By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Finished: Washakie County library system completes endowment challenge

WORLAND – The Washakie County Library system, which consists of the Washakie County Library in Worland and the Ten Sleep Library in Ten Sleep, has completed the Wyoming Libraries Endowment Challenge, with a little help from Teton County.

 

March 1, 2018



WORLAND – The Washakie County Library system, which consists of the Washakie County Library in Worland and the Ten Sleep Library in Ten Sleep, has completed the Wyoming Libraries Endowment Challenge, with a little help from Teton County.

Karen Funk, Washakie County Library System Director said, “We appreciate the support of the people in Washakie County and those who care and have ties to our county that helped meet the challenge. Fundraisers were held, memorials were given, dedicated yearly donations were included, pocket change was dropped in collection boxes and kids donated money from their piggy banks. Every donation was given from the heart. This money was invested to ensure that our libraries continue.”

In 2008 the Wyoming Legislature passed a bill, the Wyoming Libraries Endowment Challenge, to assist in keeping Wyoming libraries up and running if and when a the time came when money was tight and serious cuts occurred in the budget. Each county library or library system was challenged to raise a specific amount of money that the state of Wyoming would match either one-to-one, two-to-one or three-to-one depending on the need of the county. Washakie County was evaluated at the time as a three-to-one county, meaning that for every dollar donated, the state donated three more.


“In 2015 House Bill 0076 provided some more help for us. It seems like all budgets were being cut whether it be state, county, federal or whatever. So to help counties out that weren’t making their challenge, they provided a partnership. Counties that had already met their goals could partner with another county and help them out,” Washakie County Library Foundation member Dolleen Grobe explained.

“The majority of our goal was met right here in Washakie County. The deadline, I believe, for getting all the money collected is 2020. It just seemed like if we waited, we would be getting really close to that. So with that looming on the horizon, Teton County’s foundation director offered to partner with us. We talked it over and tried to figure out if we could make the rest by ourselves and we probably would have been pushing it really close. We decided that it would be more efficient for us to go ahead and partner. So we did and we have completed that now,” Grobe said.

According to library.wyo.gov, Washakie County, along with eight other counties in the state was challenged to raise $232,608 which the state would match three-to-one. After the state match, along with a $100,000 incentive, the Washakie County Library Foundation would be the caretakers of $1,030,435. “The principle of the endowment cannot be touched, so it’s there perpetuity and we can use the interest to help out the libraries in any way we can. The library director can come to us with a proposal if they need new computers, new books, new furniture and stuff,” Grobe said. She added that the money will continue to make sure that both libraries are up-to-date technology wise.


Even though Washakie County Libraries have met the endowment challenge, donations and contributions to the libraries are still needed to support the continued successful operations of the libraries; however, this monetary support will not be matched with state funds. All donations to the Washakie County Library Foundation are tax deductible and benefit libraries in both Worland and Ten Sleep, Funk stated in a press release.

A celebration of this achievement will be held for the community sometime during National Library Week, April 8-14.

 
 

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