CommonSpark leadership’s 2023 update highlights another successful year

The CommonSpark campaign leadership is so thankful for your support and encouragement as we continued to guide and fuel this transformative project. With a keen focus on access, education and impact, the Library and Library Foundation had another successful year highlighted by:

  • The Library opened its 21st branch in the town of Pineville and a new location (almost double its size) is slated for the popular University City Regional Library in 2024.
  • The Library and Novant Health created a new health equity partnership, in which five library locations will feature Novant Health Wellness Hubs to help customers navigate and access health information and services.
  • The Library partnered with Charlotte Works to provide workforce development programs and job services at the Steele Creek Library. Charlotte Works aids those looking to make a career transition or find a higher paying job.
  • Through a $8M Federal Government grant, the Library is currently closing the digital divide by distributing 20,000 refurbished laptops to adults throughout Mecklenburg County through its MeckTech program.
  • The Library Foundation created a new community-wide reading competition. In Book Club Madness, more than 175 book clubs and 1,000 readers challenged each other for top honors and a table at Verse & Vino, which was in person for the first time in three years with more than 1,100 attending.

The CommonSpark Campaign continued to experience incredible generosity from individuals, corporations, and foundations in our community. The comprehensive fundraising goal remains $143,000,000 to support a new Main Library, Library Administration Center (now completed and in use), enhanced programming and technology throughout the entire system, unrestricted endowment support and the Foundation’s annual operations.

We are excited to share that, as of today, we have raised more than $120,000,000 towards this ambitious goal and are eager to enter the final stage with the community phase. We will officially launch Around the World in 21 Branches this spring, featuring a community festival tour, making stops at each of our 21 branch locations plus house parties and lemonade stands throughout the community over the next 24 months. The tour schedule is being finalized and will be shared later this winter. A big thank you to Lowe’s for stepping in to serve as the presenting sponsor of this final and exciting phase.

Highlights from the CommonSpark Campaign in 2022:

  • The Tepper Foundation and The Dave and Nicole Tepper Foundation collectively pledged $10,000,000, the second $10,000,000 pledge to the campaign, joining The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
  • Nucor, Novant Health and The Leon Levine Foundation each pledged $1,000,000.
  • Principal Foundation pledged $500,000 to challenge the community during the final phase of the campaign.
  • The Van Every Foundation pledged $250,000, plus dozens of additional generous gifts.

We are beyond excited to share that demolition on the current Main Library will begin May 2023! The design phase is completed, and soon you will see construction fencing go up in preparation for demolition. We are on schedule to begin construction at the end of 2023 and hoping for the official ribbon cutting at end of 2025.

The vision and integrity of the original design has been preserved with some new “wow” moments, and we couldn’t be happier for our community to have this world class knowledge center. Together, we are providing our community an architecturally distinctive, technology forward, regional destination and the gateway and heartbeat to a reimagined North Tryon Street corridor.

We will be forever grateful to each of you for your friendship, trust and investment in the CommonSpark Campaign and the future of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jenni Gaisbauer, Executive Director of the Library Foundation, at or 704.351.1721.


Charles Bowman
Rob Harrington
Holly Welch Stubbing
Campaign Co-Chairs

Marcellus “MT” Turner
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Librarian
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Jenni Gaisbauer, CFRE
Executive Director
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation


CommonSpark, Community, Home Page, Partnerships

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