The Downers Grove Public Library Foundation funds extraordinary gifts, beyond taxpayer support, to inspire and engage ideas and strengthen the library as a cornerstone in our community. Gifts might include art and books for greater community impact and outreach.

Here are recent projects and programs we’re proud to support.

Expanded Online Offerings

An unidentified person sits comfortably in a chair, holding an e-reader in their lap, reading a page of text.

To meet community need in extraordinary circumstances during COVID-19, the Foundation in March 2020 quickly approve a request for $10,000 to expand the library’s online collection. Funds established by a bequest from former librarian Lilian Culbertson provided more than 250 e-book and audio book titles now available to children, teens, and adults.

Fine Art

A vibrant blue woven textile is displayed on the wall of the library lobby adjacent to the book return.

The library’s art acquisition, Aqua Melt, Flores y Conejos by Melissa Leandro, was unveiled in the library lobby in February 2020. The diptych of jacquard woven cloth is an exciting edition to the library’s permanent collection, providing opportunities for the whole of our community to explore and understand art. Watch as the DGPL Foundation visits Melissa’s Chicago studio.

Satellite Stacks

A woman in a motorized wheelchair smiles holding a book while sitting next to a bookcase of books.

In February 2019, the Foundation generously funded an inaugural program for deposit collections in senior living centers, including Immanuel Residences, Lacey Creek Supportive Living, Oak Trace Senior Living, Oak Tree Towers, Peace Memorial Manor, and Saratoga Grove Retirement & Assisted Living. The Foundation’s one-time $11,500 gift includes large-print and audio materials and supports librarians engaging more than 1200 seniors where they are, with what they ask.

Book Club Bags

A member of the library staff with long brown hair and wearing an olive green top holds Michael Lewis' The Undoing Project book and book club bag.

A growing number of book clubs rely on DGPL to provide materials for engagement and discussion. In 2018, the Foundation helped fund this new program with an initial $10,000, exclusively in books, made possible through the Lillian Culbertson bequest. Cardholders can pick up to-go book bags, complete with recommendations and guides from librarians you know and love.

Kids Room Mural: Soaring

A painted mural on the wall of the library's Youth Services Room features storybook characters bursting out of books on a brightly colored background.

In June 2017, the Foundation commissioned Soaring by local artist John McDavitt. Many fondly remember his trompe l’oeil works, Solar System and Train murals, prior to the 2014 renovation. In this recent installation, books fly from library doors while characters emerge from their pages. With attention to detail, each book comes alive with its own vibrant story. John devoted several months to Soaring. To see it come alive — in a matter of minutes — watch here.

Ongoing Art Fundraising

Through its Garden Walk Brick Program and donations, the Foundation raises funds to provide extraordinary enhancements to the library’s art collection and cultural programming. The library is the cornerstone of our community and offers a wealth of opportunities to explore and understand art, providing access to the arts for all.

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