Institute Library (New Haven Young Men's Institute)
847 Chapel Street
New Haven CT 06510
Contact Information
Address 847 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510-
Telephone (203) 562-4045 x
Fax 203-562-4045
Web and Social Media
The Institute Library's mission is to fulfill its historical purpose of "mutual assistance in the attainment of useful knowledge" for its members and the New Haven community at large through literature, civil discourse, and the arts. The Institute Library's vision is the perpetuation of the modern community library as a physical place, social space, and democratic resource. 
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1826
Former Names
Apprentices' Literary Association
Young Mechanics' Institute
Organization's type of tax exempt status Exempt-Other
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Valerie Garlick
Board Chair Mr. Gregory J. Pepe
Board Chair Company Affiliation Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C.
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Mission The Institute Library's mission is to fulfill its historical purpose of "mutual assistance in the attainment of useful knowledge" for its members and the New Haven community at large through literature, civil discourse, and the arts. The Institute Library's vision is the perpetuation of the modern community library as a physical place, social space, and democratic resource. 


The Institute Library predates the public library system (by 61 years) and has been in operation for nearly two hundred years. At times a bustling center of lectures and debates and at others a quiet refuge, we have been known by several names: The Apprentices Literary Association in 1826, The Young Mechanics Institute in 1828, and The New Haven Young Men’s Institute in 1841. Today we are The Institute Library, a place that welcomes all perspectives working with the historic creed to encourage moral improvement and the pursuit of useful knowledge. In the culturally conservative city of 19th-century New Haven, the library served as a rare sanctuary for advocates of women’s suffrage and the abolition of slavery. It offered classes, debates, and a popular lecture series that attracted such leading American social thinkers as Henry Ward Beecher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Anna E. Dickinson, and Frederick Douglass. The library employed its first professionally trained librarian from 1887 to 1910. During his tenure at the library, William Alanson Borden experimented with new library technologies and practices, patenting new library tools and creating a unique classification and cataloging system. To us, this is a living collection; we add to and expand its particular subsets regularly with purchased and donated, new and used books, accessioned to reflect our members’ interests. Presently, we are a home to a variety of groups and run a broad array of programs including literary theater, art exhibits, workshops, and presentations. Programs, like our collection of books, are determined with the interests and suggestions of our members in mind, following the historic nature of our service to the community.
Top 3 accomplishments from the past year: (1) We straightened out our bookkeeping; watching our expenses, recording them properly, and planning for revenue needs accordingly puts us on increasingly stable ground. (2) The spirit of programs at the Institute is alive again; 102 people attended the New Haven Noir event, 75 people came to Tim Snyder, and 350 artists with 1,000+ visitors took part in the Nasty Women exhibition and events, which was recognized with a 37th annual Arts Council Award. (3) During the 2016 fiscal year, we increased the number of members by 51% and saw a 99% increase in paid member dues. Circulation, daily visitors, and outreach into the community continues to grow. Top three goals for the current year: (1) To diversify the ages, backgrounds, and perspectives of our board, members, volunteers, and visitors. (2) To develop our programming and activities in the form of new partnerships with new audiences and new organizations, so that we may stay true to our mission of "mutual assistance in the attainment of useful knowledge.” (3) To enhance the safety, accessibility, and historic charm of our building, so that we may continue to serve the community as a cultural center that offers access to some of New Haven’s oldest directory and letter archives.

Our greatest need at this time is the care of our historic building. In the last 60 years, much standard maintenance had been deferred – roofs were not patched, wiring and lighting was left unrepaired, doors and windows leaked badly. As part of our efforts following a 2016 historic and energy analysis, we intend to replace our roof, with better insulation, improve our accessibility, repair our historic windows and skylights, upgrade for safety and energy efficiency, and restore our facade. If you would like to help or stay involved with our building renovation and restoration plans, please let one of our staff, board, or volunteers know.

