Friends of Scotts Valley Library has met its initial goal of raising $250,000 and will continue fundraising for capital improvements and programming to outfit the new branch in town.
Fundraising began in earnest when the Friends were formed in June 2009.
At present, the group is collecting donations to complete an outdoor patio with landscaping behind the library.
To continue the fundraising push, members recently named Scotts Valley resident Derek Timm as new president of the organization. He takes the reins from Elizabeth Walch, who had presided over the organization since its beginning.
“I only recently joined Friends of the Library,” Timm said. “It was a good fit.”
Timm, a real estate broker and a member of the state bar of California, also sits on the city’s planning commission. He recently acted as chairman of the Scotts Valley Save Our Schools committee, which successfully fostered support for a $48 annual parcel tax that voters passed in June to help Scotts Valley’s schools cope with shrinking state funding.
Timm is also the vice president of Scotts Valley Educational Foundation and was appointed by the Santa Cruz Office of Education to a task force on redistricting.
Walch, who was honored this week by United Way of Santa Cruz County for her work establishing a special-needs resource center at the library, was instrumental in pushing forward fundraising efforts at the library. She wrote a $15,000 grant that got the resource center up-and-running and provided training to librarians.
“It is absolutely satisfying and exciting,” Walch said of completing the fundraising goal. “It really shows the community cares about the library.”
Walch remains a member of the Friends but has stepped aside from the leadership role.
“(Derek) is organized and efficient and really excited about it,” Walch said. “I think he’s going to do a great job.”
The $250,000 raised by the group so far has paid for a media room in the library, sculptures by a local artist, a fireplace and $70,000 in materials and labor for the patio.
About $25,000 worth of work remains to be done on the patio project, Walch said.
Timm said the Friends have begun to sell engraved planks made of Ipe wood decking for $200 that will be placed in the patio area. Ceramic leaves that can be personalized by children and displayed on the patio are also being sold for $50, and Timm said the organization is seeking a big-ticket sponsor to purchase the annual naming rights of the new patio for $5,000.
Additional fundraising will likely help pay for new programs at the library, including programs for preschool- and school-aged children and tie-ins with the senior center.
“It’s been amazing to watch,” Walch said. “(The library) is a happening place. There are people from all walks of life using every inch of it. It’s just wonderful.”
For information: www.fsvpl.org.