Two Million Dollars Donated to Carlsbad Library & Arts Foundation

The City of Carlsbad recently announced a two million dollar donation that was made to the Carlsbad Library & Arts Foundation. The donation from the Benson Family Trust will go to support the purchase of books, e-books, and other popular library materials as well as afterschool and literacy-based programs for all ages, electronic resources, and educational software in the three city libraries as well as at the Carlsbad City Library Learning Center.

The Carlsbad Library & Arts Foundation (CLAF) is a nonprofit organization with the goal of managing funds to support the City of Carlsbad’s library and cultural art facilities and programs. Russell and Betty Benson were Carlsbad residents who donated funds to nearly 20 local nonprofits through their trust. Betty was an elementary school teacher and Russell was a math professor at CSU Fullerton. Their longtime friend and neighbor Molly Parsons explained the couple’s love of reading, “[Betty] always had a stack of books and loved trading books with her friends. She and Russell shared a love of reading.”

When asked about the donation Library & Cultural Arts Director Heather Pizzuto said, “This donation is a wonderful example of the significant role libraries have in enriching the lives of our community members. The fact that the Bensons chose to recognize the importance of libraries through this donation is meaningful beyond words. Through this donation, their love of reading and libraries will live on for generations.” For more information visit or