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
E-mail home@institutelibrary.org
Web and Social Media
Institute Library (facing south), 2009
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. 
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
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director This position has been eliminated. Please see comment below.
Board Chair Ms. Maryann Ott
Board Chair Company Affiliation NewAlliance Foundation
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
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. 
Background

 

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.
Impact
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.
Needs

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.

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
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
National
Programs
Description
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
Description
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
Description

Politics in Plain English is a new program launched by the Library in 2019 in collaboration with The New Haven Review and The Editorial Board and hosted by John Stoehr, founder of the political blog,  The Editorial Board, who brings a panel of writers and thinkers to New Haven to debate current events and bring Library members and guests into the conversation. Recent programs include: What's Up with Liberalism and the Left? featuring Josh Holland, contributing writer for The Nation, and Batya Unger-Sargon, opinion editor for The Forward, and Peeking under the Hood: The "Invisible Primary" of 2020, with Jacob Hacker of Yale University and Francis Wilkinson of Bloomberg News.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Comments
CEO Comments
CEO/Executive Director
This position has been eliminated. Please see comment below.
Term Start Jan 2019
Co-CEO
Experience
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 20
Number of Contract Staff 2
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
NameTerm
Valerie ElickerAug 2016 - Jan 2019
Martha Murray (interim)May 2016 - Aug 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
Collaborations
Comments
CEO Comments

The Institute Library has recently reorganized and restructured its staffing model in order to operate more efficiently and effectively. The executive director position has been eliminated and the Board created a part-time operations manager and hired a contractual bookkeeper and curator. These staff members are assisted by a core of volunteers who help with day to day library operations and programs, and an active Board of Directors.

Board Chair
Ms. Maryann Ott
Company Affiliation NewAlliance Foundation
Term Jan 2019 to Jan 2020
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Ms. Laura Boyer
Mr. Jared Clark
Mr. Roland Coffey
Ms. Sue Davison
Mr. Mountaga Diallo
Mr. Andrew Drabkin
Mr. Joseph Fay
Mr. Bennett Graff
Mr. Joshua Mamis
Ms. Eileen Mydosh
Mr. Scott Schuldt
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 5
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Finance
Building
Nominating
Additional Boards: Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Will BakerMLS, SCSU; former ED
Ms. Meg BlackCoventry Public Library Reference Librarian
Mr. Joe FayBookseller and Bibliographer, William Reese Company
CEO Comments
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01 2019
Fiscal Year End Sept 30 2020
Projected Revenue $99,000.00
Projected Expenses $98,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 5%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Documents
Audit Documents
P&L2018
P&L2013
P&L2012
P&L2011
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$978,345$941,746$883,840
Current Assets$30,870$47,782$33,935
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$4,400----
Total Net Assets$973,945$941,746$883,840
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountWells Fargo $20,961The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $11,000CT Trust for Historic Preservation $25,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $11,000The Seedlings Foundation $5,000The Seedlings Foundation $20,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Future Project $9,507 --Wells Fargo $11,224
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Goal $400,000.00
Amount Raised To Date 100000 as of Oct 2019
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Comments
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. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. 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 This position has been eliminated. Please see comment below.
Board Chair Ms. Maryann Ott
Board Chair Company Affiliation NewAlliance Foundation

 

Related Information

Support Arts & Culture

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.

Promote Civic Vitality

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.

Provide Quality Education

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.