The New Haven Free Public Library Foundation raises funds to
support the mission of the New Haven Free Public Library.
The New Haven Free Public Library is a community treasure focused on creating experiences for all ages that support cultural connections, economic engagement, lifelong learning and young minds. The Library serves as a powerful force as we create strong neighborhoods, acknowledge the academic success of every school child, and help the city become a jobs generator.
· Promote the joy of reading.
· Deliver superlative library programs that meet the needs of the community.
· Introduce technology that is relevant, user-friendly and can help with issues surrounding the digital divide.
· Acquire collections that help customers gain knowledge, as well as pleasure.
· Connect people to people.
· Create services that provide opportunities for both learning and recreation.
· Engage knowledgeable staff and assist them in providing the best customer service possible.
The New Haven Free Public Library
(NHFPL) began its remarkable relationship with the citizens of New Haven in
1886 when the City passed the enabling legislation and appropriated $12,000 to
establish a free public library. After several facilities proved
inadequate, the City engaged renowned architect Cass Gilbert to design the
stately building on the historic New Haven Green with support from a major gift
of Mary E. Ives in memory of her spouse, Hoadley Ives. The Ives Memorial Library opened its doors in
1911. In addition to the Ives Main Library, the Library has four unique,
strategically located neighborhood libraries and a Readmobile circulating
throughout the community.
The Library has enjoyed a reputation as one of the best libraries of its size in the state, boasting a collection of over 400,000 items, in 13 languages and a range of formats. The NHFPL provides a wide variety of programming and events supporting literacy, computer skill development, cultural enrichment and education for all ages. As we move into the 21st century, the NHFPL aims to position itself as a key educational resource for New Haven to foster lifelong learning and civic engagement. While the Library holds a beloved and respected position in the community, funding of staff positions and resources has not kept pace with growth in facilities and service demands. As the population of New Haven evolves—welcoming new immigrants, seniors, and a diverse youth cohort—the Library is uniquely positioned to help residents flourish during critical transitions in their lives.
Current Year Goals
1. To foster economic engagement and technology literacy,
we are developing an Innovation Zone by renovating an existing space on the first floor
of the Ives Main Library. This is a new
educational space designed to offer patrons opportunities to learn about new
technology. It is based on the premise that technology is a catalyst for
learning. Digital media engages learners in new ways, provides connections for
lifelong learning, and changes the way people gain, exchange, as well as create
information and knowledge. The space is designed to allow for use of various
new and emergent technologies, including a 3-D printer station, tablets,
e-readers, mobile phones with staff and student volunteers to demonstrate and
instruct in usage.
2. To increase literacy, we envision an expanded and re-created Young Minds and Family Learning Center encompassing the second level at the Ives Main Library. Learning, play, collections and technology will be visually and physically merged for efficient use of space and to foster creativity. The Center will house state-of-the-art technology and completely updated print, audio and visual collections. Our charge is to create tomorrow’s readers today and support academic success.
3. E-books, audio books, digital, audio, video, online resources – the ways we learn and play expand every year. The Library currently lags behind State benchmarks in its online resource budget. We are seeking to expand support for new databases as well as the e-devices for accessing and reading content electronically.
No other public institution is fully open to all in the way that a public library is. Parents, seniors, children, teens, job-seekers, students, book-browsers; we serve the varied needs of the entire New Haven community. And now, during this challenging economic time, the true value of the public library shines through even more.
I encourage you to stop by your neighborhood branch or at the Ives Main Library to see how many people are using our resources and enjoying our programs. As the city of New Haven struggles with budgetary concerns, your support allows us to provide all residents with access to literacy.
We believe that a vital community
consists of individuals pursuing personal growth and civic
improvement. NHFPL supports learning at every stage of life, from
infant through active maturity.
