The Sanibel Public Library Foundation has been supplementing library services of Sanibel and assisting in the promotion of reading and literacy. Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has provided close to $1 million to fund Library Author Series; the annual youth Summer Reading Program; a TeenSpace Room; and technology initiatives including cutting-edge computer hardware and software; youth early literacy computers; small business development eBooks; genealogy research stations; children’s eBooks; Sanibel Public Library mobile app; and more.
Obsolete infrastructure and responding to the ever-changing needs of user were two areas the Library Board of Commissioners analyzed when it began to consider a major upgrade in 2015. In addition to major infrastructure improvements including HVAC; fire suppression; and plumbing and electrical systems, the renovation updates the interior for greater service efficiency. In 2017, Sanibel Public Library was the recipient of a $250,000 grant from the Sanibel Public Library Foundation for support of its Your Library Reimagined renovation.
Grant monies from the Foundation are targeted toward state-of-the-art technology including faster WiFi, fully-equipped computer labs, and collaboration and videoconferencing centers. Additionally, Foundation funds will support expanded seating areas; a Think Tank for patrons to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives; a new Archives Room with digitization capabilities; children’s storytime space; outdoor plaza areas; and more.
The reimagined Sanibel Public Library includes both behind-the-scenes infrastructure updates to maximize efficiency and lower operating costs plus functional updates and improvements to both public and staff spaces.
These improvements include: new, larger windows to maximize the natural light and stunning views; four new study rooms; an enhanced browsing experience with more material displays; digital signage; mobile shelving and furniture that allows for flexible arrangements to host large events; updated spaces for Children and Teens; and an expanded outdoor porch plus revived outdoor courtyard space.
The Foundation is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to support the Sanibel Public Library and reading and literacy activities in Southwest Florida. The Sanibel Public Library is able to leverage its public tax dollars with private monies for excellent services and programs that may not be possible without the Foundation’s support. For more information about the Foundation or to make a donation, call the Library at (239) 472-2483.
During the last decade, the Foundation has provided supporting start-up and pilot project funding for:
eBooks (Overdrive, special business collection)
Catalog Search – children’s interface
Tech IT Out
AWE Early Literacy Stations
Youth STEM-related books
Staff training and continuing education