Columbia Public Library receives gift for children's interactive services

Saturday, January 21, 2012 | 3:33 p.m. CST; updated 2:05 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 12, 2013

COLUMBIA — An anonymous $50,000 gift to Columbia Public Library will be used for interactive learning activities for children.

Library Director Melissa Carr said a staff committee will study options over the course of the next year for spending the gift. Discussions with the foundation will continue to include its wishes in the plan, she said.

Although the details are still in the early planning stages, Carr imagines physical changes in Children's Area and more programming for children’s services at Columbia Public Library.

The Daniel Boone Regional Library Board accepted the $50,000 gift in November. The donor, described by the library as a "family foundation," does not wish to be named.

Carr called the donation a "gracious, wonderful opportunity" and said the library wants to make sure the gift makes "a positive impact on learning."

Columbia Public Library will present a proposal to the Daniel Boone Regional Library Board around the end of this year for how to spend the gift, Carr said, with implementation planned for 2013.

Another library in the Daniel Boone Regional Library network, Callaway County Public Library, is working with a community organization to expand early-childhood education in Callaway County.

Friend to Friend Inc., a nonprofit organization formed in fall 2011, is signing up children who live north of Interstate 70 in Callaway County for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The project, established with a gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, provides free books once each month to children under 5 years old.

Megan Cobb of Friend to Friend Inc. said Thursday that 42 children signed up to receive books such as “Corduroy Goes to the Doctor” by Don Freeman beginning in the third week of February.

The need to start small is the reason for geographically limiting the scope of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, said Mitzi St. John, spokeswoman for Daniel Boone Regional Library.

Plans call to expand the program into the rest of Callaway County throughout this year.

In Columbia, the Dolly Parton library has continued to blossom since its inception in summer 2008. St. John said The Heart of Missouri United Way has signed up 3,976 children to receive books since then, with expectations to break the 4,000 mark in February.


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