Columbus Library Foundation Board
- Current Library Foundation Board Members include:
- Ramona Kluth, President
- Jim Dietz, Vice President
- Tom Kreber, Treasurer
- Mimi Ernst, Secretary
- Bill Flint
- Barbara Gay
- Cheryl Brandenburgh
- Also serving on the Library Foundation Board is current Library Board member:
- Stephanie Miller
The Columbus Library Foundation was formed in 1971, in response to a need for a new library to replace the 1911, Carnegie building. The founding members included: Leo Dowd, Ron Novicki, Hanson Elliott, William Noll, E.H. Lohr, Mrs. Don (Norma) Schaufelberger, Mrs. H.P. Behlen, Mrs. W.P. (Lucy) Venable, and Mrs. Dwayne (Virginia) Smith. The Library Director was W.O. (Win) Jacobsen and the legal counsel was William Grant.
Several years earlier, the Library had received a bequest from the Niewohner-Kersenbrock families. This bequest included cash as well as a downtown storefront property. The Columbus City School District and the Columbus Public Library were joint beneficiaries.
Nebraska Public Power District
In 1975, the Nebraska Public Power District had outgrown its two downtown buildings on the corner of 25th Avenue and 14th Streets and was building a new, central headquarters building. The City of Columbus purchased the vacated buildings and offered the one on the northwest corner to the Columbus Public Library. The offer was contingent upon the Library Foundation securing the money to renovate the office building into a public library.
The Library Foundation mobilized its fund-raising effort and, thanks to their tireless work, the members raised over $100,000 for the renovation project in just a few months. Part of this money came from the sale of the Niewohner-Kersenbrock property and the residual cash in the Library's share of that bequest.
The Library Foundation continues to be a vital arm of the Columbus Public Library. Since 1980, the Library Foundation has raised over $550,000 for the benefit of the patrons of the Columbus Public Library. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of a bequest from the late Marie Froemel, a long-time Columbus jewelry store owner, a special "endowment" fund was established in 1996.
The Library Foundation continues to seek donations to enhance library services.
Memorials for recently deceased persons may be sent to the Foundation in care of the Library Director. Bequests of cash and securities and property should be directed to the Library Foundation through an individual’s attorney or trust officer.
Serving on the Board
If you would like to serve on the Foundation Board, please fill out an application (PDF) and return to be considered for open positions on the Foundation board.