Fresh from her most recent role as the Chief Development Officer for Seattle-based non-profit Global Partnerships, Beth Castleberry brings 18 years of experience in fundraising and development to the KCLS Foundation. Castleberry also held development positions at the Washington State University Foundation, Seattle Symphony, Junior Achievement, and served as Deputy Director of Development for Seattle Public Library Foundation from 1999 to 2004. Castleberry replaces recently retired KCLS Foundation Executive Director Jeanne Thorsen.
The KCLS Foundation is the nonprofit organization dedicated to raising additional funds for library programs, resources, facilities, and other amenities not available through the KCLS operating or capital budgets. Castleberry welcomes the challenges of her new assignment, observing: “The KCLS Foundation has a long history of partnering with the Library System to support popular programs such as Summer Learning, Library2Go mobile vehicle collections, and SAT prep classes benefiting patrons throughout the County.”
Foundation support for KCLS libraries and patrons takes many forms, from funding long-beloved library programs, to their newest supplemental capital campaign for a community meeting space in the new Tukwila Library. Castleberry offered this preview of the Foundation’s upcoming annual fundraiser, the Literary Lions Gala: “We are excited to be highlighting some of the System’s education programs at the Gala on March 22, featuring keynote speaker and award-winning author Amy Tan, whose latest novel is Valley of the Amazement. Reading maven Nancy Pearl and more than 25 other local authors will also be on hand to sign their books and mingle with guests.”
Starting this month, library patrons will enjoy a new form of Foundation support for the 2014 KCLS Start to Fitness program series, as healthier snack choices appear in the Foundation-operated library vending machines. “We will be replacing some of the inventory in all 14 library vending machines with healthier options. We expect the new inventory to be available in all machines by mid-January,” Castleberry said.
In 2012, the KCLS Foundation received $1,148,414 in contributions and pledges, and distributed $518,400 in support of library programs and activities. Castleberry expressed appreciation for outstanding community support of the KCLS Foundation: “One of the highlights of my day is calling donors to thank them for their gifts and hear the stories which inspired their contributions. We have donors who give to honor their friends and family, to support the communities in which they live or work, and to give back to the libraries they visited as children. The breadth and depth of the support the KCLS Foundation receives is remarkable.”