Friends’ History

The Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library (FSPL) 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, FSPL dissolved.

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

One of the signature programs of FSPL is the Spirit of Literacy Awards breakfast, recognizing significant contributions of individuals and organizations to support libraries and literacy in Scottsdale. Here is a list of winners:

Year Winners
2002 Judy Register
DC Ranch
McDowell Mountain Ranch
2003 Sue Jenkins
Harry J. Lazarus Family Fund
2004 Michael Lacapa
Glenna Phelps
Arizona Republic/12 News Season for Sharing
Pendleton Memorial Fund
2005 Marguerite Lankford
Barbara Peters
Robert Rosenwald
Thunderbirds Charities
2006 Scottsdale Charros
Scottsdale Public Library Teen Advocates
The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
2007 Fred Christensen
Sondra Mesnik
Brad Schell
2008 Barbara Hatch
Joann Hamilton-Selway
Bill Jenkins
Cactus Shadows High School/Arizona Veterans Heritage Project students
2009 Sam Campana
Beth Fielder
Lou Ann Noel
The Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation
2010 Mary Manross
Stephanie Meyer
Doug Sydnor
Arizona Diamondbacks
2011 Wayne Ecton
Dan Harkins
Paul and Cora Messinger
Chipotle Mexican Grill
2012 Mary Amburn
Patricia Meyers
Civil War Round Table
2014 Jean Johnson
Joan Fudala
Marie Raymond
Contemporary Literature Book Discussion Group
2020 Lois McFarland
David and Diana Smith
Silverman Family Foundation

In 2003, FSPL raised over $500,000 through a capital campaign to build the Knowasis: Thunderbirds Charities Teen Learning Center at the Civic Center branch. 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, FSPL 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 only.

FSPL would also like to recognize its past Presidents for their years of service:

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