February 23, 2015

Nationwide Foundation gives $3 million gift in support of Great Libraries Create campaign

$20 million goal to support aspirational building program

COLUMBUS—The Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation has received gifts totaling $3 million from the Nationwide Foundation toward the Great Libraries Create campaign, a $20 million public/private fundraising initiative to support Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) aspirational building program. The library plans to build seven new branches, renovate two others and transform Main Library within the next few years.

This is the largest corporate gift the campaign has received to date. The Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation has currently raised nearly $18 MILLION of its $20 million goal.

“With this critical gift, the Nationwide Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to our community’s young people by investing in great libraries that will impact their success in school and beyond,” said Columbus Metropolitan Library CEO Patrick Losinski. “We are grateful for their generosity and partnership.”

This gift comes as CML prepares to begin renovation of Main Library on Feb. 25. The evening before, on Tuesday, Feb. 24, the library will formally kick off the renovation with a ceremonial “wallbreaking” event. Members of the media are invited to attend this highly visual program at Main Library (96 S. Grant Ave.), which will feature library and city leaders, including City Council President Andrew Ginther.

“We're proud to support Columbus Metropolitan Library's Great Libraries Create campaign," said Chad Jester, president of the Nationwide Foundation. “Helping the top library system in the country revitalize its facilities where residents gather to dream, learn and grow strengthens our communities and benefits us all.”

Great libraries are more than just a home for books; they are community centers that reflect the unique needs of the people they serve. To ensure Columbus Metropolitan Library continues to serve its customers well into the future, it must revitalize and transform branches to meet the demands of the 21st century community.

The library has embarked on an ambitious plan to revitalize seven urban branches, two suburban branches and make transformational changes to Main Library. Through the Great Libraries Create campaign, CML will create inspirational spaces in central Ohio’s most challenged communities to help prepare kids for kindergarten, cultivate a passion for reading in the young, empower discovery and creativity in teens, provide the books and resources for adults trying to improve their lives, ensure access to technology to those without, and so much more.

The cost of this vision is $120 million. The library has generated $100 million with the sale of Public Library Fund Notes, and the library’s foundation is seeking $20 million through public and private philanthropy.

Visit foundation.columbuslibrary.org for more information and to check the progress of the campaign.