The Urbana Free Library Foundation

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Annual Campaign | Giving Circles | Nick Rudd Music Fund | 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). 

Thank you to our FY2020 Donors!

Support the Foundation's Annual Campaign

Support our Foundation to make dreams come alive for children in our community!

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children exposed to reading at an early age excel at school. Children learn through stories and experiences navigated by their families and caregivers. The Urbana Free Library is filled with stores, rhymes, singing, and playing—opportunities for children to be curious and have fun in a safe, inviting environment.

The Urbana Free Library connects early readers to books and experiences that cultivate curiosity and literacy skills. By browsing books and attending story times, our youngest community members get the skills they need for classroom success. We want to make discovery fun and engaging for our young readers as they explore the Children’s Area—strengthening the connection between books and learning experiences.

We are creating more opportunities for learning and connection! Will you join us? Please consider making a donation today to ensure dreams come alive through early literacy. Your donation will be used to upgrade the Children’s Area to make browsing and discovery easier for our young readers and to add engaging tactile learning experiences. Click here to donate online!  You can also send a check made out to TUFL Foundation to 210 West Green St., Urbana, IL 61801.

This ambitious project goes along with many other exciting projects the Foundation is pleased to support with the help of donors, such as:

  • WiFi hotspots for patrons to check out – expanding Internet access in the community.
  • Live music through online concerts to bring people together through the joy of music.
  • Processing the Chanute Air Museum and News-Gazette collections by funding an internship.

We rely on community support for these extras that make the Library a strong community institution.

We invite you to give today and support this project, or give a general gift to support all Foundation projects.

Thank you for your support!

Donate to the Foundation Online or Print a PDF Form

Want to know why donors give? We asked them! The above video features donor Anna Merritt talking about why she values the Library.  Find all our "Why I Give" videos on our YouTube Channel.  

Interested in starting a giving circle?

A giving circle is group of philanthropically-minded people that come together and pool their dollars to have a collective impact in the community.  Giving circles can be formal with funds at community foundations, a specific grantmaking focus, and even an application process.  Informal giving circles can be a group of friends interested in supporting a particular cause one time or in an ongoing way. 

This type of participatory philanthropy has become popular in the past several years (modeled after mutual aid societies) as a way to increase awareness of community needs and have a meaningful impact beyond what any one donor can do alone.  The Urbana Free Library Foundation welcomes giving circles and can establish designated funds to ensure record-keeping and reporting for the giving circle.  We can also provide regular updates related to the giving circle’s gift and impact. 

Giving circles are a great way to be philanthropic with others in your community and make a difference at the Library!  To establish your giving circle, contact Amanda Standerfer, Director of Community Engagement today!  Email or call 217-531-7051.

Nick Rudd Music Fund

The Nick Rudd Music Fund was established in August 2020 in loving memory of well-known and beloved local musician and librarian Nick Rudd. The fund will be used for music, poetry, and visual arts related items and programming. If you are interested in contributing to the fund in Nick's memory, you can do so here.

Stay tuned for announcements about additions to our collection from this fund.

About Nick Rudd: Music was Nick’s refuge. He spent hours listening to records where he found a community of like-minded spirits. By age 13 he was already a seasoned concertgoer. At age 14, after intense dedication to the dissection of the musical compositions of others, he picked up the guitar and never put it down. His contributions and influence on the Champaign-Urbana music community run deep. You either saw him perform in one of his many bands or solo acts or heard stories of his legendary talent. It’s impossible to discuss the historic arc of music in the CU community without finding one’s way back to Nick. The Nick Rudd Music Fund was established in loving memory of Nick and is dedicated to all who seek community, creative expression, and joy through the arts.

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
Elizabeth Rockman
Kara McKinn
Elizabeth Rockman

Mary Ellen Dorner
Barbara Gillespie
Karla Möller
John Palen
Sharon Scott
Robert Switzer

Ex Officio
Celeste Choate
E. Barbara Meyer
John Thies

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