The Urbana Free Library Foundation

Foundation Board | Foundation Projects | History of the 2005 Expansion

The Urbana Free Library Foundation was established in 1997 as a non-profit organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors.  Following the completion of a successful capital campaign and expansion of the Library in 2005, the Foundation continues to advocate and promote support of the Library to benefit the community, meet the emerging needs of library users, and plan for future expansion.

Because of the high level of support that we have seen for the Library from the Urbana community in providing outstanding facilities and excellent patron services, we continually look to keep our Foundation Board a reflection of the citizens of Urbana.  Please let us know if you have an interest in participating with us as a Board member (Foundation Board Information Packet and Foundation Bylaws). 

Support the Foundation's Annual Campaign



In this time of shrinking government budgets, The Urbana Free Library continues to be a vibrant and welcoming place. We offer programs that help young children learn to read (1,000 Books Before Kindergarten); that help teens improve their knowledge of modern technology (Teen Open Lab); and offer performances by local musical groups that inspire us all.

Overall, total check-outs from the Library were up by five percent last year—that’s an amazing 847,000 items! And we remain open seven days a week, with no reduction in hours.

But The Urbana Free Library can't continue to offer all of its wonderful programs—and remain one of the top-rated libraries in the country for its size—without your financial support. While the City of Urbana continues to support the Library, more funding is needed to provide the sort of programs and activities that enrich the lives of so many people—rich and poor, young and old, from across the community. You can help support our Library with a gift to The Urbana Free Library Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit.

We have another big project in the works, so this year your support is especially important. We have the opportunity to purchase the lot at the corner of Race and Green Streets, the former location of the Auler Law Offices. We would like to landscape the site so that it creates a beautiful and inviting entrance to the south main entrance of the Library.  Your support of this project would be a gift not only to our Library but to downtown Urbana.  While we look to acquire and enhance the area around our Library, we also want to continue improving the programs and projects inside the Library, including The UFL’s Champaign County Historical Archives, which is now cataloging over 700 cubic feet of materials it recently received from the Chanute Air Museum, which closed in the fall of 2015.

Through your generous tax-deductible donation to The Urbana Free Library Foundation, you can insure that the programs and activities that you and your family have enjoyed throughout the years continue well into the future for the next generation of families to enjoy.

Support the Foundation Online or Print a PDF Form

Foundation Board

The Foundation Board is a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community members, representatives of the Friends of The Urbana Free Library, the library Board of Trustees, the library Administration, and the City of Urbana.

Robert Switzer
Vice President
Mary Muller
E. Barbara Meyer
Elizabeth Czys
Dr. Bruce Hannon
Lee Melhado
John Palen
Willie Summerville
Ruth Wyman
Ex officio Directors
Celeste Choate
Mike Monson
Chris Scherer
Wayne Weidner


Foundation Projects

With your support the Foundation has been able to provide the following enhancements, which were outside of the library’s budget:

  • Music programs for children and adults
  • Upright piano for concerts in the Busey-Mills Reading Room
  • Outdoor sculptures
  • Cherry Alley Arch and Pavers
  • Outdoor benches and planters
  • Art @ Your Library
  • Flower boxes on the Race Street porch
  • Restoration of maps and drawings in the Champaign County Historical Archives


History of the 2005 Expansion