Salina Resident Leaves Generous Gift to Library

A longtime Salina resident and Salina Public Library patron passed away, but left a charitable gift for the place she loved so others could do the same.

Salina Public Library patron, Linda K. Banninger, passed away August 2016. Although, Banninger will no longer enjoy the library, she left a generous gift–a $200,000 gift.

The donation was added to the public library’s Community Foundation Endowment fund at the Greater Salina Community Foundation. In addition to her personal donation, Ms. Banninger requested that memorials be made to Salina Public Library. Library Director Joe McKenzie commented, “We are humbled by her generosity. We want her gift to reflect her and to impact people who use the public library.”

Ms. Banninger was a regular patron of the library and an avid reader. Born in Salina, she worked for USD 305 for 35 years until her retirement in 1997. “She was a familiar face in the library,” McKenzie said. Linda was known to library staff as a sweet, smiling and quiet library regular who was often seen carrying an armful of books. “For many years she helped her mother come to the library to check out books. The library was an important part of her life. Linda was quiet and seemed to love to read. She usually had a smile on her face when she was in the library,” McKenzie continued.
In appreciation of her gift, one of the library’s silent study rooms will be renamed in her honor later this year. Though the library board of directors is still in the planning stages of the Banninger endowment, it has been agreed upon that this donation will be an active community endowment used towards literacy projects. This may translate into outreach efforts focused on activities that will make the most impact helping children learn to read. “We think that Linda, who loved reading, would appreciate her gift being used to improve children’s reading skills,” says McKenzie.

While details of the literacy project are underway, the gift has already begun to grow. At some point inthe future, the library will be able to receive 5% of the balance, which should be in the $10,000-15,000 range annually. Monetary gifts like Ms. Banninger’s can provide financial resources for the library for many years into the future, influencing generations to come.

As a nonprofit institution, Salina Public Library’s board strives to thoughtfully steward public gifts to grow and benefit the community through
library services and resources.


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