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
Are the outdoors the new classroom of the COVID-19 era? One thing is certain, outdoor spaces are more important than ever. At The Urbana Free Library, we know that our outdoor spaces are used for learning, reflecting, and connecting, and we're asking for your help to make the Library's outdoor spaces better than ever.
Green Street construction has moved past the Library, and we now have the opportunity to reimagine the Library campus and create environmentally-friendly spaces for people to gather – socially distanced for now – but in larger groups in the future. While COVID-19 has delayed us a bit, we are committed to working with a landscape professional to complete a design by Spring 2021 and begin the refresh process soon thereafter. We know this updated design will expand the Library's ability to spark curiosity, create quiet moments to read and reflect, use outdoor experiences for learning, and invigorate people though beautiful spaces.
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 the UFLive! series and 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!
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 email@example.com 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
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.
E. Barbara Meyer
With your support the Foundation has been able to provide the following enhancements, which were outside of the Library’s budget:
- Purchase of the vacant corner lot at 202 W. Green Street
- Purchase of the corner lot, including a rental property, staff parking lot and greenspace at the southwest corner of Race and Green Streets
- 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