Principal Foundation Invests $500K in Charlotte’s New Main Library

Des Moines-based financial group is challenging the community to join them

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation is delighted to announce the generous investment of $500,000 from Principal Foundation to The CommonSpark campaign. A relatively new investor in the Charlotte region, their gift will be used as a fundraising challenge to the entire Charlotte Mecklenburg Library community during Around the World in 21 Branches, a traveling festival promoting the campaign.

Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal is a global financial investment management and insurance company. Its foundation provides grants that target community organizations and social enterprises where their employees live and work.

Much in the tradition of philanthropist and library advocate Andrew Carnegie, Principal believes the intrinsic value of free and open access to information provided by public libraries to vitalize community and build financial security.

“The Principal Foundation is thrilled to support the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation’s CommonSpark Campaign, ensuring that the library system evolves to meet 21st century needs and more,” said Jo Christine Miles, director Principal Foundation and Principal community relations. “Public libraries are dynamic, socially responsive institutions, serving as a nexus of diversity, providing accessible civic space for the young, old, well-heeled and vulnerable alike, and delivering universal access to information and learning. As such, public libraries are an integral part of the community, fostering well-being, civic engagement, and community development.”

Around the World in 21 Branches launches at North County Regional Library on Saturday, May 6, 2023. The in-branch festival will feature a virtual reality simulation of the new Main Library, a conversation and book signing with New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda, scavenger hunts, and more. The roving festival will touch down at every branch in the system over the next two years.

“We are so honored Principal Foundation chose to invest in the Library,” said Jenni Gaisbauer, executive director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. “We too believe every great city deserves a great library. And every great campaign deserves a partnership like the one we have with Principal. Their support of Around the World in 21 Branches will help us amplify our message.”

The CommonSpark is a comprehensive, $143 million public-private campaign to ignite change within the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system. The campaign includes funding for construction of a new Main Library; a new Library Administration Center; technology, innovation and programming throughout the Library system; an endowment for the future and annual operating support. The new Main Library will be a destination for Mecklenburg County and beyond, a hub of dynamic programming for the Library system, and an anchor of Uptown’s Seventh and Tryon redevelopment.

CommonSpark, Giving, Home Page

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