Friends History and Constitution
In 2005, with the encouragement of Karen Keninger, current Director of the National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Louise Duvall, Peggy Chong, John Billingsley and JoAnn Slayton, our founders, obtained 501 (c) 3 status from the IRS and registered The Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped as a charity with the Iowa Secretary of State office. Thus, the Friends was born.
In 2006, the Friends were able to provide two pieces of hi-tech equipment requested by the Library.
In 2007, the Friends donated $7,300 for free Bibles, supported the Braille Challenge, participated in the recognition of Volunteers and mail carriers, and other outreach activities.
In 2008, the Friends raised $10,000 for the Library, and this included furniture for the newly remodeled Reading Room. This donation of $10,000 became a benchmark for donations in the successive years.
In 2009, the $10,000 raised on behalf of the Library was used in part to purchase computer hardware needed to prepare for the digital transition.
In 2010 and 2011 the Friends were asked to provide $6,000 in support the Oral History of Iowa’s Blind Project. When the exhibition finished its travels, it was housed in the Library’s Reading Room. The Friends also donated another $4,000 to the Library to cover expenses for sacred texts and other activities. The Friends also added nearly 200 print/Braille children’s books to the Library’s collection. Remaining resources were used to purchase supplies for the digital transition.
In 2012, the Friends donated another $10,000 to the Library to cover additional expenses for the Braille Challenge, the Summer Reading Program, the Perowsky Volunteer Workshop, sacred texts, and the distribution of digital cartridges.
In 2013, we purchased the Calibri binder for soft-cover large-print books. The binder helps to preserve the soft-cover books, giving them a longer shelf-life. This gift along with other donations again comprised our $10,000 contribution to the library.
In 2014, The Friends purchased a 3-D printer for the Library for the Blind. The new printer was dubbed the PS3-D in honor of Pat Smith who passed away in November. This new technology will be extremely beneficial in teaching the blind and especially important in depth perception. We also funded an outreach program to other libraries across the state with the creation of story-boxes. These boxes filled with twin-vision books and other materialshelp librarians meet the needs of visually challenged patrons and connect them to the Library for the Blind. Our $10,000 contribution continues to ensure the success of the Library.
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION FOR THE FRIENDS OF THE IOWA LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED
Per Iowa Code: 504.202
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be The Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The registered mailing address for this organization will initially be listed as PO Box 93046, Des Moines IA, 50393.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The purposes of this organization are as follows:
A. To build support in the community for the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
B. To encourage gifts, endowments, bequests, and memorials to the Library.
C. To enhance the image, materials, services, and facilities of the Library by undertaking specific projects on its behalf.
D. To maintain an association of individuals, civic organizations, businesses, other groups, and specific projects on its behalf.
E. To create public awareness of the activities of the Friends of Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and encourage participation in the organization.
F. To assist in outreach helping to find eligible blind persons not aware of library services for the blind in the state of Iowa.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped shall be open to anyone interested in supporting its purposes. Organizations, clubs, and businesses may become members. Each individual or organizational membership shall be entitled to one (1) vote at official meetings of the organization. Ten (10) members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business.
ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS
The Friends Board will be organized as follows:
A. The organization shall be managed by a Board of nine (9) Directors composed of persons who shall be members of this organization. Each Director shall hold office for the term for which s/he is elected and until a successor is appointed or elected.
B. The officers of the organization shall be elected by and from the membership of the Board of Directors and shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
C. At the first annual meeting of the organization, the members of the Board of Directors shall be divided into two groups. The first group shall be elected for a term of two years. The second group shall be elected for a term of three years. At each annual election thereafter, the directors whose terms have expired shall be elected for a term of two years.
D. Directors shall be nominated by a nominating committee appointed by the President with the consent of the Board of Directors, such nominating committee to consist of at least one member of the Board of Directors and at least two persons appointed from the membership at large. Nominations from the floor may be made at the annual meeting.
E. Directors shall be elected by a majority vote of those present and voting at the annual meeting.
ARTICLE V: AMENDMENTS
The Constitutions and Bylaws may be amended at any annual meeting by a majority of the members voting on such amendments. Proposed amendments to the Constitution or By-Laws must be made available to all members at least two weeks before the annual meeting.
ARTICLE VI: FINANCES
These guidelines govern the use of funds:
A. Monies may be received from membership, endowments, projects, grants, gifts, and memorials, and shall be used to further the purposes of this organization.
B. All funds of the organization shall be deposited to the credit of the Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in such financial institutions as designated by the Board of Directors.
C. All expenditures from these funds shall be approved by the Board of Directors.
D. The fiscal year shall be from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
E. No funds of the organization shall be used for the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, directors, or officers, except that the organization shall be
empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered when authorized in advance by the Board of Directors. It shall also be empowered to reimburse necessary expenses incurred on behalf of the organization.
F. The Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped shall not intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. No substantial part of the activities or resources of the organization shall involve attempts to influence legislation.
ARTICLE VII: DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of the organization, the Board of Directors, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all liabilities and obligations of the organization, shall transfer all remaining assets of the organization to the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. If the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped no longer exists or is unable or unwilling to receive the assets, the remaining assets shall be distributed to The Iowa Department for the Blind or an organization that, at the time, qualifies as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or to a governmental unit for a public purpose.