Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Supports Libraries in Latest $6.9 Million Grant Cycle

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Foundation’s founders pay tribute to parents’ passion for libraries and reading in new round of giving

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We want to help libraries maintain relevance and financial stability by building lasting and meaningful connections with their patrons, especially young people.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced today it will be supporting local libraries in Washington and Oregon with $1.35 million in funding this year as part of its newest grant cycle. Libraries are significant to the Foundation’s founders, Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen, whose father worked for the University of Washington library system and whose mother promoted reading throughout her life.

The library grants, which will help improve library services and technological capabilities, are part of a $6.95 million grant cycle that funds a broad array of non-profit groups that work to strengthen communities and foster economic resilience.

“The Foundation believes in the mission and impact of local libraries, and the contribution they make to vibrant communities,” said Susan M. Coliton, vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “We want to help libraries maintain relevance and financial stability by building lasting and meaningful connections with their patrons, especially young people.”

A sample of Foundation library grants from this cycle includes:

— a $200,000 grant to support Washington State Libraries’ development of a smartphone app to bring basic library services to rural patrons;
— a $200,000 grant to fund teen library programming projects through the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation;
— a $136,000 grant to support a technology lab at the Walla Walla Public Library; and
— a $190,000 grant to Multnomah County, Ore., to develop a technology-based, advisory service that pairs patrons with a personal librarian.

Since 1990, the Foundation has invested more than $26 million in libraries. An infographic exploring its latest library giving is available at

In addition to the library grants, more than two dozen arts and culture groups from rural and urban areas across the Northwest will also receive funding. Oregon Public Broadcasting will use a $120,000 grant to develop a new program covering the local arts community. The Wrangell Cooperative Association in Wrangell, Alaska will use part of its $100,000 grant to build a carving facility.

The Foundation continues its efforts to help people with low incomes achieve economic security. For example, United Indians of All Tribes in Seattle will use a $100,000 grant to develop and implement intensive financial education for Native Americans, both homeless youth and parents of children enrolled in Head Start programs. Bienestar, located in Hillsboro, Ore., will create a new food service training curriculum for rural, low-income Latinos, while Seattle Tilth will expand its microenterprise program for immigrant and refugee farmers.

Additional grants will fund brain research exhibits at the Pacific Science Center, sustainable land use in Botswana and Zambia and other projects in the Pacific Northwest.

The projects supported in this cycle are expected to impact nearly 2.7 million individuals. A full list of grant recipients is available at

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About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jo Lynn Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $454 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide financial relief amid the economic downturn. For more information, go to

Chris Nelson, Pyramid Communications
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