Allyson Walker Joins Salina Public Library as Head of Fundraising and Development

Allyson Walker Joins Salina Public Library as Head of Fundraising and Development
Walker continues to grow her roots in Salina alongside her husband Seth, two cats, Ivan and Odin, and two dogs, Froya and Oskar. She invites community members to reach out with questions or to make a community connection at or 785-833-9211. Learn more at
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The Salina Public Library is delighted to introduce Allyson Walker as the Head of Fundraising and Development. Both Walker and this newly established position bring fresh perspectives to the library's team.

Walker, a native of Lindsborg, Kansas, is a proud graduate of Smoky Valley High School. In 2018, she obtained a Marketing degree from Emporia State University, where her passion for helping others led her to the nonprofit sector. Early this year, Walker returned to her roots when the Salina Public Library sought an individual to fortify its ties with the community and lay the groundwork for future expansion. With her extensive experience in entrepreneurship and business development, SPL eagerly welcomed Walker's unique insights into fundraising.

“We are thrilled to welcome Allyson to the Salina Public Library. Her experience and passion for community building are exactly what we are looking for as we work to expand our capacity to offer quality library services in Salina,” Melanie Hedgespeth, SPL’s director, said. “The library’s tax-payer funded annual budget is sufficient for our day-to-day operations, but as we look to the future and consider the continuing spread of our community, aging of our building and opportunity to help Salina address future challenges we recognize additional support is needed.”

Historically, the Salina Public Library has operated without a dedicated Fundraising and Development role since its establishment in 1868. As programming, resources, outreach, and patronage expand, the physical building remains unaltered. However, thanks to the library's strong existing ties with the community, Walker's endeavors have gained momentum as she engages with local leaders and devises plans for future growth. Walker intends to kick off a "Listening Tour" in which she will attentively hear the stories of community members and stakeholders, seeking to understand the intersection of the library's mission with the community's needs.

The Salina Public Library’s mission is “Connecting people to information, learning, and culture”. “Regardless of age, background or circumstances, everyone has access to the knowledge and resources they need to thrive. SPL offers education, entertainment, innovation and so much more to empower the community,” explained Walker. To uphold and further their mission, fundraising is necessary. “Donations give us the freedom to support special projects or allow us to campaign for larger projects that public funds cannot fully fund. We are planning to embark on exciting new chapters, but we can't write them alone, we need the community's support,” said Walker.

When asked how the community can contribute, Walker outlined three suggestions:

  1. Champion the library: Advocate for SPL by spreading the word and sharing what you love about the library's services. By amplifying the library's message, you raise awareness and help attract more supporters.
  2. Facilitate connections: Open doors for SPL by introducing them to valuable contacts in your network, including friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues who may contribute to their success.
  3. Make a donation: While financial contributions are impactful, Walker emphasized that gifts of any size make a lasting difference. Donations can be made securely online through the library's donation portal, allowing for one-time or recurring contributions. Alternatively, cash or check donations can be sent via mail. The funds raised will be used to enhance the collection, expand technology, improve facilities, support programs, engage in outreach, and undertake special projects.

Because of the support from the community both past and present, the library has seen great success and growth. “On behalf of the Salina Public Library, I want to thank everyone who has donated, including our patrons who donate their time to volunteer,” said Walker.

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