Shirley Meidinger leaves $200,000 to Alfred Dickey Public Library

The James River Valley Library System Board of Directors met Wednesday, July 13.

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JAMESTOWN – The James River Valley Library System Board of Directors unanimously approved depositing $200,000 that the late Shirley Meidinger donated in her will to Alfred Dickey Public Library into the Jamestown Community Foundation.

Joan Morris, Stutsman County commissioner who is an appointed member to the library board, recused herself from the vote on Wednesday, July 13, since she is a board member of the Jamestown Community Foundation.

Joe Rector, library system director, said the $200,000 is a conservative estimate and the library system will wait to learn the final amount donated to Alfred Dickey Public Library.

“I’m just blown away by the generosity and the amount of money she foresaw that she wanted to go to something to benefit the library,” he said.

The Jamestown Community Foundation is designated by the IRS as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code, according to its website. Funds are established by donors in a variety of formats, and the variety provides flexibility for the foundation's distribution of funds as needs change in the community, its website states.


Rector said the donated money left by Meidinger for the Alfred Dickey Public Library needs to go into some type of fund. He said the money will be put into certificates of deposit.

He said the trustee wants the donated money put into a fund that benefits the library.

“The trustee wants to know what kind of fund we put it in,” he said.

Morris said the Jamestown Community Foundation has different funds for entities that don’t want to set up their own 501(c)3 designation. She said the foundation gives the funds back to the entity when they are requested.

Meidinger died May 3 in Edina, Minnesota, at age 98.

In other business, the library board:

  • heard a report from Rector about the number of individual library cardholders. There are 4,978 in the city and 1,631 rural individual library cardholders.
  • heard a report from Rector on patron traffic last month at Alfred Dickey and Stutsman County libraries. In June, Alfred Dickey saw 3,491 patrons with 770 going to the county library. 
  • scheduled a board retreat for 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Unruh and Sheldon Center on the University of Jamestown campus. 
Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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