Birth of a Foundation
LPLF was founded in 1991 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.
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.
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.
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: