Press Release - October 5, 2016

Silicon Valley Community Foundation fundraising campaign replaces 9,000 lost items and restores library accounts for 4,500 San Jose youth

San José, Calif. –  More than 4,000 young people will have their library accounts restored thanks to a unique partnership between the San José’s Public Libraries and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which replaced 9,000 previously lost items.

“We are committed to eliminating barriers that prevent kids and teens from accessing the wide array of resources at our libraries that will help them learn, study and grow,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I want to thank Silicon Valley Community Foundation and its donors for their incredible generosity and commitment to San José’s youth.”

This past spring, Silicon Valley Community Foundation approached the City about the opportunity to work together to ensure more youth and teens maintain access to library resources. From those discussions, the community foundation raised more than $153,000 into a designated San José Library Book Replacement Fund, which will be used to replace lost books and clear the corresponding fines on youth accounts. The book replacement program reflects the philanthropic sector’s commitment to supporting educational enrichment, said Emmett Carson, CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

“Silicon Valley Community Foundation is appreciative of our donors, the Packard Foundation and other partners, who have made it possible for the San Jose library system to replace nearly 9,000 lost books. As a consequence, thousands of families will once again be able to borrow books and to view their neighborhood library as a welcoming place,” Carson said. “This effort is a perfect illustration of our donors’ commitment to ensuring that all children and their families, especially those with limited financial resources, have access to the joy of reading and learning through books."

The book replacement fund is one in a number of library-led and Council-approved initiatives to improve library access for its young patrons. San José libraries also spear-headed a “golden ticket” program that eliminated the accrued late fees for an additional 4,300 customers’ accounts who signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading Challenge.

“The San José Public Library is committed to expanding access for our communities,” said Jill Bourne, San José City Librarian. “With the support of Mayor Liccardo, our City Council, and community partners, we’ve increased branch hours, enhanced educational programs, and removed economic barriers for our residents.  This partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and support from their generous donors, further demonstrates the value and importance of libraries to our community and San José youth.”

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About City of San José
Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the nation’s tenth largest city, and the largest city in Northern California, with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and now encompasses 180 square miles. Facts about San José can be found here: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/780. The City’s website is www.sanjoseca.gov.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. As the largest community foundation in the world, we engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at siliconvalleycf.org.

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