PLATINUM2024

Lower Merion Library Foundation

Ready for Today. Prepared for Tomorrow.

aka LMLF   |   Ardmore, PA   |  https://www.lmls.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Lower Merion Library Foundation

EIN: 23-2813619


Mission

The Lower Merion Library Foundation has been established for the sole purpose of raising private funds in support of the activities and services of the Lower Merion Library System, a public library system serving the residents of Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania and surrounding communities. All money raised is used exclusively to advance the public library mission of the Lower Merion Library System. The mission of the Lower Merion Library System is to: provide access to and promote a wide variety of books, audio-visual materials and electronic resources and programs reflecting the diverse needs and interests of the population; and support the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs of groups and individuals of all ages.

Ruling year info

1997

Director, Lower Merion Library System

Ms. Lynn Williamson

Main address

75 E. Lancaster Avenue 3rd Floor

Ardmore, PA 19003 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2813619

Subject area info

Education

Libraries

Population served info

Children and youth

Adults

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Single Organization Support (B11)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Ensure that the library is a place that reflects and welcomes the cultures, religions, genders, economic status, and diversity of the greater community. Improve internal efficiencies and technology, increase community engagement, and help ensure financial stabilty to sustain programs and collections.

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?

Lower Merion Library System General Support for Operations, Materials and Collections

The Lower Merion Library Foundation provides funding for the the Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) - a dynamic group of six libraries located just west of Philadelphia. The System serves approximately 60,000 residents of Lower Merion Township and offers reciprocal borrowing to neighboring residents through the ACCESS Pennsylvania program. LMLS is an active participant in interlibrary loan and other cooperative projects among libraries in the state.

LMLS patrons can borrow books, large print books, magazines, CDs, Books on CD, and DVDs, all free of charge. Each library also provides public access to the Internet, Microsoft Office and a number of electronic resources. Many of these electronic resources can be accessed from home through the LMLS web site.

Public libraries have been nationally ranked over the past decade by two ratings services: The HAPLR Index and Library Journal. The HAPLR Index ranked LMLS in the top 2% of public libraries for circulation per capita, visits per capita, and materials per capita during multiple years of its publication. LMLS was twice awarded STAR LIBRARY status from Library Journal.

State & Local Rankings: LMLS Circulation Rate per capita was 17.1 in 2018, which is more than twice the national average (7.2), and three times the Pennsylvania average (5.1) In 2018, 636,111 people visited LMLS locations, which is equivalent to 11 times per resident, compared to 4.36 nationally and 3.55 in Pennsylvania. LMLS as of December 2018 had 30,483 residents with borrowers cards. That’s 52.7% of Lower Merion residents, and in 2016 survey, 71% of residents reported visiting a library in the previous 12 months.

Lower Merion Township provides income necessary to sustain buildings, utilities and personnel, but not books or materials. Therefore, the six libraries must raise materials and collection budgets through fund-raising efforts. The Lower Merion Library Foundation supports the work of the individual libraries through system-wide fund raising efforts and special initiatives.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

In addition to lending library materials, the Lower Merion Library Foundation supports system-wide educational and cultural programming throughout the six library branches of the Lower Merion Library System. Signature programs include: (1) Summer Learning: This program encourages students in grades K-3 to expand their reading skills through fun and engaging activities in libraries. Through programs, contests and prizes, students are encouraged to expand their horizons with reading. (2) Computer Coding Training: Coding is recognized as a crucial skill in our society. The coding advocate group code.com reports that by 2020, 22% of all jobs will be computer related, yet only 10% of schools teach coding. To support this needed training, the Lower Merion Library System holds coordinated computer coding programs in libraries. Other programs include a summer reading program for all ages, the One Book- One Lower Merion program which features a community-wide shared reading and author events, and an innovative Museum Pass program that allows families to visit 27 area museums and cultural attractions at no cost.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Access to knowledge continues to have a vital civic function, and plays an important role in social, economic, and spiritual aspects of individual and community life. In 2018, The Lower Merion Library Foundation completed a $3 million dollar capital improvement project which transformed the aging library facilities in the system - Ardmore, Bala Cynwyyd, Belmont Hills, Gladwyne, Ludington, and Penn Wynne. All six library facilities were renovated and expanded to meet the changing needs of the community. With the renovations complete, the libraries in Lower Merion now have greater capacity for community engagement and educational programs, activities for children and adults, and greater access to technology. Gifts to the endowment of the Lower Merion Library Foundation will help strengthen our ability to meet the challenges of the future and allow us to continue to provide high-quality programs for the community.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Lower Merion Library System participates in the Pennsylvania Forward initiative which seeks to strengthen the role public libraries serve in offering high-quality early learning opportunities and life-long learner opportunities. PA Forward has redefined the library’s role in Pennsylvania within the context of five essential literacies that all Pennsylvanians need in order to attain success as students, parents, employees, consumers, and citizens. Through Basic Literacy, libraries can help Pennsylvania achieve one of the highest literacy rates in the country, thereby contributing to a trained and skilled workforce, and a growing economy, tax base, and population. In Information Literacy, Pennsylvanians can improve their education, enhance their job skills, develop their personal lives, and fully participate in a digital society by learning how to use online resources and current technology. Civic and Social Literacy gives citizens the knowledge and skills they need to improve their lives and participate and contribute effectively to their community, government, and society. Health Literacy is helping citizens manage their own and their family’s well-being, and empowering them to be effective partners with their healthcare providers so they can live longer, more productive lives. And Financial Literacy helps citizens become informed consumers and guides individuals, small businesses, and other organizations to contribute to the economic vitality of their community through innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Two LMLS libraries, Ludington and Bala Cynwyd, are recognized as gold star libraries, the highest achievement based on demonstrating actions in all five literacies. Ardmore and Gladwyne have achieved silver stars, and Belmont Hills and Penn Wynne libraries are completing the process to enter at the Bronze star level.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

