A Letter from the President

Friends of the Newberry:

Thank you for supporting the Newberry Library. In these challenging times, your commitment to our mission is as critical as ever. I believe it is important for you, as stakeholders in our work, to understand how the pandemic has affected our plans for the future.

The Newberry has faced significant financial challenges in the past year, losing revenue from programming, event rentals, and Bookshop sales. We've canceled two major fundraising events—the Award Dinner and Book Fair. We have been fortunate, however, to rely on the philanthropic support of our community to help us make up these financial shortfalls. Since the pandemic’s onset last spring, you have shown staggering generosity, allowing us to meet vital fundraising goals and remain on solid financial footing. Thank you.

Our work to connect you to the Newberry virtually continues apace. I am proud of the way staff has met our audiences online with ingenuity, hard work, and the excellent service for which the Newberry is known. We are also making plans to reopen our doors to the public in the weeks ahead. Please know we are taking every precaution to ensure that we reopen safely and responsibly. As always, the health of our staff and visitors is our top priority. Details of our reopening plans will be available soon.

Below are some engagement opportunities you can look forward to in the coming weeks, whether you choose to join us online or in person.

— On March 3, join us for the second installment of the Behind-the-Scenes Speaker Series, a virtual donor event. Will Hansen, Director of Reader Services and Curator of Americana, will discuss the upcoming exhibition ¡Viva la Libertad!: The Age of Revolutions in Latin America.

¡Viva la Libertad! will open in the Newberry’s Trienens Galleries on April 2.

— We are finalizing plans for the 2021 Award Dinner, which will be held virtually on May 24 and honor Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch. More information will be available soon.

We recently launched two new Book Groups for eligible donors. These groups are a wonderful way to engage with other supporters of the Newberry.

— As always, we have a variety of free public programs on offer.

Much has changed since last March, but our commitment to service and learning remains unwavering. It is also clear that your commitment to the Newberry is as strong as it has ever been. Together, we will see the Newberry through the remaining months of this pandemic.

Thank you once more for your support. I am humbled by your generosity and look forward to thanking many of you in person when our doors reopen.


Daniel Greene
President and Librarian

This story is part of the Newberry’s Donor Digest, Winter 2021. In this newsletter the Newberry shares with its donors exciting stories of the success and innovation made possible by their generosity. Learn more about supporting the library and its programs.