November 2019: Eugene Public Library Foundation
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Dear Friends,

November marks the time of year when our thoughts turn particularly to thankfulness. One of the things I am deeply grateful for is our beautiful local library. As Luis Herrera, former City Librarian for San Francisco Public Library, wrote, “The public library of today, with its commitment to welcoming all who come through its doors, expresses truly American values, providing open and free access to information, knowledge and enlightenment, and transforming the lives of its users.” This so aptly describes the mission and effect of the Eugene Public Library.

It has been a busy fall at the Eugene Public Library Foundation. The Imagination Library Luncheon on September 12 was a great success, with hundreds of guests celebrating the Imagination Library’s 5th year of operation in Eugene. Our guest speaker, children’s author Judy Cox, inspired us with her passion for and knowledge of children’s literacy. To read Judy’s entire speech, click here

At the end of September, the Foundation’s long-time Executive Director, Monica Wilton, retired, and Andrew McNall is now serving as Interim Executive Director. Please do stop by the Foundation office to say hi to Andrew, or read Andrew’s article further down in this newsletter. He brings a wealth of knowledge and capability to this position.

It has been a busy year at the Eugene Public Library as well. In fiscal year 2018, the total number of visitors to the three branches of the library rose 10% over 2017, hitting a whopping 1,158,737. WOW. This statistic confirms that the Eugene Public Library is one of the most relevant places in the city. And—back to gratitude—for that we are grateful to you, the Foundation donors, who have helped make the library the gem that it is.

Wishing you all a lovely holiday season, and a good year to follow,
Ellen Todras

Giving that Inspires: Tom Kamis
Giving That Inspires introduces you to a Eugene Public Library Foundation supporter. This month’s profile features Tom Kamis, owner of The Davis Restaurant & Bar, located at the corner of West Broadway and Olive Street. Just a stone’s throw from the Eugene Public Library, Tom and The Davis have been strong supporters of the Library Foundation through the donation of catering services for donor appreciation and fundraising events.

Do you remember your earliest experience of a library?
I was probably five years old. I went to the library on the south side of Chicago to read stories to kids. I spent a lot of time there through grade school. Then I moved to a different town and school, but I still had books everywhere. I’d either bring home books or animals. My room was just full of books as a child. I still lug around about 20 crates of books from my past.

What brought you to Oregon?
I left Chicago one winter and wanted to get somewhere warm. I was 22, and interested in doing theatre and was planning on going to California or New York but ended up in Arizona. I had serious wanderlust, and moved every season to experience something new for a long time. I've lived in 20 different states and 32 different cities. 

At one point, I was a river guide in California and came to Oregon to run rivers and lived in Portland for about a year. Oregon really stood out. The two favorite places I’ve lived, scenery-wise, have been Oregon and New Mexico...and, people-wise, Oregon and Minnesota. But Minnesota is way too cold for me.

How did you get into the restaurant business?
My first job was working for Little Caesars – I was 15 and lied to get the job. I was a waiter for a long time and cooked too. It was easy to pick up these kinds of jobs as I moved around, and it also kept me in the industry.

Want to learn more about Tom's exciting life? Read on!
Read More
Maureen Campbell, Custodian
Maureen Campbell has been employed as a custodian at the Eugene Public Library for two and a half years. She is multitalented, with impressive oil painting and woodworking skills. With a background in Geology and Environmental Science, Maureen has a love and passion for nature and the outdoors. 

Are you a local Eugenian?
I was born in New Jersey, then moved to Houston at age 9. I attended college at the University of Wyoming and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geology. I moved to Eugene in 1984 to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Studies, focusing on Watershed Resources. After I completed my Master’s degree, I worked for the Forest Service in the Willamette National Forest as a hydrologic technician, and then a district hydrologist. After leaving the Forest Service, I designed and built handcrafted furniture before working for the city, doing landscaping on downtown blocks and throughout Eugene.

What are your experiences with the local public library during your upbringing?
I actually started out studying forestry in East Texas, then switched to geology. I love the natural sciences and being outdoors. That’s why I pursued those subject matters. Geology is absolutely fascinating. Going to libraries comes with the territory of being a student. There were a lot of technical documents and instruction manuals that come from the library that I needed to succeed as a student.

When did you start working at the library?
I’ve worked here for about two and a half years. My goal was to work for the city and I had a connection with someone who worked downtown who suggested working as a custodian for the library. I knew I would have good benefits, and this job has a lot of variety and keeps me physically active. I get to meet a lot of people and talk with them around the library.

Want to learn more about Maureen and her library experiences? Read on!
Read More

Greetings patrons and supporters of the Eugene Public Library. It is a privilege to serve as the Interim Executive Director of the Eugene Public Library Foundation.

First, I want to say thank you to Ellen Todras and the Foundation Board for offering me the opportunity to serve in this role. And, a warm thank you to Monica Wilton as well for the outstanding work she has done for the Foundation over the past nine years.

You should be tremendously proud of what your investment has accomplished at the Eugene Public Library. Because of your faithful support as donors, the Library offers the community a wealth of resources, many of which I have discovered myself for the first time: A Maker Hub with a wide array of tools, equipment and materials; a Media Lab for all kinds of sound and recording productions; literacy programs for children, teens and adults; and, author readings open to the public.

