The Foundation Funds

Making a Difference Now

Virginia Powell

Virginia Powell (at construction site for library) – a donor and Library volunteer for over 50 yrs.

Your donations to the Library Foundation will ensure the continued excellence of the Chapel Hill Public Library’s collections and services now and in the future.


Since launching the Ensuring Excellence Campaign in 2006, the Foundation has raised and granted over $500,000 to the Library.  In 2011 grants were made for:  technology improvements; the purchase of Kindle e-readers; and acquisitions for adults, young adults and children.

Grants in 2012 provided funding for additional collection acquisitions – including an improved non-fiction collection for children, and an innovative one-on-one online tutoring service – Tutor.com – offering students homework help and adults career guidance or assistance with GED exams.  The $150,000 grant  for the expanded Library’s re-opening was especially exciting.

Over the years, the Library has used Foundation funds to:

  1. Purchase thousands of new print books for the Library’s collections.  Over 85% of the Library’s circulation is print materials.  Keeping pace with demand requires constant refreshment and expansion of the print collections.
  2. Provide enhanced access to eBooks and eAudio Books collections.  Digital media is growing in popularity and more library users download reading materials to mobile devices.  As publishers make more titles available to the library market, the Library is positioned to add these new titles to their digital collections.
  3. Start up and sustain the growing DVD and CD collections.  The list of selections includes feature films, documentaries, educational programs for children, a wide-range of music and much more.
  4. Dramatically increase digital information resources.  Many helpful electronic databases are available in the Library that may not be available elsewhere.
  5. Improve technology for children.  The Foundation has provided funding for Literacy Learning Stations for children and a number of exciting educational products, such as BookFlix.
  6. Expand the Spanish, Chinese, Korean and French language collections for children & adults. The Library serves all residents of Orange County, including our growing population of Hispanic and Asian residents.

The Cornelia Spencer Love Trust

Cornelia Spencer Love

Cornelia Spencer Love as a young reader (circa 1898)

In 1982, the Love Trust was established with a $350,000 estate gift from Cornelia Spencer Love.  Today the Love Trust has assets of approximately $1.4 million and has contributed over $2.3 million to the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Cornelia Spencer Love died in 1981 at the age of 89.  She was a Trustee of the Chapel Hill Public Library from its inception in 1958 until 1970 and served as secretary to its Board of Directors.  She was instrumental in the founding of the Chapel Hill Public Library in a small house in downtown Chapel Hill.  In the 1960’s she donated private funds to help build a new library on East Franklin Street.

Since 1999, the Foundation has managed the Love Trust.  The annual allocation to the Library from the income of the Love Trust is about $50,000.  Each year, the Library makes general improvements, especially in the area of new technologies, including the self-checkout (RFID) stations and up-to-date computers and digital resources for individual and group use.

Cornelia Spencer Love – established the Love Trust

Supplemental support comes from additional special purpose Love Trust grants that the Foundation ties to specific Library enhancements.  For example, in late 2012, the Foundation granted $350,000 to the Library for the acquisition of furnishings for the newly-expanded Library.  This money provided furnishings for the new Teen Library, the Main Reading Room, Adult Reference and Information Services, and the Periodicals Reading Room.  An additional grant of $75,000 outfitted a Digital Media Lab, supports a mobile computer lab program and purchased assistive technology for the visually impaired.

The generosity of Cornelia Spencer Love has had and continues to have a tremendous impact on the quality of the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Managing Foundation Funds

Every contribution given to the Foundation is carefully managed in order to provide the greatest benefit to those using the Library and participating in its programs.  The Foundation supports the Library both through its Annual Fund and an Endowment Fund.

Campaign Donations and Expendable Gifts

Your campaign or annual contributions go to help the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation achieve its mission of enriching our community by helping our library collections and services grow.  

Endowment Funding

Your endowment gifts offer a source of ongoing support.  The Foundation’s endowment funds are managed by a local financial management firm.  The interest earned from investments (less management fees) is distributed and used for the purpose(s) set forth in each endowment. 

The Foundation is audited on an annual basis.  Audits to date have been performed by Blackman & Sloop, Certified Public Accountants.  The Foundation’s current assets (reported in 2014) are $1,542,775.00.  An Investment Committee comprised of experienced financial industry volunteers oversees the management of funds.

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