Fine libraries everywhere exist with public funds, but it is through private gifts that they flourish.

About Us

The Lafayette Public Library Foundation (LPLF) provides financial support to the Lafayette Public Library resulting in free materials and services to the thousands of adults, children and youth of Lafayette Parish. Through advocacy and fundraising, the LPLF strengthens Lafayette public libraries and promotes greater awareness of valuable library resources available to the community.

The nonprofit LPLF was founded in 1992 to raise private funds for materials and services not otherwise available for the Lafayette Parish Library System.

Local property taxes fund the operation of the main library and its nine branch locations. However, volunteer visionaries foresaw the need for another source of library funding to ensure that our community would have not merely an adequate public library system but an exceptional one. Through their efforts, the foundation was established.

The all-volunteer LPLF is the vehicle to attract and receive private contributions that provide support beyond what is available through traditional tax-based funding.

Though the LPLF does not support the library’s basic operations, it does, work with the library to determine where private support can expand the library’s work, making a life-changing difference for Lafayette’s children and families.

To see how the Foundation is truly making a difference for the nine public library branches that serve Lafayette Parish. visit:

Primary Goals

History

The Foundation was started in 1992 by a group of individuals who realized that great libraries wouldn’t be possible through public funding alone. The LPLF was the first library board incorporated in Louisiana and has served as a successful model for other metro areas in the state.

Birth of a Foundation

In 1991, Bill McGoffin was serving as the vice president of the board of directors of the Friends of the Lafayette Public Library, a separate Lafayette fundraising organization that focuses on more immediate, short-term funding for the libraries. He along with other Friends board members recognized a need to form a separate, nonprofit organization to receive donations from the private sector and to establish an endowment fund that could serve as a long-term revenue stream to support the library. With help from Friends board member Dolores Owen and then library director Sonya Branch and others, they prepared the necessary documents and the Lafayette Public Library Foundation was incorporated in June 1992.

Nonprofit Status

In November of 1993, the IRS granted the foundation nonprofit tax status. Now officially in business, the hard work could begin. Officers of the Friends-Rosemary Frederic, Marion Embree, Bill McGoffin and Flossie Turner-performed double duties by also serving as officers of the newly established corporation. Library Board of Control members Mike Killeen, Eleanor Straub, and Suzan Allen rounded out the group’s initial board.

Advocacy

In addition to fundraising activity, the LPLF has and continues to be an advocate for the Lafayette Public Library System. Board members were instrumental in building community awareness to assist in successfully passing the bond issue in 2002 which secured funding for north regional and south regional branch expansions, main branch renovation, as well as for new branches in the east and west of the parish.

Awards Luncheon

The Foundation’s first Awards Luncheon was held in 1996 for the purpose of creating public awareness and to honor individuals and groups that have given lasting contributions and support to the library. At the annual luncheon, the Foundation Award, the Major Donor Award, and the President’s Award are presented.  The award winners also have an honorary endowment established in their honor. For the latest information on the annual awards luncheon please see: