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. 
A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.
The Institute Library is Connecticut’s oldest independent circulating library and one of the last remaining membership libraries in North America. A great opportunity: this year we ask our supporters, members, and friends to help us improve the safety of the Institute Library’s building. We need help to fund the repair of our fire escape, entry lighting, egress plan signage, and fire extinguishers, a focused part of our larger building renovation and accessibility improvement campaign.
A Great Opportunity Ending Date 30 2017
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. 


In August 1826, eight young working men met at the home of Albert Wilcox in New Haven and founded the Apprentices' Literary Association, an educational society dedicated to the "mutual assistance in the attainment of useful knowledge” through a shared book collection and regular meetings of its members.
The activities of the young men, who evidently had established their organization free of any guiding patron or benefactor, soon began to attract the interest and aid of local educators, and classes were added to the readings and debates already taking place. In the 1840s, the Association opened its doors to women, and for the next several decades, it flourished as the democratic heart of intellectual life in New Haven.
The New Haven Young Men's Institute, as the organization was named in its state charter of 1841, was a center of literary culture, adult education, and civil discourse in New Haven for much of the 19th century, serving for many years as the largest circulating library in the city and the site of popular lecture series that attracted such notable speakers as Henry Ward Beecher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Anna E. Dickinson. The Institute Library, as members call the organization today, has occupied its present home at 847 Chapel Street since 1878.
After the establishment of the New Haven Free Public Library in 1887, the Institute Library began to withdraw from the public life of the city and focus primarily on expanding and circulating its collection of general-interest and popular literature. The librarian during this period, William A. Borden, made use of the Institute Library as a laboratory in which to experiment with new library technologies and practices. During the first six months his engagement, he developed a new classification system for the library’s collection, which is unique to the Institute Library and remains in use today, together with Borden’s original card catalog.
Following years of declining membership and a substantial loss to its endowment, the Institute Library launched a major revitalization campaign in 2011 to renew its historical connections to the city of New Haven and attempt to ensure the organization's long-term survival. In February of that year, the library hired its first executive director, William C. Baker, and open hours were increased from 15 to 45 per week. Major repairs and renovations to the library's building soon followed, together with the launching of new programs, events, and community partnerships. By September 2011, membership doubled, and the revitalization efforts were subsequently recognized with a 2011 Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. In June 2014, the library hired the second Executive Director, Natalie Elicker, who was succeeded by Valerie Garlick in August 2016.
Not only do we support the creation and promotion of literature, civil discourse, and the visual arts in our community, we are an important part of the cultural heritage of our city. Over the past year we have accomplished many things, including: 1. broadening our open hours for writers and expanding our literary programs. Programs now include, in addition to the ongoing series' Listen Here, Poetry Institute, and Storysharing, we now have monthly and weekly Writers Circle meetings (lunch and evening conversations with visiting authors and poets, weekend write-ins and weekly writers hours). 2. leveraging the unanticipated vacancy of our first-floor retail space as an opportunity to open the ground-level doors to the public, hosting one of the largest community art exhibits in New Haven’s recent cultural memory. Nasty Women, a show belonging to a national movement, presented over 350 artworks celebrating women’s rights and voices in the wake of civic responses to the 2016 election. Over 1,500 people came through our doors, and collectively raised $2,800 of support for Planned Parenthood. 3. We’ve also developed the visual arts at the Institute Library, offering more exhibits, workshops, and lectures focused on language, literature, and collections in the gallery upstairs.
Two top goals for the current year are resource and capacity-building oriented. These include: 1. to repair the safety aspects of our building campaign, specifically our fire escape, entry lighting, egress plan signage, and fire extinguishers. These repairs are part of our larger building renovation and accessibility improvement campaign which seeks to stabilize our facility and collections, so that we may continue to serve the community as a cultural center, and to grow as a resource that holds some of New Haven’s oldest directory and letter archives. 2. to broaden our diversity and perspectives of our membership and constituents. We strive to develop our programming and activities beyond New Haven (where 63% of our members live) 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.”
Needs We need contributions totaling $3,550 in order to break ground on our larger building renovation and accessibility improvement campaign. Deliberately focused on safety first, $900 will fix our Skylights, $1,000 will fix our Fire Escape, $400 will fix our Egress Plan Signage, $500 will fix our Entry Lights, and $750 will afford us new Fire Extinguishers.
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. Daisy C. Abreu Freelance writer
Mr. Joseph Banks AIA, LEED-APPerkins Eastman
Mr. Roland Coffey Yale University
Ms. Elena Dixon Linden Wealth Advisors, LLC
Mr. Tadhg Dooley Esq.Wiggin and Dana
Mr. Andrew Drabkin Community volunteer
Ms. Eva Geertz Editorial consultant/Freelance writer
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 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 5
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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