Friends’ History

The Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library originally formed in 1959 with the intent of raising funds, collecting donated books, and helping build what is now Civic Center Library in 1968. In 1970, feeling its goals had been achieved, the Friends dissolved.

The current iteration of the Friends began in 1985 as a 501(c)(3) organization to focus specifically on fundraising for Library programs and services. The Friends operates independently of the Library Board, although representatives from both the Library and its Board attend monthly Friends Board meetings.

I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.

Former First Lady Laura Bush

One of the signature programs of the Friends is the Spirit of Literacy Awards breakfast, recognizing significant contributions of individuals and organizations to support libraries and literacy in Scottsdale.

In 2003, the Friends raised over $500,000 through a capital campaign to build the Knowasis: Thunderbirds Charities Teen Learning Center at the Civic Center Library. Opened in 2006, the space caters to teens aged 12 through 18 with computers and study rooms, music listening stations, and a safe environment for hanging out.

In 2017, the Friends undertook another $500,000 capital campaign to fund the Scottsdale Heritage Connection (SHC) at Civic Center. Opened next to Knowasis in 2019, SHC offers a permanent home for the written and visual history of Scottsdale, including newspapers and photographs, yearbooks, and interviews highlighting the City’s rich history. This collection of material began in 1973 through the Library’s Southwest Collection, but until the SHC opened it could only be viewed by appointment.

The Friends would like to recognize past Board Presidents for their years of service:

1959Virg Hill
1960Paul Feltman
1962Fred Stresen-Reuter
1963Dr. Mack A. Ralston
1964Brooks Darlington
1965Mrs. H.D. Multer
1967Mrs. Larry Levenberg
1970Barbara Rowland
1985-86Jim Wellington
1986-87Paul Messinger
1987-88John Berry
1988-89Bonnie Howard
1989-90Virginia Korte
1990-91Jacque Schubert
1991-92Peter Connolly
1992-94Diana Smith
1994-95David Gyongyos
1996Sondra Mesnik
1996-98Dave Barton
1998-2000Janet Wilson
2000-02Virginia Stahl
2002-03Doug Sydnor
2003-04Joan Fudala
2004-05George Hartz
2005-06Carol Walsh
2006-07Craig Miller
2007-08Martha Green
2008-09George Hartz
2009-10Jerry Hargitt
2010-12Carol Lewis
2012-13Annette Rumbaugh
2013-14Betsy Goreham
2014-16Katheryn Greenaway
2017-PresentTrey Granger