Foundation Annual Report / Advocacy

Letter from the Foundation Board President and Executive Director

The Library Foundation is thrilled to watch our Rochester Public Library be one of 30 finalists for this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service for the second year in a row. Our library is rated in the top 30, out of thousands of institutions nationwide.  This is national recognition for the outstanding staff and programs. 

The Foundation, from your generous donations, is proud to support several outstanding initiatives at the Library:  Rochester Reading Champions, Wi-Fi Hotspot Program and Summer Playlist. These programs ensure year round engagement and connectivity to help community youth and adults reach learning goals, gain new skills, engage with others and secure employment. The Summer Playlist alone saw a 52% increase in participation, with people spending 123,568 hours reading or engaging in activities last summer. The Foundation is proud to be part of the funding streams to support these programs and many others during 2017 and 2018. With your help, the Foundation will continue to raise funds for educational and informational resources and projects in a manner that does not diminish the need for strong public funding.

We pledge to work alongside you, our supporters, to educate the community and policy makers about the Library’s role in meeting community needs, as the Library strengthens their vision to be a place where aspirations, ideas and knowledge converge.

Martha McClees
Foundation Board, President
Corporate & Foundation Relations
Department of Development, Mayo Clinic 
Vicki Allen
Executive Director,
Rochester Public Library Foundation 


RPL Foundation 2017 Annual Report

Rochester Public Library Foundation Statement of Financial Position

Current Assets      2017 2016
Bank Accounts    
 US Bank Checking $77,875 $48,185
Fixed Assets    
 Furniture & Equipment  1,898   1,898
 Leasehold Improvements   11,275   11,275
   Total Fixed Assets   13,173   13,173
 Less: Accumulated Depreciation 3,590   3,026
  Total Fixed Assets   $9,583  $10,147
Other Assets   
 Investment Portfolio  2,622,014  2,377,331
 Accrued Interest  7,153   9,434
   Total Other Assets  $2,629,167   $2,386,765
Total Assets       $2,716,625  $2,445,097
 Beginning of year net assets 2,445,097  2,327,918 
 Change in net assets 271,528   117,179
Total Equity $2,716,625  $2,445,097 

*Unaudited numbers   
2017 Funding Graphic



The Foundation’s mission is to raise private funds for educational and informational resources and projects in a manner that does not diminish the need for strong public funding, and to educate the community about the Library’s vital role in meeting our community’s need.

• Building Fund
• Expansion of Wi-Fi Hotspot program
• Literacy: Rochester Reading Champions
• Materials: books, CDs, audiobooks, digital titles
• Wishlist items for library divisions
• Pilot programming
• Diversity and inclusion
• Innovation and creativity
• Youth


The Foundation has played a key role in supporting RPL programs and initiatives that support community members through all stages of life.

Rochester Reading Champions

In early 2017, the Foundation partnered with the Rochester Valley of the Scottish Rite to lead a two-month matching donation drive supporting the Rochester Reading Champions (RRC) literacy program. RRC pairs highly trained volunteers with youth and adults in the community who struggle with reading. The Foundation’s goal of raising $5,000 (to be matched by the Scottish Rite Children’s Foundation) was surpassed, with over $6,000 raised in six weeks. The donations will help support the program as it expands to reach more struggling readers. Every RRC participant sees growth in reading and spelling after 80-100 lessons, all provided by volunteers who spend 120 hours in training. Without the financial support of the Foundation and other sponsors, the RRC program would not be able to offer the specialized training, greatly reducing the number of volunteers in the program.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

In 2017, the RPL Foundation partnered with Olmsted County Community Services to launch the “Wi-Fi Hotspot” program to give community members greater access to the internet. Through the “Wi-Fi Hotspot program” the Foundation is able to support community members searching for jobs, filling out official forms, or completing school work. Having strong internet connectivity allows individuals to connect and contribute to our local economy. The program has been highly popular: at any given time all hotspots are checked out and over 100 people are waiting for access.

Summer Playlist



The Foundation supports local literacy efforts including the 2017 “Summer Playlist” program. This all-ages program encourages community members to spend part of their summer hours without technology and instead spend time reading, learning, creating, or connecting. Thousands of children, teens and adults participated in the 2017 program with many saying the Summer Playlist encouraged them to read after not doing so for many years. In all, over 4,000 kids, teens, and adults participated in Summer Playlist, a 52% increase over 2016.


  Printable 2018 Annual Report / Advocacy page (PDF)

  Printable 2017 Annual Report (PDF)

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