Board Chair Statement

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Historical Organizations
Secondary Organization Category Education / Libraries
Tertiary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Citizen Participation
Areas Served
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
State wide
West Haven
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
The Word is a poetry program now in its third year of serving middle school students and led by celebrated hip-hop artist, playwright, and educator Aaron Jafferis. It is intended to help close Connecticut's achievement gap in education, combat violence in our urban neighborhoods, and otherwise energize our city's youth through the power of poetic expression.
Staffed by a small corps of experienced teaching poets and spoken-word artists, The Word helps students learn to read, critique, write, and perform poetry in a variety of traditional and nontraditional forms. The program draws on students' natural powers of self-expression and observation, hone creative, analytical, and critical thinking skills, and ultimately build stronger writers, thinkers, and public speakers.
The Word takes place in classrooms during the spring semester and culminates with a recital and poetry slam performance event in late April and a poetry journal featuring the students’ work.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / Minorities / At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Amateur Hour is the Institute Library's monthly series of live conversations exploring the passions and pursuits of the nation's most inspiring fanatics, obsessives, tinkerers, and collectors. The series is curated by New Haven-based writer Jack Hitt.
Population Served General/Unspecified / Adults / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Inaugurated in October 2011, The Gallery at the Institute Library is a space and program featuring four art exhibitions per year, with a focus on greater New Haven-based artists and curators. In 2016, Martha Lewis joined us as Curator in Residence. 
Population Served General/Unspecified / Adults / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description The Listen Here! Series highlights great short fiction. Pieces are performed by members of the New Haven Theater Company, followed by a half-hour "talk back" with the performers and editors of New Haven Review, who have curated the stories and themes. The program occurs monthly in the spring and the fall. It is free and open to the public. Listen Here is a component of the Library's larger program, New Haven Review, which publishes a literary magazine. 
Population Served Adults / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program Comments
CEO Comments
CEO/Executive Director
Valerie Garlick
Term Start Aug 2016

Valerie Garlick is the Executive Director of the Institute Library. Valerie received a Master of Fine Arts in New Media and a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She has held leadership positions at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, Real Art Ways in Hartford, and the Windham Area Arts Collaborative in downtown Willimantic. Born and raised in Connecticut, Valerie has lived and worked in New York City for the commercial art gallery Priska Juschka Fine Art. She was also a participant in the Chashama studio art program in Brooklyn and involved in various curatorial projects including Vector Artists Journal. She currently resides in New Haven.

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 20
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 0%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
Mr. William C. Baker Feb 2011 - May 2014
Natalie Elicker May 2014 - May 2016
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
CEO Comments
Board Chair
Mr. Gregory J. Pepe
Company Affiliation Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C.
Term Oct 2011 to Oct 2017
Board of Directors
Ms. Laura Boyer
Mr. Roland Coffey Yale University
Ms. Elena Dixon Linden Wealth Advisors, LLC
Mr. Tadhg Dooley Esq.Wiggin and Dana
Mr. Andrew Drabkin Community volunteer
Mr. Bennett Graff Rowmann and Littlefield
Mr. Joshua Mamis Community volunteer
Ms. Maryann Ott New Alliance Foundation
Mr. Gary G. Ottenbreit Social Security Administration
Mr. Mike Spicer Wiggin and Dana
Ms. Patricia Thurston Beinecke Library, Yale University
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 4
Board Term Lengths 0
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
Mr. Will Baker MLS, SCSU; former ED
Ms. Meg Black Coventry Public Library Reference Librarian
Ms. Mary Brown Professor, SCSU
Mr. Werner Haun Yale, conservation/preservation
Ms. Karen Jensen Library Director, James Blackstone Memorial Library
Ms. Sharon Milikowsky Norwalk Public Library
Mr. Charles Murphy retired, formerly corporate librarian for tech company
Ms. Margaret Powell retired, past Director of the Lewis-Walpole Library in Farmington
Ms. Sue Roberts retired Yale librarian
Ms. Ashley Sklar New Haven Free Public Library
Ms. Chelsea Stone Sacred Heart University
Ms. Sarah Woodford Director of the Vincent Library at Saint Thomas More Catholic Center at Yale
CEO Comments
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01 2016
Fiscal Year End Sept 30 2017
Projected Revenue $218,000.00
Projected Expenses $218,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Audit Documents
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$29,458$13,719$6,169
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$119,518$119,411$118,901
Administration Expense$85,508$100,094$106,792
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.130.830.68
Program Expense/Total Expenses58%54%53%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$883,840$856,626$893,750
Current Assets$33,935$10,082$8,305
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$883,840$856,626$893,750
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Carolyn Foundation $23,600CT Humanities Council $18,796CT Humanities Council $17,500
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Seedling Foundation $10,000The Seedlings Foundation $10,000The Seedlings Foundation $5,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNewAlliance Foundation $7,500NewAlliance Foundation $5,000 --
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
CEO Comments Prior to 2011, the Library had no professional staff, no limitations on spending from its investment account, and had never in living memory prioritized development of grant funding or private donations through fundraisers. In 2011, the Board determined that hiring an executive director was a necessary step toward ensuring the long-term viability of the Library and its relevance to the New Haven community. Hiring for that position and beginning to offer programs have increased the Library's expenses. Although the Library has had great success with grant funding for programs and has substantially increased memberships and private giving since 2011, it had not yet achieved its goal of decreasing to 5% annually its draw from the investment account. We continue to strive for that goal while we commit to preserving our historic building in the Ninth Square and increasing our presence in the community. 
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 847 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Primary Phone 203 562-4045
CEO/Executive Director Valerie Garlick
Board Chair Mr. Gregory J. Pepe
Board Chair Company Affiliation Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C.


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