Allen County Public Library to maintain resources for nonprofits at main library in downtown Fort Wayne

The Allen County Public Library has provided services and information to local nonprofit organizations for more than 35 years. That will continue after the closing of the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center, which was housed at the downtown library, a library official said.

“We actually are moving back to our original model, which is having our resource librarians help people,” said Stephanny Smith, library community engagement manager.

The change came about because the Foellinger Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne both discontinued funding grants that had supported operation of the Paul Clarke center, Smith said. Both foundations now are moving toward providing their own training for nonprofits, she said.

The Readers’ Services department at the main library, 900 Library Plaza, actually began providing resource services for local nonprofits in November 1982 as a Cooperating Collection of the Foundation Center, according to a historical timeline on the Paul Clarke center website, https://pcnrc.org.

That work was organized as the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center in April 2007 after the Paul Clarke Foundation set up an endowment to fund the center, which was housed in the Readers’ Services department.

The Readers’ Services department retains all of the Paul Clarke center’s resources and databases, which now are known as the Nonprofit Resource Collection, Smith said. Library staff also will continue to arrange learning and training opportunities for local nonprofit leaders and staff.

Under the new operating model, nonprofit staff actually will have more time to use the nonprofit resources, Smith said.

The Paul Clarke center’s staff typically worked 9 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays, she said. People now will be able to access the same information during regular downtown library hours, which are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

To prepare for the change, Readers’ Services reference librarians have received additional training in how to help library users, Smith said. But helping people find answers to questions is what these librarians do on a daily basis, she noted, so it won’t be a big change for them.

In deciding how best to continue assisting nonprofits, library leaders considered all of the information available through the internet and social media, Smith said. The library also will be open to partnering with other resources in the community.

NONPROFIT RESOURCE HELP

The Reader Services department at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, will provide assistance with information for and about nonprofits, filling the void left by the closing of the former Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center.

For help with nonprofit questions or information, call the main library at 421-1200 and ask for Reader Services. You also can email ask@acpl.info to ask questions or obtain information.

For now, the library also will keep active the Paul Clarke center’s website, https://pcnrc.org, because it has information about some upcoming training opportunities, Smith said.

Going forward, however, most nonprofit resource information will be posted to the library’s website, http://www.acpl.lib.in.us, she said.

COMMENTS