The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The Foundation mobilizes community resources and relationships that empower our Library to deliver innovative programs and services.
The Foundation advances the Cedar Rapids Public Library and its impact on our community.
The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation serves as the vehicle through which private funds are used to enhance the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s collections, programs, and technologies while supporting the Library’s Strategic Initiatives:
Invest in Young Minds by building confident caregivers, creating a culture of literacy and inspiring innovative experiences.
Engage and Strengthen Community by bridging the opportunity gap, connecting with community, and becoming a community catalyst.
Transform Lives by championing lifelong learning, telling our story, and delighting our customers.
Originally established in 1972 as the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Library Foundation, the Foundation’s mission has always been focused on supporting the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s efforts to promote literacy and lifelong learning in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. In 1980, after five failed bond proposal votes, the Foundation was reorganized and refocused to help finance the library’s move from the Third Avenue Carnegie Library to the First Street library location. With support from the Hall Foundation and the City of Cedar Rapids, the renamed Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation and hundreds of volunteers raised money needed to build a new library, which opened in 1985.
In the years that followed, the Foundation provided funds in support of the Library’s collections, technology, infrastructure, art acquisitions, and more. Following the flood of 2008, the Foundation’s role was again reimagined and focused on rebuilding both the downtown Library and the Cedar Rapids community. In collaboration with the City and thousands of donors and volunteers, the Foundation and Library leadership led successful campaigns to build not one, but two new Libraries for our community. The Foundation and Library are now, more than ever, concentrated on providing our patrons with innovative opportunities to interact with and learn through books, technology, art, and each other.
Board of Directors, FY2016-2017
Joe Conway, Board President
VP Private Client Services, US Bank
Ron Hellweg, Board Vice President
Manager Business & Financial Performance, Alliant Energy
Derek Johansen, Board Treasurer
Harriet Kalinsky, Trustee Representative
Susie McDermott, Trustee Representative
Chris Mueller, Board Secretary
VP Commercial Banking, F&M Bank
Akwi Nji, Board Member
Realtor, Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty
Tyler Olson, Board Member
CEO, Paulson Electric
Cassidy Reinken, Board Member
Magnet Coordinator, Johnson STEAM Academy
Hassan Selim, Board Member
Imam, Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids
Gary Streit, Board Member
President, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll
Matt Wilding, Trustee Representative
Principal Research Group Manager, Rockwell Collins
Bylaws and Financial Documents
We take seriously our role as a trusted private funding source for the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation has a long and proud tradition of high standards of accountability. We are an independent organization governed by local volunteers to help the library serve people in our community.
We have a stringent system of checks and balances to make certain we operate in a sound fiscal manner. Our operating budget and library funding decisions are reviewed and approved by a volunteer finance committee followed by the board of directors. Independent firm TD&T CPAs and Advisors, P.C. conducts our annual audit, which is then reviewed by appropriate staff members, the volunteer finance committee and approved by the board of directors. We follow the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Audit and Accounting Guide for Not-for-Profit Organizations to ensure financial statements conform with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Information about how donations are used is openly provided and we welcome questions regarding these topics.