When you support the Sun Prairie Public Library Foundation (SPPLF), you truly make a difference.
Members of the 20th Century Club, a Sun Prairie women’s group founded in 1901, provided the original momentum for the library. The Village appointed its first Library Board in April 1901 and budgeted $50. That early library was housed in the Village’s city hall with 208 books.
Today, the Sun Prairie Public Library boasts a collection of more than 135,000 items housed in a modern, 36,000-square-foot building. The SPPLF board is very proud of the fact that beginning in 2007, it has been able to turn over 50% of its investment income to the library. With the help of Foundation funds the library tackled two large projects: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and an Early Literacy Area (ELA). In 2017, thanks to the continued support of the community, the endowment grew to over $500,000 and the SPPLF now gives 100% of its investment income to the library. This has provided even more funding for the important projects. like digital materials, that keep our library on the cutting edge.
Digital materials are in high demand; in fact the library’s digital offerings now exceeds 200,000 items! The Foundation supported the library’s initial excursion into digital materials by funding Overdrive which allowed patrons the opportunity to download digital books on their devices. After several years of Foundation support, Overdrive has become part of the library’s operating budget. In 2017, the Foundation provided funds for the library to offer Hoopla which offers patrons the option to check out digital books, music, TV shows and movies. Both the Friends and Foundation help underwrite the cost of the library’s Hoopla subscription.
RFID is a massive project involving the tagging of each and every library item with a tag that acts as both identifier and security facet. In 2009, the library was able to move ahead with the implementation of RFID in order to better track inventory and to help automate the check in process. With RFID tags in place, the library is using an automated materials handling unit, which checks in items almost immediately after they are returned.
The Early Literacy Area is a project that involves the installation of 8-12 interactive panels designed specifically to teach pre-literacy skills to children 0-5 years. These creative, whimsical panels plant the seeds and reinforce the skills of print motivation, print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, phonological awareness and narrative skills.
In 2019, Foundation funding is bringing the Dane County Library’s Dream Bus to Sun Prairie to serve our patrons on Sunday during the summer and twice weekly to underserved neighborhoods in our community.