is made possible by the generosity of the Barbara Baltimore Memorial Fund, created when Barbara Baltimore, a volunteer at the SLO library since 2005, passed away in 2011.

We work with Library Director Chris Barnickel and his staff to determine the greatest needs.” — Foundation President Juliane McAdam. 

“The Foundation Board of Directors sincerely appreciates the support we receive from county residents who love our libraries,” says Foundation President Juliane McAdam. “We gratefully accept bequests and other donations large and small that benefit library programs supporting our community. We work with Library Director Chris Barnickel and his staff to determine the greatest needs.”

McAdam says the Summer Reading Program is especially important, as it engages children—and adults—at all levels and encourages reading at a time when more support for literacy programs is needed.

“With the Foundation’s support, we’ll be able to reach more readers where they are this summer—especially readers who face barriers,” according to Erica Thatcher, Engagement and Marketing Coordinator for the libraries. “We plan to bring summer reading fun to Summer Meals for Kids pickup sites, to homebound adults and incarcerated teens, as well as to learners enrolled in our adult literacy program.”

The Foundation promotes and provides financial support for County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries.