Our History & Mission

A flexible and responsive institution

Founded in 1986 by visionary civic leaders including Cindy Pritzker, J. Ira Harris and Marshall Field, the Chicago Public Library Foundation is the fundraising partner to Chicago Public Library. Donors to the Library Foundation support Chicago Public Library’s most innovative programs, its acquisition of technology, and the ongoing development and diversification of its collections. That dynamic idea – of a flexible and responsive institution, designed to partner with Chicago Public Library as it grows and evolves to support the changing needs of its patrons – remains in place today, as the Foundation continues its 30th year.

Remaining Dedicated to the Curious

The celebrated partnership between the Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library is made possible only through the steadfast support of our donors – corporations, foundations, and individuals who believe in Chicago Public Library and its mission to serve this city as a world-class institution. We truly cannot say thank you enough, to those who’ve helped Chicago Public Library Foundation remain Dedicated to the Curious, for the past three decades.


million in support of Library programs, technology and collections since 1986.


million raised in support for Library programs in 2015

4 Star

charity by Charity Navigator.


civic leaders compose our diverse board