Danville Library Foundation
319 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61832
217-477-5223, ext. 114
Peter Blackmon, Executive Director
The Foundation’s mission is to increase community support of the Danville Public Library. We do this by raising and managing funds in order to broaden and enhance library services and promote education and cultural opportunities in support of the Library’s mission.
The Danville Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.
The general purposes for which the Foundation is organized are to solicit, establish and maintain, through receipt of gifts, donations, legacies, devices and fund-raising activities, a fund or funds of personal property or real property, wheresoever situated, or both, and to use and apply the whole principal and income thereof exclusively for the following charitable, scientific or educational purposes:
- To aid, develop and promote in providing adequate facilities for the Danville Public Library, which would include, but not be limited to, new construction, remodeling, preservation and development of its Danville Public Library Facilities.
- To promote interest in and use of the Danville Public Library and its facilities by the public through broad public information activities.
- To promote and aid in communicating with the general public, other corporations, foundations, agencies or other associations interested in the promotion, use, support and improvement of the Danville Public Library.
- To organize and maintain a membership of library supporters who shall be called Friends of the Danville Public Library.
History of the Library and Foundation
The Danville Public Library was established in 1883. A nine-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Mayor governs the library. More than 90% of its annual operating budget comes from local property taxes in an amount approved by the Mayor and Danville City Council. An annual grant from the Illinois State Library provides approximately 40% of the library’s book budget.
The library has over 203,000 physical and electronic items in its collections, including books, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines, DVDs, Blu-rays, music CDs, and downloadable ebooks, videos, audios, and music. On an average the library circulates over 130,000 items a year. The library is open 61 hours per week, Monday through Saturday, and is visited by an average of 400 people per day.
The library offers public Internet stations for adults in the Reference & Archives Department, for teens, ages 12 to 18, in the Teen Zone, and for children and their caregivers in the Children’s Department. A parent must accompany children under 18.
The library offers community space in the form of a large meeting room and a small conference room for use by the public. Between forty and sixty community organizations use the rooms each month. Four two-person study rooms and a large group study room for groups of 3 to 8 people are available in the Adult Services Department.
The library is a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS), a multi-type library consortium serving over 520 libraries in southern and east central Illinois, that facilitates access to shared resources, advocates for libraries, and promotes innovation and collaboration in libraries. The library’s holdings are included in a shared database of more than 1 million titles, with access to library collections throughout the state and the world.
The first volunteer group organized to help support the Danville Public Library was The Friends of the Danville Public Library, organized by the Altrusa Club of Danville in 1987. The Friends recruited volunteers to run the annual book sale, hosted book signings by Vermilion County authors, and held quilt raffles to raise funds for the library.
In 1986, a committee of the Danville Noon Kiwanis Club contributed all the legal work to officially establish the Danville Library Foundation for the purpose of providing adequate facilities for the library. It also was to communicate with the public to promote interest and support in the library. The Foundation was incorporated January 1, 1987, with the initial meeting of the board on January 16, 1990.
The Foundation Board can consist of up to 20 volunteer members with three-year terms with one-third the members being elected or reelected each year. Ex-officio members on the Board are the Director of the Library and the President of the Library Board of Trustees. The Board is scheduled to meet quarterly with potential special meetings called throughout the year. Committees are appointed by the board and work throughout the year. Committees on the Board consist of Executive, By-Laws, Friends, Nomination, Fund Development, Finance, and Donors Recognition.
In the 1993 to 1996 building campaign, “Bring the Dream Alive in ‘95”, the Foundation worked with the library staff, the Board of Trustees, and community volunteers to raise $1.5 million for the building of the new 39,800-square-foot facility and all its new furnishings. Community support was tremendous with over 1,300 donors contributing to the campaign.
The Foundation also supports the library with annual grants to support library programs, non-operational technology, and special projects.
The Foundation today continues to work to support Danville Public Library. A $390,000 renovation of the building was completed recently to update the lighting throughout the building to LED and create an enclosed teen area, a large group study room, a facilities office, and storage.