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Library Foundation of Washington County Receives $10,000 Grant from PGE Foundation

Library Foundation of Washington County Receives $10,000 Grant from PGE Foundation

The gift will purchase e-books for youth.
PGE Foundation presents a gift to the Library Foundation of Washington County at West Slope Library

If there’s one positive outcome of the January 2024 ice storm, it’s a generous gift that the Library Foundation of Washington County (LFWC) received from the PGE Foundation.

The PGE Foundation donated $10,000 to the LFWC, in recognition of their shared commitment to advancing literacy and supporting the mission of public libraries.

Washington County Commissioner for District Two, Pam Treece, was an important advocate for the residents of the West Slope and Raleigh Hills communities, which were hit particularly hard by the storm, experiencing prolonged power outages and severe damage from the storm. Commissioner Treece’s leadership included highlighting the importance of the West Slope Library as a community hub, and restoring service there as quickly as possible, given the challenging circumstances.

“This is a prime example of community organizations coming together to make a positive impact on the lives of constituents. We are fortunate to benefit from these meaningful partnerships every day here in Washington County,” says Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington. “When libraries thrive, communities thrive.”

Libraries in Washington County saw an increase in digital content usage during a time when libraries were closed, and people were stuck at home, due to the storm. The PGE Foundation grant will be used to purchase e-books and downloadable audiobooks for children and teens. This grant will benefit all libraries and patrons across the county because all cardholders have access to the digital collections provided by Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS).

“I am so grateful for the opportunities this grant from PGE gives to our libraries,” says Commissioner Pam Treece. “The fact that these funds will help provide e-books to youth across the county is remarkable! We must meet our young people where they are in order to cultivate their reading skills, and e-books are an excellent niche to fill. Libraries are the foundation to opening our kids' eyes to the world of reading and better engaging with the world around them."

At West Slope Library, the power went out and the pipes froze, resulting in water leaks and damage to carpet and drywall. The library was closed for 11 days, and it wasn’t the only WCCLS library that was impacted by the storm.

Power failure at the Cedar Mill Community Library caused some computer issues, and a large roof leak damaged more than $5,000 worth of library materials.

Power interruptions at Tigard Public Library disrupted the use of their automated materials handling machine, and a leaking pipe damaged the ceiling.

The LFWC is a non-profit organization that supports WCCLS and Washington County Law Library, both of which are departments of Washington County. The LFWC and WCCLS work together to determine where private funds should be spent to create the greatest impact for county residents and to support healthy and sustainable communities.

“LFWC is honored to receive the grant from PGE. It is a very generous grant which will directly benefit children and teens in accessing reading materials in an easily accessible format,” says Hannah McCausland, LFWC President. “Fostering access to information is one of the foundational goals of LFWC and we are very excited that PGE has provided this grant to further that purpose.”

The PGE Foundation also presented a keepsake poster showcasing the power of storytelling and highlighting the opportunity to provide “access to the stories that inspire and comfort us.”

Photo: Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, Director of Community Impact at PGE and Executive Director at PGE Foundation Kregg Arntson, Library Foundation of Washington County Treasurer Paul Sander, Senior Vice President Chief Legal and Compliance officer at PGE and Board Chair at PGE Foundation Angelica Espinosa, and Washington County Commissioner for District Two Pam Treece proudly display a keepsake poster gifted from the PGE Foundation alongside oversized WCCLS library cards at West Slope Library.