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Library Board Created Politically Appointed Foundation, Only to "Table it For a Year"

We finally spoke with Municipal Library Board chair Suzanne Charriere concerning the Dallas Public Library Foundation, which was voted into existence earlier this week. Turns out, it won't do much of anything until a year from now. If then.

"Rather than try to do something right now with the economy in the state it's in, I think the good decision for us is just to table it for a year," says Charriere, who expresses her willingness to work with Friends of the Dallas Public Library and its chair, David Kusin, who has expressed his concern over the foundation's creation. Charriere also admits that things may be fine just as they are: "Possibly we don't even need [a foundation]," she says. "It may be working just fine the way it is."

Right now, the Dallas Public Library receives funds from the city, with the nonprofit Friends raising extra dough -- which will be especially needed in coming months as City Manager Mary Suhm toys with the idea of trimming libraries' operating hours in light of the $190-million budget shortfall.

According to Charriere, the idea of a foundation is something the library board's been contemplating for some time, "but we just haven't taken any action on it." Now, though, "it just seems like for some reason, we should look into it," Charriere says, pointing to other cities, like Boston, which also have established foundations.

But, she says, "in the face of all the other dire circumstances that are happening around the world ... probably the timing isn't the best," said Charriere. She also says the new foundation has not received any offers or statements of interest from potential donors.

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