First and Foremost | Newberry

First and Foremost

First and Foremost

About

For 130 years, the Newberry has pursued its mission to connect patrons with a world-class collection, supportive staff, and engaging programs that enrich the minds of their participants. Today we are presented with exciting opportunities to serve even more users with increasing effectiveness and creativity. To do so, we have undertaken a $30-million comprehensive campaign, First and Foremost, in order to secure both the enhancement of our facilities in service of our community and to ensure the financial sustainability of the Newberry for the 21st century.

First and Foremost rests on the following four pillars:

  1. Renovation for Innovation: Redesigning our first floor to create spaces that will be more welcoming and effective in meeting the needs of visitors and staff.

  2. Our People and Their Effectiveness: Supporting the work of our staff members by endowing key senior positions, improving staff salaries, and providing effective and ample professional development opportunities for employees at all levels.

  3. Our Collection and Its Use: Increasing funds for collection acquisitions, cataloging, and processing, as well as digitization work, so that our collection can grow and be increasingly accessible to both in-person and online audiences.

  4. Programming for Engagement: Adding funding to support successful existing public and scholarly programs while launching new ventures that will appeal to current and expanded audiences.

The Four Pillars

One of the four pillars of First and Foremost involves supporting the Newberry’s first-floor renovation, a transformative project that will provide our visitors with even more opportunities to interact with Newberry collections and staff upon entering the building.

View the video below for an overview of the renovation. Check back for more videos as we highlight the campaign’s other pillars and the impact they will have on the Newberry.

Pillar 1: Renovation for Innovation

Renovating Our First Floor

Leadership Donors

The Newberry is grateful to all donors who have already made a gift in support of First and Foremost. We would especially like to thank those donors who made notable leadership gifts to the campaign:

  • The Roy and Irene Rettinger Foundation
  • Roger and Julie Baskes
  • Sheli Z. Rosenberg and Burton X. Rosenberg
  • The Davee Foundation
  • Victoria J. Herget and Robert K. Parsons
  • ITW
  • Karla Scherer
  • Anonymous Donor

The Campaign Committee

We extend our sincere thanks to the leadership of our Board of Trustees Campaign Steering Committee. Members include:

  • Vicki Herget, Co-Chair
  • David Hillard, Co-Chair
  • Pete Willmott, Co-Chair
  • Roger Baskes
  • Mark Hausberg
  • Bob Holland
  • David McNeel
  • Cindy Mitchell

FAQs

Why is the Newberry having a campaign?

What is the significance of the name First and Foremost?

What is the goal of this comprehensive campaign?

What does “comprehensive” mean?

Why should I make a gift to First and Foremost?

Will smaller donations make a difference?

How will gifts to the campaign be recognized?

How can I make a gift?

Why is the Newberry having a campaign?

The Newberry is supported through a combination of charitable donations, endowment investments, and income which covers the ongoing work of the library. A campaign funds special initiatives that will strengthen the library and provides additional income to be used on major projects such as the renovation of the first floor.

What is the significance of the name First and Foremost?

First and Foremost reflects the direction this campaign will take the Newberry. New exhibition, orientation, and meeting spaces on our renovated first floor; increased staff development; enhanced visibility of and accessibility to our collection; new and innovative programming—all of this will further place the Newberry “first and foremost” in the minds of our scholarly community, the city of Chicago, and on a national scale.

What is the goal of this comprehensive campaign?

The goal is to raise $30 million, and, as of February 2018, we have raised approximately 80% of the funds. We look forward to celebrating the successful culmination of the campaign in December 2018.

What does "comprehensive” mean?

This type of campaign means that all funds raised—gifts to the Annual Fund, estate gifts, contributions designated to the renovation project, and other project-based giving—are included in the campaign total. A comprehensive campaign is a wonderful way for donations of all sizes to have a great impact on the Newberry.

Why should I make a gift to First and Foremost?

The Newberry thrives thanks to the generosity of its donors. As we strive to increase access to our collection, renovate the building to serve the growing needs of our patrons, and provide ever-expanding public programming, that support is more important than ever. Whether you are a reader, seminar attendee, scholar, student, exhibition attendee, or just someone who loves the Newberry, this campaign will have a positive impact on how you use the library. By joining our loyal supporters, your contribution will ensure our success, and enable the Newberry to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our patrons for years to come.

Will smaller donations make a difference?

Supporting the campaign is not about donating a specific dollar amount. Participation and engagement are also extremely important. Gifts to the campaign not only support our financial goals—they also help foster our community’s sense of connection with, and investment in, the Newberry. When a greater number of community members engage with the campaign—at every donation level—it inspires others to lend their support, affirms the value and prestige of the Newberry, and creates a sense of community around our stakeholders.

How will gifts to the campaign be recognized?

Gifts to the campaign will be recognized in the Annual Report, on the First and Foremost web portal, and during a series of events in the fall.

How can I make a gift?

They are three easy ways to make a gift.

  • Give online at https://go.newberry.org/firstandforemost
  • Call the Development Office at (312) 255-3581
  • Mail a check payable to the Newberry Library to 60 West Walton, Chicago, IL 60610, Attn: Development Office

If you would like to speak to someone about your support of the campaign, please contact Katy E. Orenchuk, Vice President for Development, at (312) 255-3560 or via email at orenchukk@newberry.org.