Partnering for Lifelong Learning: Pierce County Library Foundation, GTCF Agency Fundholders
Over the past 38 years, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation has seen Pierce County grow and change, but what has remained constant is the passion people bring to building a thriving community. Sharing community knowledge and stories about our lived experiences builds everyone’s ability to make a positive impact.
In our latest annual book of Pierce County Partners, we share stories and insights from individuals and organizations who are making a difference in Pierce County. In their own words, they speak about the dreams and lessons that fuel their work in the community.
“Libraries are based on the values of sharing and trust and exist for the good of all.”
Georgia Lomax has been the executive director of the Pierce County Library System for five years, “I believe information, and supporting equitable access to information, helps people improve their lives.”
“Pierce County Library is committed to regularly listening to community. Our most recent efforts helped us craft our strategic framework, which focuses on providing important services that spark success through learning, enjoyment, and community.”
Learning is a life skill and the library supports people of all ages in being a lifetime learner. All of this improves quality of life.”
“At its core, the library is about literacy. Certainly reading, but also things like financial literacy, civic literacy, or Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) literacy. Of course, we serve the whole population of Pierce County, but we’ve always had a particular focus on helping kids succeed in school, and ultimately in life.”
“Libraries are part of the network helping kids learn. We are the educators outside of the formal education system – we’re there before, after, and between school. Learning is a life skill and the library supports people of all ages in being a lifetime learner. All of this improves quality of life.”
“Our donors fund many things through the foundation that allow us to support child literacy. Programs like our Imagination Playground, which uses giant blocks to help foster the seven stages of learning with young children. Our Baby and Science Books to Go Bags contain books, activity sheets, field notebooks, and other resources that support early or STEM learning and curiosity.”
Most of the funding for the Pierce County Library comes from taxes, about 95 percent. That remaining 5 percent is one of the reasons the Pierce County Library Foundation was founded. It has been operated with a volunteer board for nearly 50 years.
At GTCF there is a spirit of generosity that extends to each partner. No feeling of competition –a real commitment to all boats rising.”
Dean Carrell, the director of the foundation, is an employee of Pierce County Library, “When I got to the foundation, I saw a need for an unrestricted endowment to provide flexible dollars to allow us to be nimble in responding to community needs that the library had identified.”
“Rather than going through a bank, we felt Greater Tacoma Community Foundation was the solid community partner we needed. Their partnership extends throughout Pierce County, like ours does. At GTCF there is a spirit of generosity that extends to each partner. No feeling of competition –a real commitment to all boats rising.”