Friends of the Princeton Public Library to merge with Princeton Public Library Foundation

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library, a volunteer organization that has raised money for the Princeton Public Library for more than 50 years, is slated to merge with the Princeton Public Library Foundation in January.

Councilwoman Eve Niedergang suggested at the Tuesday council agenda session that the council honor the Friends group for its work in January because the organization will merge with the foundation. The combined board for the merged group will have about 16 members.

A library communications staff member will be issuing a press release about the merger in January after the merger is complete, a Friends board member said when Planet Princeton inquired about the merger on Tuesday. A previous attempt to consolidate the Friends and the Foundation failed back in 2012, with Friends group members and most library trustees supporting the group staying independent. But in recent years, finding people to serve in leadership positions for the Friends group has become more challenging and the leadership became more open to a merger, sources told Planet Princeton.

The friends of the library group has raised money each year for library books and other materials. The group raises money through book sales, ticketed events, sponsorships, and donations. The Princeton Public Library Foundation, founded in 1996, also raises money from private sources to support the library. An endowment fund was established by the foundation in 2003, and the value is now about $17 million. The goal of the foundation now is to build the endowment to $20 million by 2025.