As our 2015 Annual Report demonstrates, Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Library Foundation seek to nurture, inspire and challenge curiosity, to surround it with a dynamic environment that gives it room to grow. We believe that’s how you build generations of engaged Chicagoans.
Today, Chicago Public Library is the proud home of the curious, reaching residents throughout the city with award-winning services, rich materials and state-of-the-art technology. The Library’s role is so pivotal to the city’s knowledge economy that it needs a strong partner to keep its mission front and center in the hearts and minds of Chicago. That partner is the Chicago Public Library Foundation. Dedicated to the curious, the Foundation advances the high-impact programs and raises the critical support needed to keep the Library fresh, relevant and responsive.
Here’s what we mean:
- The award-winning Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge reached 99,000 Chicago school children who read 72 million minutes—an 80% increase in participation since the program was redesigned in 2013. This program earned CPL the distinction of being the first library ever to win an excellence award from the National Summer Learning Association in 2015.
- Thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Exelon, one of the largest gifts in the history of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, and additional support from the City, CPL will create early learning spaces that bring interactive play and STEM-focused discovery to neighborhood branches across the city, with a flagship Early Learning Space at Harold Washington Library Center.
- In partnership with the Smart Chicago Collaborative and $500,000 of support through Connect Chicago, the CyberNavigator program was expanded to all neighborhoods. This digital skills training program provides small-group instruction and one-on-one support for patrons who want to develop basic digital skills. Previously at 50 branch libraries, this expansion will reach further into Chicago neighborhoods to deepen its citywide impact.
These are just a few of the 2015 highlights we are proud to share with you. Our powerful partnership is increasing literacy, bridging the digital divide and delivering a sense of excitement and wonder to our city. Each year, we set our bar higher, aiming to exceed the expectations of the supporters who make all of this possible.