What’s the mission of the White Plains Library Foundation (WPLF)? The WPLF is a private, nonprofit organization incorporated in 1995 to help the White Plains Public Library reach its long term goals.
I thought the Library was supported by the City of White Plains? It is. The City supports all the operations, maintenance, and staffing at 100 Martine Avenue – an 82,000 square foot facility that’s (usually) open over 60 hours a week. However, like many public libraries, our Library relies on private contributions to fund programs, capital projects, and timely opportunities that may not be covered through the City’s budget.
How much money has the Foundation raised? Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed nearly $7 million to strengthen the Library. This includes annual and targeted gifts, grants, and funds raised through capital campaigns that helped create the Trove (for children), the Edge (for teens) and the Hub (for adults). Most recently, the Foundation contributed funds to help renovate the second floor Gallery and adjacent classrooms.
Who are the Foundation’s donors? WPLF donors include over 400 individuals and families from White Plains (and throughout Westchester) as well as local businesses, corporations and philanthropic foundations.
What does the Foundation support and how does it decide what to fund? The Foundation’s Executive Director and Board regularly collaborate with Library staff to assess community needs and opportunities. Today, the Foundation is funding: a variety of early literacy initiatives, teen and family activities, language learning, book groups, author visits, circulating laptops, and much more. The weekly newsletter (with over 12,000 email subscribers) displays an orange asterisk () next to announcements about upcoming programs funded by the Foundation.
The WPLF also helps the Library acquire new technology like 3-D printers, video production equipment, software, supplies for robotics and coding classes, and, starting in the summer of 2021, circulating laptops and mobile hotspots. The Foundation has funded targeted needs for items like replacement furniture for the Edge, sewing machines for an upcoming initiative, and during the onset of COVID, software for the Library’s pivot to virtual programming.
The vast majority of the Library’s collections are funded by the City of White Plains. The Foundation helps supplement the Library’s collection of large print books, audio books, and other materials through two donor restricted endowment gifts.