Tulare County library searches for staff

Ben Irwin

Board of Supervisors approves new County Library position to coordinate volunteers and donation support

TULARE COUNTY – Fundraising is a fundamental part of the Tulare County Library Foundation’s purpose, and Feb. 2 the county board of supervisors approved a request for a new staff position to help with just that.

The County Library’s library volunteer and donation coordinator—a paid position—will support the foundation’s fundraising efforts, donor support, programming and volunteer efforts, in addition to supplying clerical and bookkeeping functions needed by the foundation. The agreement from the county provides $12,000 March 1 for one year to provide extra help to library staff to support the Tulare County Library Foundation.

Tulare County Librarian Darla Wegener said the new administration position is going to be a critical asset for the Foundation as they look into the future for fundraising.

“We want to make sure we have the funds necessary, as well as the fact that we always have amazing programs we’d like to do,” Wegener said. “Grants don’t always pay for everything.”

The foundation looks to turn the page to new building projects, including remodeling the Dinuba Branch Library, built in 1975 after the old Carnegie Library was demolished.

“We will need some fundraising for that, too, for furniture and any other kinds of things that we might want to get to make the library feel new and impressive,” Wegener said. “We do have money already set aside with the county for the construction part of the project.”

Wegener said she’s hoping the Library’s new position can help with the annual book festival—usually on the lawn at the Visalia Branch Library with lots of community groups, musicians and food trucks, but celebrated virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic—which has been moved to October for this year.

“[It] has not yet become a real fundraiser, but we would like it to be one,” Wegener said. “Managing that event for the community to bring a large literacy-based event that brings authors and community members together to promote literacy and learning in the whole county.”

Wegener said the staff has been busier than ever, even amidst the pandemic that has shut library doors and restricted most to pick-up and return only. She said the new position will be a welcome addition, and hopes to have the application on the county’s web site by the end of the week.

“We’re looking for somebody who’s really excited about libraries, literacy, reading and bringing more to the community,” Wegener said.

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