Reflecting on a lasting accomplishment

The mission of the Billings Public Library Foundation is to raise vital funds to provide a margin of excellence for the Billings Public Library.

 

When I joined the Billings Library Foundation, I really did not understand what that meant.  In a matter of a few years, it was clear.  As President in 2010, I was charged with the task of engaging the Foundation in the effort of building a new library.  A new building was needed to keep up with the growing demands; not only for books and a community gathering place but, for the need of technology.  The foundation would be the facilitator of the project. The city did not have the funds to build a state of the arts building but a partnership between the Foundation, city and community could make a new library a reality.  How often in one’s lifetime do all the stars align?  This time it did. 

 

We traveled to Chicago for a seminar on how to run a successful capital campaign.  Came back and convinced the Foundation and Library boards the time was now.  The partnership between the city and Foundation began. A plan was developed and executed.  We interviewed and hired a consultant, secured volunteers to chair the campaign and the board worked to raise $5 million that we promised to raise prior to putting the bond on the ballot.  We interviewed architects and secured Will Bruder for the project.  We facilitated business and community informational meetings to gain support at the same time putting together a volunteer committee to run the bond initiative that needed, to be passed, to finish paying for the building.  As you all know, we were successful.  Without the Foundation’s vision, hard work, and passion this project would have never got off the ground.  We not only fulfilled our mission but have left a legacy for future generations.

 

What does the Library Foundation do?  We give the Library the opportunity to look beyond the everyday workings and dream what their future needs will be. The Foundation works with the Library to see that those dreams become a reality.

 

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Evelyn Noennig

Billings Public Library Foundation Board of Directors

2006-2009; 2009-2012; 2012-2015, 2020

Board President 2010-2012