Foundation Dinner 2018

 Foundation Logo Transparent 

What is the Library Foundation?

The Olathe Public Library Foundation is a component fund of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, established for the purpose of enhancing facilities, providing books, and adding other services for the Olathe Public Library System.

Why Does the Library Have a Foundation?

Public funds make libraries possible, but it is private gifts that make them flourish. The Olathe Public Library Foundation was established to ensure the library system remains a vital community resource.

The foundation's purpose is to provide a long-term supplemental funding program to assist in providing those services not available through traditional tax-base funding.

How Does the Foundation Support the Library System?

Donations are invested and the interest is used for the benefit of the library system. Foundation contributions may result in funds to offset some of the costs of library system automation, expansion of reference and circulating collections, programming, and assistance for the disabled.

The Foundation has provided $226,104 in grants to the Olathe Public Library since it was founded in 2000.  Grants are awarded annually at the Foundation's "A Taste of Literacy" dinner. 

When is A Taste of Literacy Foundation dinner?

For all the details, visit the Foundation dinner page.

Foundation Grants Announced at "A Taste of Literacy" Dinner in 2017.

The following grants will be used in 2018:

  • Children’s Summer Reading Program - $5,500: ongoing support for children’s summer programs, activities and books to give away to participants
  • Teen Summer Reading Program - $1,000: ongoing support for the teen summer programs, activities and incentives
  • Adult Summer Reading Program - $1,200: establishment of funding for adult summer reading promotion and incentives
  • Library To You Summer Reading Program - $500: establishment of funding for summer reading promotion and incentives for the library’s homebound program
  • Olathe Reads Sponsorship - $3,500: 2018 community read with related activities for all ages; an outreach and partnering project with major community entities that invites all to read the same book (there will be an adult title and a children’s title)
  • Customer Services RFID Inventory Wand - $5,835: a shelf management and inventory tool for library materials that works with OPL’s radio frequency identification security system
  • Lego EV3 Classroom Pack - $6,000: equipment used to teach science, technology and computer coding related classes to school-age children (30 student pack)
  • Sony Playstation Virtual Reality Bundle - $2,700: virtual reality equipment to be used with Play Station4 at IC which was purchased with 2017 IC foundation grant. This will include an Oculus Rift system and HTC Vive virtual reality headset.
  • 3D Recycler, Shredder, Spooler - $3,600: equipment necessary for using 3D printers and recycling plastic that can be used again in 3D printers
  • Olathe News Microfilm - $3,000: the library is the key source for the Olathe newspapers that are an excellent research and history resource: this grant will fill in the gap of years from the first decade of this century that are available at the library

How Can I Contribute to the Foundation?

There are numerous ways to make a contribution to the foundation:

  • Make a tax-deductible donation.
  • Make a contribution in memory or in honor of a friend or relative.
  • Donate property, investments and/or insurance policies.
  • Include the foundation in your will.

Contributions are cumulative and contributors will be recognized at the annual dinner. For further information, please contact Julie Clark at 913-971-6878 or

Contributions can be made payable to the Olathe Public Library Foundation and mailed along with the donor form to 201 E. Park, Olathe, KS 66061.

The IRS recognizes the Olathe Public Library Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization, making all charitable gifts to the foundation tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Your contribution is important! Continuing contributions are necessary to assist the library system in achieving excellence. A gift to the foundation is a gift of knowledge to the community.

Foundation Board

  • Eirene Knott, Chair
  • Gregg Herbert, Vice-Chair
  • Emily Baker, Secretary
  • Julie Clark, Treasurer
  • Vivian Crosby
  • Lori Franklin
  • Colette McGee
  • Mahta Millerlile
  • Susan Sherman
  • Hector Silva
  • Elaine Tatham, Co-founder

Olathe Library Foundation's Story

Olathe resident Cliff Tatham served for many years on the Olathe Public Library Board. Cliff and his wife, Elaine, felt the need to provide funding for the library programs that would not exist without private donations. In 2000, Cliff started a community wide fundraising campaign to provide funding for these programs. Their initial campaign was to raise $10,000 which would be matched by a $10,000 donation from him and Elaine. Being just shy of this goal, he approached R. R. Osborne, who gave the foundation $10,000. In 2002, the R. R. Osborne estate gave the foundation $100,000 and the foundation gave its first grant of $20,000 to the library for the establishment of the music CD collection at both library locations.

The foundation held its first “A Taste of Literacy” dinner in the fall of 2003. The dinner serves to thank donors and raise awareness about the library and its needs. Annual fundraising has been successful and has added to the foundation’s largesse. The foundation continues to be administered by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and has proven to be a good partnership. Library grants to enhance library services have been announced in the fall of each year and distributed at the start of the following year.

In 2016, the foundation received a gift from the estate of Olathe resident Maron Moore. A total of $281,250 was deposited in the foundation’s account without fanfare or publicity. The foundation is very grateful to Maron for the quiet but generous gesture on her part and her estate. Co-founder Cliff Tatham, after many years of service to the library, passed away in March of 2017. Memorial donations were received for the foundation. The 2017 “A Taste of Literacy” was dedicated in his honor and a proclamation from Olathe’s mayor spotlighted Cliff’s longtime work for the library and financial support thereof.