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Naming rights for library renewal projects set; $1 million already guaranteed

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Logo courtesy of Ames Public Library

By Lauris Olson

(July 22, 2011 – 1 p.m.)  A $150,000 donation for the Ames library’s proposed renovation would link your name to the library’s Special Collections area for decades

Give a corporate pledge of $600,000 and the staff at the proposed new Information Center would answer the phone “The ABC Company Ames Public Library Information Center; How may I help you?"

The library’s board of trustees approved the naming fees schedule for the public areas of the proposed project Thursday evening.

Fund raising for the Ames Public Library Renewal project has begun in earnest. The renewal project would increase the size of the library at 415 Douglas Ave. from 48,000 to 77,500 square feet.

The project will cost $20 million to finance the expansion and renovations. The financial plan calls for a $15 million bond issue and $5 million in private donations. Library staff, the board and library supporters hope the bond issue can be put before Ames voters on the November, 2012 ballot.

The financing combination means the APL Renewal Project needs everyone’s support, said Roger Kluesner, president of the Ames Public Library Friends Foundations. People will need to vote “yes” on the bond and feel comfortable donating at all levels.

“This will truly take a community-wide philanthropic drive,” he said. “We know from past experience on our annual campaign drives that donations come in at all levels. We have had donations come in for $1 and we have had them come in for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are all important.”

Kluesner said planning for the campaign actually began over a year ago as the two non-profit groups that had historically raised money for the library – Friends of the Ames Public Library and the Ames Public Library Foundation - looked at how they could send a unified message to the community.

“The Friends had traditionally raised money through events like the book sales and the Foundation had done the annual campaign,” said Kluesner. “As a result, there was some confusion. [The two groups] worked hard to merge and set the stage for this renewal campaign.

“We felt it was necessary to make a clear, concise message to show the library fundraising for this is well-organized.”

Kluesner said he feels library trustees approval of the naming fee schedule is timely.

“It has always loomed out there since the beginning of the renewal plan,” he said. “But it is hard to talk to people about naming opportunities until we have the schematics in place and can figure out where we can recognize the individuals.”

The $600,000 request for the Information Center tops the 21 public areas eligible to carry a donor’s name. Other public areas include the Teen Zone, the Literary Grounds Coffee Shop, the Community Meeting Room, three study rooms and three tutorial rooms.

The study and tutorial rooms offer the lowest price tag of the public areas at only $25,000 per room. The Grand Staircase, another $25,000 naming option, is already reserved.

Eight areas usually only accessible to staff are also available for naming at $15,000 to $20,000 each.

While the naming schedule has just been approved, the APL Friends Foundation knows it already has 20 percent of its $5 million goal covered.

The library’s board of trustees voted Tuesday to dedicate $1 million from the trusts funded by previous bequests into the renewal project. The four bequests affected were from the estates of Gladys Myers, Dr. Herbert Howell, Roscoe Marsden and Verna Jane Thompson.

The trustees previously had dedicated $100,000 of the total bequest account of $1.24 million to pay for the development phrase of the renewal project,  leaving about $140,000 to pay for other programs and projects at the library.

Wallet or Ego?

My sincere hope is that a LOCAL corporation would want to give such money for the good of the city of Ames and the library as a whole. If it is truly a city-wide effort though, my most sincere hope is that everyone give what they can and all are equally recognized. Putting names on buildings and services in honor of those who serve and not who has the biggest wallet seems the most prudent in a public space.

Parks Library at Iowa State, for instance, was not named because then President Robert Parks gave millions from his own pocket to the library, he merely made having an excellent library a priority for the university and was duly recognized.

Be careful what you wish for; if it takes a corporate donation to get one's name on an area or building, the greeting you hear could end up being "McDonald's Ames Public Library, how may I direct your call, and do you want fries with that?"

Naming rights for library renewal projects set; $1 million

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uh oh

Hunziker Library

Friedrich Library

Story Construction Library

Harold Pike Construction Library

Ann Hamilton Campbell Library

Culhane Candidate Company Library

Winkleblack shelf

Madden Library

Peter Orazem Library has been withdrawn as an option at the insistence of his wife who likes Peter but hates his politics

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Uh Oh is not joking

This "naming" stuff gets out of hand when a super minority with plenty of money throws some of that money at a public paid project to get their name on something that belongs to the people, like a swimming pool maybe, or a park, and while we pay more, they get named more. Who wants to see those names for decades, anyway? Can't people simply "give" and not expect to "get" on and on? They aren't some kind of hero, are they. But we gotta laugh at poor old Peter and his named namelessness. Could have been my name up there, but I don't have a wife, and somehow they'd probably misspell my name anyway.

Naming rights for library renewal projects set; $1 million

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