The Chicago Public Library Foundation

In Every Neighborhood. For Every Chicagoan.

aka CPLF   |   CHICAGO, IL   |  https://cplfoundation.org/

Mission

Established in 1986, the Chicago Public Library Foundation (CPLF) is an independent nonprofit that exists to accelerate the potential of our public library by investing in resources that transform lives and communities. For more than 30 years, we have connected individuals and corporations, neighborhood organizations, and City agencies committed to building a stronger and more equitable Chicago. Together, we make pathways to learning, creativity, and civic engagement accessible to Chicagoans of all ages through investment across three funding priority areas: Close the Academic Opportunity Gap; Activate Creativity & Connection for All; and Bridge the Digital Divide. Find us online at www.cplfoundation.org.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please note that our annual impact report is now available online at https://empowereverychicagoan.org/.

Ruling year info

1987

President & CEO

Ms. Brenda Langstraat

Main address

200 W Madison St 3rd Floor

CHICAGO, IL 60606 USA

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EIN

36-3480353

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (A11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

YOUmedia

YOUmedia is a 21st century multi-purpose learning space for teens. Through YOUmedia, teens can pursue their interests in music, video, 2D and 3D design, photography, fashion, podcasts, art, STEM projects, and more – all assisted by skilled mentors. Free and open to all teens and pre-teens, YOUmedia encourages both collaboration and independent learning and discovery.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

On Monday through Thursday afternoons during the school year, a Teacher in the Library can be found in most of Chicago Public Library’s 80 branches. These certified teachers provide one-on-one and small group assistance to kindergarteners, high schoolers, and every age in between.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Summer Learning Challenge Keeps Chicago kids ages 0 – 13 reading and learning during the summer, with free, branch-based programming, field trips, and activities based around a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM)-based theme. Recognized as a national leader in summer programming for children, the Summer Learning Challenge helps prevent the “summer brain drain” that can occur over the summer months.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

ScienceConnections is a year-round program available in all Chicago Public Library branches. It provides kids in grades K-8 free, “hands-on, minds-on” STEM activities designed to encourage their ability to think analytically, experiment, collaborate, and problem-solve.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

One Book engages diverse groups of Chicagoans around an annual book selection and central themes. Free public programming such as book discussions, author series, performances, art exhibits and films take place throughout Chicago and in partnership with Chicago’s robust cultural, educational and civic institutions.

Population(s) Served
Adults

A recipient of a Social Innovator Award from the Chicago Innovation Awards, CPL’s Maker Lab is the first, and still the only, FREE maker space in Chicago. In the space, patrons can experiment with new technologies while they work collaboratively with others and with guidance from Maker Lab staff.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In every community, CPL supports parents of young children 0 – 5 years with books, interactive toys, games and guidance to propel children’s language development and early literacy skills. The Library’s approach promotes evidence-based practices, encourages parents to talk and read with their children, and creates ample opportunities for play.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Families

Digital readiness is defined as having both the access to digital tools and online resources, and the skills needed to use those tools. CyberNavigators help Library patrons become digitally ready through free one-on-one help sessions and small group classes. With CyberNavigator assistance, patrons create resumes and fill out online job applications, set up their personal email accounts, learn the basics of cyber-security, and find out how to access other online resources, such as educational programs and health information.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Seniors

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2018)

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

The Chicago Public Library Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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The Chicago Public Library Foundation

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Robert Wislow

Co-Founder, Parkside Realty, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data