The library’s key metrics, how we measure residents’ usage of our five libraries, Readmobile, and our website, remain strong. In FY 2014 circulation of books and dvds, including e-books, was up by 3%, with children’s circulation increasing by close to 7%. Library visits increased by 2% over the previous year. Use of 188 public computers increased by 4%, driven in part by an increase in the number and quality of classes at Ives Main and classes for Spanish speakers at the Wilson and Fair Haven branches. The library’s website, nhfpl.org, continues to expand as a virtual branch with collections of downloadable e-books, audiobooks and magazines and a growing number of research and tutorial databases. Database use has increased 210% over the past four years. Reference staff answered close to 80,000 questions for users. This data indicates that the library’s commitment to offering community-relevant resources, providing instruction in their use and convenient access to them is succeeding on a daily basis.
The 2014-16 Strategic Plan outlines
goals that position NHFPL as a resource-rich self-learning destination for all
New Haven residents. City and donor dollars will continue to build collections
and innovative grants will continue to support our customers’ education and
interests. Ongoing development of staff skills and competencies is a key factor
in constructing the digital bridges that will allow all New Haven residents to
use evolving 21st century technologies. Staff
are creating instructional aids (Camtasia videos on LaCie) for staff access to
aid in self instruction for needed job-related tech skills to better support
In 2014, 161 classes, including classes in Microsoft Office, were conducted by staff for 935 attendees. The slate of classes is expanding to include use of devices, tablets and e-readers. An innovation space is planned for Ives that will focus on new technology exploration, provide collaborative work and small class space, resources for small businesses and include the Non-Profit Resource Center.
Our focus on Economic Engagement supports workforce readiness, economic vitality and neighborhood health and stability.
NHFPL is a dynamic partner in the city’s economic infrastructure. Our five buildings operate as learning, cultural and community hubs, contributing to the stability, safety and livability of our neighborhoods and the city.
In 2014 the library served as a
training resource for residents seeking computer skills development, job
hunting instruction and small business and entrepreneurial knowledge. Since
2011 an ongoing series of workshops for business start-ups offered by SCORE and
the SBA twice yearly focuses on planning, feasibility analysis, marketing and
finances. A partnership with Elmseed Enterprise Fund is providing consultation
services for individual start-up businesses as part of NHFPL’s small business
Staff help individuals fill out online applications, send emails, create resumes and access online job listings on a daily basis. Workshops and programs for non-profit organizations include grant writing, gift solicitation, management and sustainability. Our business and non-profit database collection includes The Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, Legal Information Center, Reference USA, Foundation Maps, GuideStar, Wealth Engine and Jobs Now.
Connection was made with the Spanish American Merchants Association to share and disseminate information and offer referrals to each organization. In 2014 close to 100 ESL classes were held, programs with Junta and computer classes in Spanish are conducted at Fair Haven and Wilson libraries.
NHFPL’s libraries directly affect New
Haven’s economic well-being.
Our focus on small business programming and support will continue and broaden with the addition of the innovation space planned for the Business area at Ives. It will function as a work space with computers, meeting space with white boards, wifi, printers, a fax and other equipment for use by entrepreneurs and non-profit start-ups.
NHFPL is a primary link to the rich cultural environment that makes our city such a special place. Film series, musical performances, author appearances, curated art exhibits, historical tours and Chinese New Year celebrations are only some of the events that fill the calendars of our five libraries and outreach programs. The Library’s events connect our users to both the particular character of their neighborhood and to the broad activities in the city and beyond.
In 2014 our libraries offered 2,066 programs for both adults and children with attendance of close to 40,000. Programs for adults numbered 640 and drew an audience of 10,411. They ranged from local cultural historian Colin Caplan discussing New Haven’s rich history of theaters to Yale’s Paul Kennedy talking about his most recent book to foreign films series and documentaries. Our exhibit space hosted, on average, one show each month.
The library partnered with SiteProjects to showcase Whispering Galleries, an interactive erasured poetry exhibit June through August at all libraries. As a participant in a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Service, NHFPL is producing two series of programs to engage older residents in active arts creation as part of the Creative Aging in America’s Libraries project.
For the third consecutive year, NHFPL received funding from the Graustein Foundation to continue the Engage Stage Page partnership with Long Wharf. NHFPL continued its micro-branch at Long Wharf’s lobby and is holding community conversations led by LWT staff and community leaders on themes surrounding the season’s plays.
The library will continue its strong programming schedule, with particular attention to the many cultures represented in New Haven. A new performance area seating up to 120 people will be opened in early spring, 2015. It has a portable stage, special lighting and acoustics to allow for readings, author talks, poetry slams, musical and other performances. A new gallery space will open at the same time; it will offer flexible panels and exhibit lighting.
Our charge is to create tomorrow’s readers today. Our goal is to help develop engaged citizens and support academic success. The Young Minds area– programming, collections and efforts focused on ages birth to 18 and their families – is the foundation of the Library’s work. Mornings, afternoon, weekends, our youth areas are humming with activities ranging from Stay and Play to Lego Club to high school class visits. The library is a primary partner with the public schools in summer literacy programs to reduce summer reading skill loss. Families of all cultures find the library through bi-lingual children’s programs and then learn of our wide array of acculturation and language-support programs.
circulation of books increased system-wide by 6.9% in 2014, up from 135,306 in
2013 to 144,777 in 2014. The Young Minds staff gave 1,416 programs for 29,368
children and parents/caregivers.
The 2014 Summer Reading Program experienced the highest number of finishers, 2,391 in its history; staff presented 570 literacy and educational programs with attendance at over 12,300.
Along with core programs like the summer reading program and bilingual Stay & Play for toddlers there were new programs added. The new Readmobile launched in October, 2014. It continues pre-literacy instruction at Early Learning Centers, added 6 new Headstart visits and an additional day to its schedule. It appears frequently at neighborhood events. An Alexion grant-funded STEM program for 10-11 year-olds that teaches CAD design and creation of objects on the Young Minds’ 3-D printer started in 2014 and is ongoing.
Year two of the New Alliance READy for the Grade grant, designed to minimize summer reading slide, doubled the number of participating children to over forty. During the seven-week program librarians provided 1,352 hours of tutoring, reading and literacy-related activities. Each child logged in 33 hours of reading /tutoring and 83% of students maintained or exceeded their spring school-tested reading levels.
The Young Minds department will be continuing to grow its
programming to encourage a love of reading and the spoken and written word and
to help parents raise successful
students and productive adults.
A new teen center will open in spring, 2015 at Ives. Gaming, study, instruction, book and writing clubs will take place here; the Center will be a model for similar centers in the four branches.
Ms. Brogan brings more than three decades
of experience as a professional librarian to the position and enjoys a national
reputation as an innovative leader in the application of digital technologies to the humanities and civic affairs, and in the design of collaborative
learning spaces. She has maintained
residence with her spouse in New Haven for twenty-five years, arriving with her
family in 1990 to serve as the Social Sciences Librarian at Yale
University. Her two (now adult) sons
matriculated from the New Haven Public Schools during which time Ms. Brogan was
actively engaged as a parent with the K-12 school system, including advocating
for the establishment of school-media library centers throughout the district.
The NHFPL Foundation and the New Haven Free Public Library collaborate broadly across the community. Partner groups which support the Library's efforts through philanthropy, artistic contributions and voluntarism include (but are not limited to): Arte, Inc., the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Seedlings Foundation, the Graustein Foundation, NewAlliance Foundation, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University, the State Library of Connecticut, New Haven Public Schools, Music Haven, Long Wharf Theatre, Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven, Literacy Council, Early Childhood Council, Connecticut Humanities Council, Arts Council of Greater New Haven, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Comcast, SCORE, and many other local nonprofit agencies as well as private donors.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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.
Greater New Haven’s vibrancy is linked to its communities’ support of its neighborhoods, public gardens and sports, as well as its commitment to the protection of its people and pets.
Educate a child and you change a community. For the child, a good education means better career opportunities and higher lifetime earnings. College graduates enjoy better health and are more inclined to volunteer and vote. For the community, supporting our youths’ educational goals results in a stronger society.
Greater New Haven is home to a thriving arts community that includes theatre, music, dance and the visual arts. It is invested in its museums, historic preservation and the celebration of its members’ ethnic and cultural diversity.
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