Reaching a milestone: Library foundation awards $1 million-plus in grants

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Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Foundation leaders typically don’t trumpet their efforts. But Chief Development Officer Tracy Phillips made an exception when the 20-year-old foundation recently reached a funding milestone for library projects.

“We discovered at the anniversary of our 20th grant we have given over a million dollars to the library,” Phillips said.

The foundation is separate from the library. It has its own oards of directors and is structured similarly to Zionsville Community Schools, Phillips said.

“It’s very much like the model of Zionsville schools and the Zionsville Education Foundation,” he said. “The education foundation supports the schools by giving grants to teachers and such. The library foundation is doing the same thing for almost the exact same amount of time, now just over 20 years.”

Phillips said library foundation staff members are “quiet professionals” and say little about grants, but she wants the public to be aware of the foundatin’s efforts. Grants have helped fund WiFi installation at the library, a marketing rebranding campaign, an update to the library’s surveillance system, furniture in the teen area and a redesign of the children’s area, among other projects.

“Those are the things the foundation has been doing quietly, and so I’m here to say it’s time to not be so quiet, particularly, since this October was the 20th anniversary of our first grant, and we have given more than a million dollars to the library,” Phillips said. “I’m excited to start telling everyone what we are funding in our fall and our spring grant cycles.”
During its recent cycle, the foundation awarded $38,300 in grants to the library for projects such as incentives for the summer reading program, a private lactation space for the children’s area called a Mamava, and a children’s sensory garden outside the library’s 5th Street entrance.

Youth Services Dept. Head Kelli Brooks appreciates the grants.

“We have over 2,500 students that go through our summer reading program, and it’s a giant program where they earn prizes,” Brooks said. “The grant helps us buy prizes and books.”

Brooks also welcomes the addition of the Mamava, which is expected to be installed near the restrooms next month.

“We know area libraries have it already and have really great feedback from families that are very appreciative of having a place to go,” Brooks said. “We witness it all the time where moms are trying to nurse kids and they have another child with them and that’s a challenge to keep the older child corralled in safe space while the mom is trying to nurse another child.

“It’s very conveniently located to where all the action is.”

For more, visit zionsvillelibrary.org/get-involved/library-foundation/.

Benefits of the Mamava

Youth Services Dept. Head Kelli Brooks said one benefit of the Mamava, a private lactation station, is that it makes visiting the library more convenient for nursing mothers.
“We want to remove all barriers for coming to the library and utilizing our resources,” Brooks said. “We don’t want a lack of private space for nursing to be a reason for a young mom not to come here. We want them to have a space for that. It’s not going into a bathroom to nurse, which is not a pleasant experience, and a lot of our (private) study rooms have windows.”

There are multiple benches in the Mamava for seating, and there’s also room and a plug for pumping, which can benefit library employees.

“If we have a nursing mom on staff, she can use it as well,” Brooks said. “In that situation, it might be for the staff member to pump at work while the baby is at home.”

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