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:
McDowell Mountain Ranch
Harry J. Lazarus Family Fund
Arizona Republic/12 News Season for Sharing
Pendleton Memorial Fund
Scottsdale Public Library Teen Advocates
The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
Cactus Shadows High School/Arizona Veterans Heritage Project students
Lou Ann Noel
The Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation
Paul and Cora Messinger
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Civil War Round Table
Contemporary Literature Book Discussion Group
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:
|1963||Dr. Mack A. Ralston|
|1965||Mrs. H.D. Multer|
|1967||Mrs. Larry Levenberg|