In just a short time, the Library Foundation has grown to the point that it contributes about $500,000 annually in supplemental funding to the Eugene Public Library. Your gifts are making a huge difference to literacy, creativity and innovation inspired by the resources our Library can offer. I hope you will continue to stay engaged with us as we have new and exciting projects underway that we look forward to sharing with you in the coming months. If it’s not already on your calendar, please plan to join us at Booked for the Evening on Saturday, April 4, 2020 when we announce these plans.

Once again, I am grateful for your commitment to making the Eugene Public Library a special place for our community.

With heartfelt thanks,
Andrew McNall, Ph.D.
Interim Executive Director
Our Library: Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes, the library helps out the community in ways that might surprise you. Here are some of the exciting new projects the library is working on:

- A New Mission. Many of the library’s patrons overlap with the people to whom the Eugene Mission provides aid. In order to improve services, we are teaming up. The library and Mission staff are working together to partner on programming and offer activities tailored to people who not only need shelter at night, but places to go during the day. Popular events: a duct tape wallet workshop, and a healing yoga class. Like all library offerings, these activities are open to the public, and as a result have become a bonus opportunity for people from all walks of life to mingle and get to know one another’s stories. 

- A Mobile Desk. Look for new assistance in the Media Section of the library. Because large numbers of people use the Media Section, a new librarian desk has been added near this section of the library to help patrons who need it. The desk will be staffed during busy hours to support folks who need help during that time.

- No Fines for Kids. Libraries across the country are discovering that fines for overdue books don’t work as intended. Rather than motivate patrons to return books on time, fines tend to discourage people from returning books, and sometimes from checking books out at all. To counter this, the Eugene Public Library is instituting a no-fine pilot program for young adult and children’s books. Sign up for the library eNewsletter here to get the latest details. 
LIBRARIES OF THE WORLD: Bodleian Libraries

The Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University are celebrated all over the world for their beautiful architecture and vast collections of manuscripts and books.  Every 14 seconds someone visits one of the libraries, which together hold over 13 million items, including such treasures as the Magna Carta, the Song of Roland, a Gutenberg Bible, and the letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley.  

Though the current Bodleian Library dates back to 1602, the first library at Oxford existed as far back as the 14th century. At the turn of the 17th century, Sir Thomas Bodley revitalized that library, which was beset by lack of funding, anti-Catholic fervor, and the bane of all libraries, unreturned manuscripts.  By 1620, 16,000 items were in the collection, including a book in Chinese.  To further expand the collection, in 1610 Sir Bodley made an agreement with the Stationer’s Company, the exclusive publisher in England at the time, that the Bodleian Library should receive a copy of every book published.  This agreement, along with many donations from generous benefactors, meant the library collection expanded exponentially over the next four centuries. 

The collections now occupy five buildings, including the 15th century Duke Humphrey’s Library, the 17th Century Schools Quadrangle, the 18th Century Clarendon Building and Radcliffe Camera, and the 20th and 21st Century Weston Library, as well as off-site storage. The library remains a “legal deposit” library, and receives a copy of each book published in the United Kingdom.  Materials may not be removed from the libraries, but must be examined in one of the reading rooms – a rule so strictly enforced it even prevented King Charles I from checking out a book in 1645.  

Today, the Bodleian Libraries group includes the original Bodleian Library, as well as 27 other libraries across Oxford.  The public can access the vast collection online, or visit the library itself and register as a reader, provided they are willing to make the following declaration: 

“I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, or to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document, or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library or kindle therein any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library."
Interested in Volunteering?


Would you like to become more involved with the Eugene Public Library Foundation? Volunteers are critical to the success of Booked for the Evening and the Imagination Library luncheon. The Foundation and Imagination Library Advisory Boards are all-volunteer bodies, and we are always on the lookout for supporters who share our passion for the library, are willing to commit time to monthly meetings, and who understand and care about our community and its needs. For more information, contact the Foundation office: (541) 338-7018.
Important Dates to Note!
The library will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28 - we wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!

The library will also be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 25; New Year's Day, Jan. 1; & Presidents Day, Feb. 18

Mark Your Calendars - April 4th is our 11th annual Booked for the Evening event. Save the date for this wonderful event.

Monthly Library Tours
Library tours are available for interested individuals or groups. Please call us at 541 338 7018 or email for details. 

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The following people have recently been recognized by our donors with a gift in their name to the EPLF. We are grateful for our donors' thoughtful and generous support.
In Honor Of - 
Bob Nelson
Victoria Coates
Nicola Luka Coltrane
Kathie Wiper
Harper Grace Schneider
Susan Parker

In Memory Of - 
Joyce Osternig
Louise Dean & Helen Keyser

Julia Snell
John Crumbley
David Herrick
Lorraine "Dixie" Stovall Woodside
Goldie Scott
Martha Merritt
Diane Norelius
Claudie Danonville
Donna Johns
Dr. Edward F. Wilson
Ellen Galson Ritteman

For a complete list, or for more information on naming opportunities, please visit us online.
Copyright © 2019 Eugene Public Library Foundation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
100 W 10th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401 

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Eugene Public Library Foundation · 100 West 10th Ave. · Suite 317 · Eugene, OR 97401 · USA

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