The Bandon Library Friends and Foundation (BLFF) was established as an independent, nonprofit support organization dedicated to working with the Bandon Public Library and the City of Bandon to build the new library and then enhance the collections and programs of the Bandon Public Library.
Through the generous support of many civic-minded organizations and individuals, BLFF has provided funding for building the new library, providing accessories and furniture, supplementing the book and media acquisition funds, and supporting new programs.
The Foundation also provides on-going funding, through its endowments and annual fundraising for collections, book acquisition and a variety of community-based programs that contribute to the excellence of the Library.
The BLFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and is governed by a member board.
Click Here to see the Bylaws of the Bandon Library Friends and Foundation
Click Here to read the Bandon Library Friends and Foundation Strategic Plan.
Click Here to see the BLFF Endowment Fund Policy adopted 11/26/2013.
Monthly board meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. in the Library’s Sprague Community Room or the Merle & Lorna Logan-Friends Conference Room. An annual membership meeting is held in May before the regular meeting. All BLFF members are encouraged to attend.
History of Bandon Library Friends
The formation of Bandon Library Friends and Foundation Inc. (BLFF) in 2005 was the result of merging two organizations that had very similar goals and worked together for a number of years: Bandon Library Development Foundation, Inc. (BLDF) and Friends of the Bandon Public Library (Friends). The result was formation of Bandon Library Friends and Foundation, Inc. whose function was and is to furnish and continue to improve the Bandon Library with a view towards the inevitable growth and needs of the community.
The library started in 1893 in a locally owned store, later moved to a public building but was burned down along with most of Bandon in 1936. It served the community from a tent for a few months until more permanent space could be found. In 1970 the library moved into Bandon City Hall where it shared the building and parking facilities with other city departments. An addition was completed in 1987, doubling the floor space to about 4,441 square feet.
In the summer of 1975, a small group of dedicated library patrons who wanted to assist the librarian with items and services not available in the library’s budget met to discuss the issues. They formed The Friends of the Bandon Public Library, elected officers, and adopted a Constitution to “maintain an organization of persons interested in books; to increase the facilities and services of the Bandon Public Library; to enrich the cultural opportunities available to the citizens of Bandon and its environs; and to promote a wider acquaintance with the facilities of the library…. include the securing of materials that are beyond the command of the ordinary library budget, … sponsoring of such projects and exhibits, book talks, special children’s enterprises, and fund-raising activities”. The first President of the “Friends” was Don Smith, a former librarian who came to Bandon from Washington State. Presently there are over 400 recorded members.
According to Dee Elledge, one of the Charter members, the first project attempted was in the late 1970s. This was a book sale to raise money for the librarian to purchase small chairs and tables for the children’s program. This inaugural event has become a regular activity of the Friends, occurring two or three times a year. Other volunteer efforts such as the Annual Fun Run/Walk have also been undertaken to raise money and involve the community.
In 1985 and 1986 the Friends undertook the project of interviewing survivors of the disastrous 1936 Bandon Fire. The Oral History project was completed in 1987. All interviews were done on cassette tape with accompanying written transcripts. In 1998, it was decided that, after being kept in the library archives for 11 years, they would turn the recordings and transcripts over to the Bandon Historical Museum.
By 1993 it was recognized that the library was outgrowing this facility.
In 1994 the Friends contributed the funds needed to register the newly formed Bandon Library Development Foundation (BLDF). Bandon Library Development Foundation (BLDF) was formed in 1994 as an IRS non-profit (501c3) organization that it could solicit finances from charitable organizations. Its original charter was “To receive from gifts, bequests, devises, grants, or any other source, any property or monies to construct, furnish and improve a new Bandon Public Library Building to serve the greater Bandon area community.” In 1997 a reorganization of BLDF brought three members of the Friends on to the Board of Directors, and the Friends now became a subcommittee of BLDF.
Little progress was made towards funding a new building until 1999 when before committing to a new building, expanding the present library was explored. Limited land, necessary parking lots and the extreme topography of the site precluded building outward, nor could it be built upward, as a structural engineer determined that the existing structure could not support a second story. At that time it was decided to vigorously pursue funds to build a new library and also a Community Meeting Room, as the community did not have ready assess to the latter. In support of this vision the City of Bandon donated a sizable piece of land to that effort.
As an informational base for proposals to donors, the library user-history and demographics of the population served were gathered, analyzed, and tabulated. As part of that effort a bulk mailing was sent out to all residents in the local postal zip code to determine the extent of local support for a new building. The returns were overwhelming in support of the effort although the common caveat was “as long as no new taxes are involved”. It was then decided to avoid a bond issue and submit proposals to non-profit foundations for funding.
R. Turi, an architect of extensive experience in library design was asked to draw plans and submit a cost estimate. His initial estimate was $1,630,610, for a building of over 14,000 square feet, which included construction, landscaping and all new furniture. At that time BLDF had about $28,177 all of which came from events sponsored by the Friends or from BLDF board members.
An extensive campaign was initiated to write and submit grant proposals and contact all non-profit organizations that might provide financial support for construction. As a result of committed financial support from such organizations, and significant commitments from private individuals, local businesses, and in-kind donations of supplies and labor, it was decided by deferring expenses such as new furnishings and landscaping to break ground for the new Library in 2003. A major factor was that a local resident, who had contracting experience in the southern part of the state and approached the Board with the suggestion that the Board might act as its own contractor, thereby saving considerable money. Construction was completed in 2004 and the new Library became operational in that year.
In 2005 BLFF underwent changes in its officers and Board members. As a result it was decided to reorganize the organization to reflect the equal status and contributions of the Friends. Thus in August, new by-laws were drawn up and submitted to the State of Oregon.