The Ventura County Library System is expected to gain a new source of revenue through a private foundation approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.
Voting unanimously, the board gave Director Jackie Griffin permission to spend $50,000 from library reserves for start-up costs to form a nonprofit charitable foundation. She said the foundation will raise private dollars for the shared needs of the 12-branch system, as opposed to the money raised by various Friends of the Library groups for individual branches.
“We have no mechanism for raising funds for use systemwide,” Griffin said in a letter to the board. “This gap is causing us to lose valuable opportunities to increase funding for basic services such as books and literacy.”
The first funding project is a bookmobile that would travel to areas away from library branches. Griffin said the county system has not had one for years.
The vote comes three years after the Board of Supervisors directed library staff to explore new revenue for library funding. Griffin said there are few possibilities for creating that revenue under state law, but that the foundation is an option at a time when available tax revenues don’t cover the needs.
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