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
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.
The library’s newest 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.
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 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
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.
Integrating the arts into the fabric of our community is an important contribution to the quality of life in Downers Grove. The Foundation’s support for the library’s art collection and its arts programming helps bring the highest standards of excellence to the library’s goals of:
- connecting people to the arts and to cultural experiences
- enriching the library experience through art displays and collections
- supporting cultural programs that embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion.