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The Koth Memorial Gallery was dedicated in 1993 in memory of Wesley L. Koth, citizen of the world, art connoisseur, and longtime patron of the Longview Public Library. Mr. Koth retired from the Washington State Employment Security Department in 1978 after 29 years of service. He was a 1938 graduate of the University of Washington and attended graduate school at the New School of Social Research in New York to study under a faculty of exiled European intellectuals. He also studied at Oxford University in the summer of 1948. He traveled extensively throughout the world but always returned to his home in Longview. Quiet and unassuming, he left a major legacy to the community through this gallery, which offers area artists opportunities to share their talents with the many citizens who visit the Longview Public Library daily.

The library art gallery was refurbished through a bequest from the Wesley Koth estate and generous gifts from Wesley Koth's nephew, Frank Koth, and his wife Arlene and their three children: David Foster Koth, Judy Charles, and Nancy E. Thompson, who said "It is a perfect memorial as it incorporates both the arts and the library, two of his most favorite things!" In addition to the bequest, Koth's family gave to the library many of his books reflecting his interests in art, music, history and travel.

The Foundation also supports a number of key projects in and around the public library. Recent initiatives include:

  • Renovating the library's elevator

  • Building the TeenSpace inside the library

  • Purchasing new chairs for main floor and reupholstering worn chairs

  • Restoring portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Long in the periodical room 

  • Purchasing bookshelves for paperback collection

  • Providing funds for the education and training of the library staff

  • Funding for the Marion J. Otteraaen Early Learning Room


The Foundation also supports a number of programs that  promote and improve the availability of library services.

  • Children and teen summer reading programs

  • Project READ adult literacy program

  • Early learning programs for parents with young children

  • Northwest Voices author events

  • Longview Room restorations of historical materials

  • Fire It Up! Adult winter reading program

  • Culture Cards



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