The Urbana Free Library Foundation

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Annual Campaign | 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

Next year The Urbana Free Library celebrates its 100th anniversary in its current location, a historic building designed by Urbana architect Joseph Royer. As we begin our 2018 fund drive, The Urbana Free Library Foundation believes we have the opportunity, with your help, to significantly improve the Library’s appearance over the year and for the next 100 years.

We have two big projects in view.  A year ago we asked your help in acquiring the vacant corner lot at Race and Green Streets. You came through big time, donating more than $100,000. In June we purchased the lot at a price well below what was originally asked and deeded the lot to the Library. Thank you!

But there’s a second act—designing and landscaping the corner lot as an attractive southern entryway to the Library and to all of downtown Urbana.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Library—both inside and out. 

The second big project is to restore the historic, east-facing front porch, which was found this summer to be structurally unsound. This will be an expensive job, and we want to do it right to preserve this part of the historic Library well into the future.

In addition to large-scale projects like these, the Foundation helps the Library in many other ways. We sponsor the processing of the Chanute Air Force Base Collection entrusted to the Library, pay for several new collections, and support music performances for all ages.

The Urbana Free Library has a special bond with its community, and we know we share that bond with you.  Please help the Library make memorable improvements during its year of celebration by donating generously. All gifts are tax deductible.

Support the Foundation Online or Print a PDF Form


Published on Jun 21, 2017 by Urbana Public TV:  The Urbana Free Library Foundation President Robert Switzer thanks the community for their generous support to acquire land located at the corner of the Library lot.

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 Library Board of Trustees, Friends of The Urbana Free Library, the City of Urbana, and the Library Administration.

Ruth Wyman
Vice President
Mike Monson
Elizabeth Czys
E. Barbara Meyer      
Barbara Gillespie      
Lee Melhado          
Mark Netter           
John Palen           
Ex Offico
Celeste Choate
Vince Gustafson
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:


History of the 2005 Expansion