Nonprofit Spotlight: Friends of Dallas Public Library | Atmos Energy
Nonprofit Spotlight: Friends of the Dallas Public Library

Nonprofit Spotlight: Friends of Dallas Public Library

March 1, 2020

Libraries store books and strengthen communities by serving as a resource for the public to access technology, early childhood learning programs and adult educational opportunities. Although American libraries are traditionally funded by public dollars, many libraries like the City of Dallas Public Library have found that city funding may not always meet the growing literacy needs of its patrons.   

To support the City of Dallas Public Library system in its delivery of resources, services and information to the Dallas communityFriends of the Dallas Public Library (FODPL) was created.  FODPL is the Dallas Public Library’s (DPL) dedicated nonprofit partner aiding the expansion of early childhood literacy programs, adult education and programming, summer reading programs, student field trip opportunitiesinnovation grants, library staff developmentand capital funding.  Since 1950, FODPL has underwritten $50 million in capital funding and materials acquisition and just last year provided nearly $500,000 in program support.   

Understanding the growing need to expand adult literacy opportunities and student reading programs throughout the city of Dallas, Atmos Energy first partnered with FODPL in 2011, focused on supporting English language learning classesGeneral Education Development (GED) certification, student field trips and summer literacy programs. Atmos Energy has since contributed more than $1.5 million to these innovative efforts and is the proud sponsor of the following programs: 

  • Free general English classes and GED test preparation classes in Spanish at the West Dallas Public Library and Bachman Lake Library Literacy Centers. 

  • The GED Testing Center, located on the third floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, and the cost of the GED test for any student in need of assistance.   

  • Early childhood and elementary level programs at Bookmarks at NorthPark Center. 

  • The Discovery Wall196 square foot flat screen monitor located on the second floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, leverages Cisco Realtime TelePresence technology to connect Dallas students with destinations around the globe including zoos, museums and more.  

  • Transportation costs to and from the Discovery Wall for local schools in need of sponsorship. 

Friends of the Dallas Public Library has played a crucial role in our city, supporting literacy and educational programs and promoting the library's cause in the public arena. We serve as a voice for the Dallas Public Library and their indispensable role in our community, and in our 70 years we've helped enhance our libraries by raising money for programming, staff development and much more, beyond what the city budget provides,” said Mary Wilonsky, Friends of the Dallas Public Library executive director.  “We safeguard our libraries’ future, and it is through generous partners like Atmos Energy that we can enable the Dallas Public Library to evolve into a programming institution on par with America’s greatest public libraries.”     

To learn more and become a friend of the Friends of Dallas Public Library, please visit: