We are so grateful to everyone who made our inaugural Fall Fundraiser, a Banned Books Masquerade, a huge success!

Check this space for updates on our 2024 Fall Fundraiser, coming soon.

Fall 2023 Fundraiser: Celebrate the Freedom to Read

Thank you for supporting the freedom to read! The Downers Grove Public Library Foundation is honored and humbled by your support. Our celebration of the Downers Grove Public Library and the freedom to read was a huge success and that is thanks to you! Whether you attended the event in person, bid on a silent auction item online, or donated to the cause, we offer our sincere gratitude! Because of you, we reached our funding goal of $25,000!

Follow us on social media (Facebook and Instagram) to learn how those funds get transformed into #ExtraordinaryGifts for the Downers Grove Public Library

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ‘Celebrate the Freedom to Read: A Banned Books Masquerade’ event?

Celebrate the Freedom to Read: A Banned Books Masquerade is a first-of-its-kind signature fundraiser event held by the Downers Grove Public Library Foundation. It will serve as a celebration of Banned Books Week (an annual week-long event from the American Library Association that brings light to attempts at censorship and threats to access to information), acknowledgement of the historic legislation recently passed in Illinois, and a party in honor of the library we all love. Check back often as more details become available.

What is Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is an (ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and Banned Books Week Coalition supported) annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. 

What can I expect to see at the DGPLF ‘Celebrate the Freedom to Read’ event?

Guests will experience food and drink, a DJ and live band, raffle and silent auction, guest speakers and more!

Didn’t Illinois pass a law banning book bans? Why do we need this event?

In June 2023, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB 2789 – informally known as the Freedom to Read Act, making Illinois the first state in the nation to formally ban book banning. Effective 1/1/2024, the law requires that libraries of all types within the state of Illinois adapt ALA’s Bill of Rights in order to be eligible for state funding. While this law will protect libraries from being coerced into engaging in censorship and removing books from the shelves, that doesn’t mean that threats of book challenges will disappear. In the Downers Grove community specifically, Library Board of Trustees meetings regularly include public comment about access to certain book titles that some in the audience deem inappropriate and obscene. Not to mention that many of Illinois’ neighboring states are still at risk. Libraries hold the responsibility to offer unfettered access to information for all patrons, aiding in the open exchange of ideas. Regardless of this historic legislation there are still threats to that access, be it book challenges or the growing digital divide. Libraries will always continue the fight for ceaseless access for all. This event will serve as a forum to celebrate recent progress while bolstering support for the challenges ahead.

Do I need to dress up for the event?

It’s a party! Dress in what makes you feel good, whether that’s representing your favorite book or literary character or masquerade-related or not. Note, there will be masques available for guests upon arrival, while supplies last.

Sounds cool! Can I bring my teen?

Please note that the venue is for guests 21 and over only.

What will my dollars support if I attend / donate?

As always, every dollar goes back to the library you love. The DGPL Foundation supports the library with books, art, the social work program, expanded online offerings, satellite stacks for seniors, book club bags, the Anything Emporium, Korean world language books, the summer reading program, membership in Illinois Libraries Presents and more!

What’s the difference between the Foundation, the Board of Trustees and the Library?

The DGPL Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit operated by a (non-elected) board of volunteer directors with the purpose of fundraising for the library beyond taxpayer support. The Library Board of Trustees are appointed by the Village Council on staggered terms of six years and help set the strategic trajectory for the Library. The Downers Grove Public Library is an independent self-governing entity funded by taxpayers.

I can’t attend – how else can I support the library?

You can always make a donation to the Foundation via our website: www.dgplfoundation.org. We also welcome financial, estate and charitable giving here.

How can I get involved with the Foundation?

We’d love to have you! Please reach out to us online at dgplfoundation.org/contact or via email at dgplfdn@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow us on social media! Find us on Facebook and Instagram.