Fayetteville Public Library meets challenge grant goal

Fayetteville Public Library, 401 W. Mountain Street – Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The Fayetteville Public Library reached a milestone today.

Library staff and supporters have been working for five years to raise $1.8 million to qualify for a 3:1 match challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The library reached that goal on Wednesday, thanks to a $140,000 pledge from the Pat and Willard Walker Foundation.

“We just got word this afternoon,” said Susan Foley, the library’s director of development. “We are just ecstatic. Over the moon.”

Officials plan to use half of the funds toward humanities-based programing, and the other half to add to the library’s collections, Foley said.

“Humanities really encapsulates so much. Architecture to archaeology to art, and everything in between. We’ll really be able to add some great things to our collections,” she said.

The endowment has been a focus for Foley since she arrived at the library three years ago, but she credited the community for coming together to reach the goal.

“There have been so many people who have worked on this for the last five years,” she said. “Just the fact that we were able to do this, it really is such a great feeling,” she said.