Organized in 1983 by dedicated community members who sought to create a tax-exempt organization that could seek private donations and grants to support the Library, the Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation has been active for 30 years. In 1984, The Internal Revenue Service determined that the Foundation was exempt from Federal Income Taxes under section 501-C-3 of the Internal Revenue Service code.
Our earliest goal was to raise funds to design and construct a new Council Bluffs Library facility that would replace the existing facility and equip the building. This goal was achieved when over $12,500,000 was raised, and a new Library was dedicated in 1998.
An independent Board of Directors leads the Foundation and operates independently of the City of Council Bluffs. It exists solely to support the Library in providing outstanding library facilities, services, and programs for the people of Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, and surrounding areas. It supplements but does not substitute for the traditional government funding of the Library.
Our initial objective was to gather funds to design, build, and equip a new facility for the Council Bluffs Library to replace the old library location. This objective was accomplished by raising over $12,500,000 and a new library's dedication in 1998. Since then, the Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation has provided funding for initiating new projects, establishing new programs, and procuring cutting-edge equipment for the Library.
Here is a look at some of our supported projects over the years!
Teen Central (2010) is a dedicated space for teens in grades 6-12. It is located on the second floor of the Library. With comfortable seating, wireless laptops, vending machines, and a graffiti wall, it is a space that area teens want to be in. The Foundation also supports programming and equipment for Teen Central as needed.
The Council Bluffs MakerSpace (2015) is a space for tinkerers, techies, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D Printers, Virtual Reality technology, CAD software, and more, this space lets those in our area learn new skills & hobbies. In addition, the Foundation supports upgrades and the purchase of new equipment regularly.
The Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation Speaker Series began in 2020 and hosts world-renown authors to Council Bluffs each season. Past speakers have included Carl Hiaasen, Mary Roach, and Geraldine Brooks.
The Youth Area Remodel
The Youth Area Remodel (2022) updated the popular Youth Area with opportunities for dramatic & collaborative play between children and caregivers. In addition, the update included new furniture to support one-on-one work, easier-to-clean and sanitize fabric, new shelving to accommodate our growing collection, and a beautiful mural by artist Angela Griner bringing our outdoor pollinator gardens inside!
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (2022) is a book gifting program that provides one book per month to children from birth to age five living in Council Bluffs.
The Foundation also funds security for the Library, supports new features to enhance existing spaces (like desks, magazine display, and digital search tools), and sponsors programming like author visits, concerts, and special events.
Frequently Asked Questions
While both work together to support the Library, they are separate non-profit organizations supporting it in different ways. The Friends of the Library is a membership organization dedicated to providing volunteer service and promoting our Library through well-organized advocacy efforts. The members pay annual dues and raise money for the Library through book sales and the Book Store. The Foundation focuses on fundraising and the management of library endowment funds. It works with the Library to identify the best ways donations and gifts can be used to enhance the Library's service to the community.
The Foundation is led by an independent Board of Directors and operates independently of the City of Council Bluffs. It exists solely to support the Library in its provision of outstanding library facilities, services and programs for the people of Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, and surrounding areas. It supplements but does not substitute for the traditional governmental funding of the Library.
The Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation is exempt from Federal Income Taxes under section 501-C-3 of the Internal Revenue Service code.
There are several ways to support the Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation:
- Make a tax-deductible annual or recurring gift.
- Create a legacy gift to the Library with a trust or will. For more information on creating a legacy gift, contact your financial planner.
- Follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
- Subscribe to our newsletter!
Would you like to stay in touch with the Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation? Join our quarterly newsletter for updates, news and event information from the Foundation!