In-Person Visits to LMLS Libraries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Families

Related Program

Lower Merion Library System General Support for Operations, Materials and Collections

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In Person visits continue to rebund with the end of the pandemic and an increase in in-person programs

Overall circulation (print and non-print)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Families

Related Program

Lower Merion Library System General Support for Operations, Materials and Collections

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. Create a community of belonging
2. Streamline interanl proceses for efficiency
3. Make technology on all levels a seamless part of the library
4. Make the libraries visible and part of the community
5. Develop a culture of philanthropy
6. Create a more efficient workforce

Lower Merion Township and the Lower Merion Library System (LMLS) have made a concerted effort to integrate green building and energy efficiencies in our facilities and to protect the natural environment. The Township’s Environmental Action Plan has a long-term goal of generating energy from renewable sources. Through the support of the Township, Commonwealth, and private donations, LMLS was able to renovate and improve many of the libraries during a major capital initiative completed in 2018. These improvements included green technologies such as a green roof, heat pump, high efficiency HVAC systems, and LED lighting, to mention a few. In 2022, the Belmont Hills Library implemented a butterfly garden adjacent to its entrance with the partnership of the neighboring civic association. Currently, Penn Wynne Library is raising funds for a community reading garden that will also integrate native plans and emphasize green practices.

The Lower Merion Library System has strong leadership through the Director of Libraries office, and the professional librarians who staff each of the six libraries. It also has support and guidance from committed board members and volunteers. The Lower Merion Library System oerates as a public private partnership. It receives funding for facilites and staff through the local municipality and state funding for technology and some operations. The Lower Merion Foundation and the six library board raise approximately $400,000 annually for the purchase of book and materials, programs and special projects such as Summer Reading, pre-K literacy and adult programming.

Progress toward the strategic goals for LMLS are reviewed monthly by the senior library management and presented monthly to the Lower Merion Library board. Board minutes can be viewed on the LMLS website at https://lmls.org/about-us/library-staff/

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 using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Lower Merion Library Foundation
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Average of 12.09 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Average of 3.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

%

Average of 0% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Lower Merion Library Foundation

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Lower Merion Library Foundation

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Lower Merion Library Foundation

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Lower Merion Library Foundation’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $1,969 $6,675 $1,705 $1,170 $1,170
As % of expenses 0.4% 3.1% 2.0% 1.3% 1.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $1,969 $6,675 $1,218 $0 $0
As % of expenses 0.4% 3.1% 1.4% 0.0% 0.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $182,020 $16,857 $21,511 $70,642 $37,935
Total revenue, % change over prior year -37.2% -90.7% 27.6% 228.4% -46.3%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 98.8% 60.2% 94.0% 99.8% 98.1%
Other revenue 1.1% 39.6% 5.7% 0.0% 1.8%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $464,166 $215,489 $83,838 $87,107 $60,419
Total expenses, % change over prior year -1.4% -53.6% -61.1% 3.9% -30.6%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Professional fees 11.0% 3.9% 5.8% 4.6% 13.3%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 86.2% 92.8% 89.5% 86.1% 49.7%
All other expenses 2.8% 3.3% 4.8% 9.3% 37.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total expenses (after depreciation) $464,166 $215,489 $84,325 $88,277 $61,589
One month of savings $38,681 $17,957 $6,987 $7,259 $5,035
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $502,847 $233,446 $91,312 $95,536 $66,624

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Months of cash 6.0 4.4 10.8 9.1 9.1
Months of cash and investments 6.0 4.4 10.8 9.1 9.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 0.3 1.1 3.0 2.9 4.2
Balance sheet composition info 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cash $233,091 $79,822 $75,658 $65,762 $45,576
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $119,508 $72,770 $11,098 $4,529 $281
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.5% 2.6% 4.5% 5.5% 4.4%
Unrestricted net assets $13,220 $19,895 $21,113 $21,113 $21,113
Temporarily restricted net assets $334,004 $128,697 $64,665 $47,030 $23,376
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total restricted net assets $334,004 $128,697 $64,665 $47,030 $23,376
Total net assets $347,224 $148,592 $85,778 $68,143 $44,489

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

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

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Director, Lower Merion Library System

Ms. Lynn Williamson

Lynn Williamson was appointed as the new Director of Libraries beginning September 12, 2022. Ms. Williamson brings 26 years of library experience with the Free Library of Philadelphia, where she was most recently Chief of Neighborhood Libraries.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Lower Merion Library Foundation

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Lower Merion Library Foundation

Board of directors
as of 01/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Barry Levin

Lower Merion Library Foundation, President

Term: 2022 - 2024


Board co-chair

Ms. Anna Durbin

Lower Merion Library Foundation, Vice-President

Term: 2023 - 2025

J. Barton Riley

LMLF, Board Memberr

Patricia Green

LMLF, Secretary

Michael L. Golden, Jr.

LMLF, Board Member

David Sonenshein

LMLF, Board Member

Anna Durbin

LMLF, Vice President

Charles Bloom

LMLF, Board Member

Benjamin Mittman

LMLF, Treasurer

Barry Levin

LMLF, President

Betty-Ann Izenman

LMLF, Board Member

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? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/28/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Contractors

Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser