rbpl 1 032714Through his foundation, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner below, has pledged $50,000 to the library that bears his family’s name. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

(Press release from the Red Bank Public Library)

michael eisnerThe Eisner Memorial Red Bank Public Library started 2016 with a nice surprise: a letter notifying Director Elizabeth McDermott of a five-year, $50,000 donation to the Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library from the Eisner Foundation.

This is the largest donation yet received by the library foundation, with $10,000 being donated annually for five years.
The Eisner Foundation is based in Los Angeles and was founded in 1996 by Jane and Michael Eisner. Most will know Michael Eisner from his impressive business résumé and years as the head of the Walt Disney Company. He is also a nephew of Mr. Gerald Eisner, who has been a stalwart supporter and Friend of the Red Bank Library for many years. Jane Eisner and the Eisner children are also well known, particularly in the world of philanthropy, devoting countless hours to many wonderful causes each year.

The library exists in Red Bank today because the children of Sigmund and Bertha Eisner (Gerry’s grandparents and Michael’s great-grandparents) donated the family home in 1937 for the sole purpose of housing a community library. It was Gerry’s gentle persistence that convinced the Eisner Foundation of the importance of their ongoing support of the library.

Gerry was also one of the first supporters of the Red Bank Library’s History Room, donating some of his collection of family papers and photos to establish the Eisner Family Special Collection. Elizabeth McDermott, Library Director, believes “It is an honor to be supported by such generous and devoted members of the Eisner Family. It keeps the Eisner legacy alive at our library and recognizes the importance of our library to the community.”

Libraries in New Jersey are dependent upon funding from municipal and state sources. The amount given each year is based on the value of property within the community, which can fluctuate from year to year, while costs to run the library continue to climb. Libraries across the state have faced difficult decisions due to budget issues and Red Bank is no exception. The Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library was created in 2013 to build a base of perpetual financial support by establishing foundation and corporate support, sponsorships, and larger individual gifts.

The Red Bank Library will be releasing its five-year strategic plan later this spring. The plan was created with public input and data collection and will include funding recommendations and goals. The pledge from the Eisner Foundation, along with the donations from the Annual Appeal, will go a long way in helping the library realize these goals. Expanding services, collections, and technology to meet the changing needs of the community is of paramount importance.

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