The Update for June 14, 2024

L to R: Selena Giovannelli, Teleia White, Helen Hope Kimbrough and Jenni Gaisbauer

Hello —

just returned from Washington, DC, where board members Helen Hope Kimbrough, Selena Giovannelli and I joined 250 of our peers from across the country and Canada (along with our Foundation team) for the Annual International Public Library Fundraising Conference for two days of learning, sharing, and networking.

I’m so grateful that our board leadership was able to experience this conference. Having them with us in the room — learning and experiencing the opportunities and challenges of the public library sector — only strengthens our ability to raise awareness and private financial support for our partner, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

I look forward to this conference every year. Organized by the Library Support Network (on which I have served since its inception), we’ve more than doubled the participation, and I expect that trend to continue. The voices within national public library fundraising are growing stronger. Helen, Selena and Teleia have shared some of their recollections from the conference below.

We left the conference full of new ideas, new friends and confirmation we have something very special here in Charlotte. Our partnership with the Library is healthy; our Library Foundation staff and board are committed and talented; and we have you — a growing donor community who cares deeply for our public libraries.

With gratitude,

Jenni Gaisbauer, CFRE
Executive Director

Helen Hope Kimbrough
Board of Directors, First Vice Chair

One thing that excited me

To tour the newly-renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (which also felt like a museum) was super special, embracing the rich culture of Washington, DC, as well as the historical moments of the civil rights movement. Something else that I wasn’t expecting, but turned out to be pretty exciting was the children’s slide. So much fun!!! 😊

One thing I am proud of

I left the conference extremely grateful for the cohesion and synergy among the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. I learned that this combination is rare. We’re fortunate to have tremendous leadership and staff working together to get things done.

Teleia White
Director of Individual Giving

One thing I learned

We have participated in Library Giving Day since its inception and have shared the impact of those gifts. It is truly amazing to witness the global significance of donations from $1 to $100 for libraries across North America.

One thing I am proud of

Our Library Foundation has a small team and we do as much (or more!) than Library Foundations teams that are twice our size.

Selena Giovannelli
Board of Directors, Second Vice Chair

One thing I learned
I learned a lot about the way other foundations engage with their communities and their boards of trustees. I loved the specific focus groups on foundation member advocacy for our libraries.

One thing I am proud of
I was most impressed by our own Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation staff. We have a group of true rock stars! Their collective knowledge and experience were highly sought after by other conference attendees. We are truly blessed.


Click the photos below to enjoy galleries from our last three events including Around the World in 21 Branches at ImaginOn, An Evening with Dacher Keltner, and Book of You with Joe Posnanski. If you see yourself and want to share, be sure to tag us!

Events, Home Page, Libraries Matter, The Update

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