The New Brunswick
Who We Are
The New Brunswick Library Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was established in 2017 to help the New Brunswick Free Public Library serve the community. While public libraries rely on the public for support through their taxes, the needs are such that there is always more to be done. The Foundation aims to make sure that the New Brunswick Free Public Library is one of the most important educational and cultural resources in our community.
The Foundation assembles support from people like you to increase programs and services while aiding the library’s efforts to remain responsive in an ever changing world. Contributions are investments in our community and they help the library adopt novel changes to the world of information.
The Foundation is separate and governed by a Board of Trustees distinct from the Friends and from the library’s Board of Trustees.
More than twenty years ago, the library was the recipient of a bequest from the estate of Mrs. Mildred Davis Gladwell, who taught in the New Brunswick schools for over 31 years. She was the former wife of C. Rexford Davis, the noted grammarian and Rutgers' faculty member who died in 1957 and of Leslie T. Gladwell. Mrs. Gladwell had been a resident of New Brunswick until 1967. Mrs. Gladwell donated the bulk of her estate to three libraries, the Weston (MA) Public Library, Rutgers' Alexander Library, and the New Brunswick Free Public Library. Since then, the bequest has supported the New Brunswick library’s Sunday service. In 2017, it was deemed necessary to establish a foundation, which could best serve as the custodian of the bequest and receive additional donations and bequests.
Library Director, Dr. Robert J. Belvin, has said that, “It is only with the addition of private generosity such as Mrs. Gladwell's bequest that the library can be the fine library that the community needs and that the Board of Trustees, staff, and elected officials want.”
The Foundation has supported the library in many ways. When the grant supporting a successful career counseling service expired, the Foundation continued the funding of the service. When the pandemic struck, the Foundation funded multiple Zoom licenses so virtual services could fill some of the gaps caused by closing physical access into the library building. The Foundation also paid for a subscription to Brainfuse, an online tutoring service, to partially replace the successful in-person tutoring that had to be suspended. Sometimes the Foundation supports the library in more mundane ways, for example, by funding an upgrade to the CATV system to improve the security and safety around the library.
The Foundation’s mission is to provide support to the New Brunswick Free Public Library and its purpose of serving the diverse community that is New Brunswick. It permits the library to meet the changing and growing needs of the community and enables the library to adapt quickly.
Robert J. Belvin, Ph.D.
Jean A. Holtz
Phillip L. Paley, Vice-President
Joseph B. Schrum
Jeanine Senerote Valenti