The Foundation has a volunteer board of directors with members from around the county of San Luis Obispo. These women and men of diverse backgrounds share a love for libraries, reading and literacy. The Foundation has no staff, so it is a working Board with key committees dealing with specific aspects of operation. The Library Director, Christopher Barnickel, and his dedicated staff, work closely with the Board, providing guidance on new and ongoing projects and feedback on collaborative efforts.
The Foundation was formed in 1996, when a Citizens’ Task Force for library services created an organization committee for the Foundation. Founding directors Lyn Baker, Duke Barnes, Joseph Boeckx, Geri Cave and Jack O’Connell signed the Articles of Incorporation on December 9, 1996.
- Began subsidizing the Library’s Summer Reading Program for children, which continues to the present.
- Received $50,000 endowment grant from Howard Mankins to benefit the Oceano Library.
- Began sponsoring what became the Book & Author Festival, which ran for eight years.
- Became the holder of the $200,000 Sarah Day endowment for the benefit of the Morro Bay Library.
- Obtained grant from the San Luis Obispo Community Foundation to support a public awareness campaign: “Your Library – Check it Out,” which continued through 2004.
- Sponsored and produced the Library Summit in Atascadero.
- Became the holder of the $195,000 Barbara Baltimore Library Endowment to create a program of grants for projects that will be of lasting value to county libraries.
- Funded a system-wide study of library usage and demographics through Orange Boy which provided valuable data to develop new strategies for improved patron services.
- Obtained grants from the City of San Luis Obispo and the San Luis Obispo Community Foundation to launch a Book & Author Series of notable author talks. 2014 presenters included Anne Perry, Max Brooks and Jane Smiley.
- Obtained grant from City of San Luis Obispo to continue the Book & Author Series. Collaborated with Cal Poly Arts to bring Jeanette Walls and Frank Warren to the Performing Arts Center. Also featured local Cal Poly Professor Emeritus and author George Cotkin.
- Obtained grant from City of San Luis Obispo to continue the Book & Author Series. Again collaborated with Cal Poly Arts to bring David Sedaris and T.C. Boyle to the Performing Arts Center. Will also provide a free children’s author event and pajama party at the Atascadero Library.