Guest Column

The Potential of ImagineIF Libraries is a Shared Responsibility 

We will always be an organization looking forward and committed to contributing to a thriving community

By The ImagineIF Library Foundation Board and Staff

We are the ImagineIF Library Foundation. We are rooted in generosity to our libraries, staff, and community and have the privilege of enhancing patron services at ImagineIF Libraries as the largest private donor. As we prepare for a new year, we do so with renewed faith in our ImagineIF Libraries, in their rich history, and incredible potential to tell the stories of a vibrant community.

For more than 32 years, the Foundation has cultivated and stewarded donors who support ImagineIF and its vision of advancing connection, education, and economic development. We work closely with the Library Trustees and the Library Director to fund exceptional programming, materials, and facility upgrades that enhance services and resources provided by the county.

We have the privilege to fund life-changing programs like early literacy classes and Summer Experience for the youth in our area. Looking forward, we hope to invest in adult programs that spark curiosity, conversation, and community, and we are committed to encouraging the county to support facilities that match the needs and future of library services for ImagineIF Kalispell, Bigfork, and Columbia Falls.

As the pendulum of library leadership, priorities, and funding swings, our commitment to ImagineIF Libraries remains – we will be the strong foundation they require; we will steward investments that promote creativity, inclusivity, and fulfill community needs. We will always be an organization looking forward and committed to contributing to a thriving community.

The Foundation stands with ImagineIF Libraries because we understand that now, more than ever, the library needs our support. They need allies to advocate for adequate public funding, reasonable policy-setting, and thoughtful decision-making so that librarians can do their professional work.

They deserve funding commensurate with a prosperous county tax-base, exceptional public schools, and a growing economy. They deserve staffing and facilities that meet the out-sized needs of Kalispell, Bigfork, Columbia Falls and Marion.

Advocating for our libraries is our shared responsibility. Vibrant communities are a direct result of vibrant public libraries. The ImagineIF Library Foundation and our loyal supporters understand this, and we hope you will consider your future-focused commitment to ImagineIF and its important place in our community. Learn more at www.imagineiflibraryfoundation.org.

The ImagineIF Library Foundation Board and Staff: Sara Busse, president, Kalispell; Emily Crawford, Kalispell; Hilary Devlin, Ferndale; Talia Domenico, West Valley; Sharon Furlong, Kalispell, Kelli Higgins, Kalispell; Adam Tunnell, executive director, Bigfork; Stu Wilson, Columbia Falls; and Erica Wirtala, West Valley.