DeKALB – Money will be at the core of the DeKalb Public Library’s strategic plan if it adopts one, the DeKalb Library Board learned Wednesday.
During the board’s meeting, Alicia Schatteman, an assistant professor with Northern Illinois University, delivered a draft of a strategic plan that has been in the works since December. The board didn’t adopt the plan, but could at an upcoming meeting.
Among the items she addressed with board members was the balance between donations and government funding to support the library.
Schatteman said a review of past fiscal years shows nearly 20 percent of library’s funding came from sources other than local, state and federal government. The rate is higher than any other library in communities the size of DeKalb, according to figures Schatteman provided from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Library officials take the statistic as proof of the library’s efforts to get donations from the community and the community’s generosity.
“I think it just shows we’ve had marvelous success with fundraising,” board President Clark Neher said, adding he did not want to look at more local government funding. “I view it as a positive.”
Library Director Dee Coover said community financial support has been – and will continue to be – crucial as the $24 million expansion project progresses.
The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the expansion plans Wednesday, forwarding a recommendation to the DeKalb City Council that will be voted on July 14. Leaders scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for the project July 26.
Development Director Marc Huber is in the midst of raising $3 million in donations for the project.
Huber’s position is scheduled to end in November, although Coover hopes the library will be able to establish a foundation that could support a full-time employee.
“We’re trying to find a way to continue the generosity of the community,” Coover said.