The Library of Michigan Foundation (the Foundation) was created in 1985 at the behest of  Governor James L. Blanchard. Governor Blanchard’s vision was to form a private foundation to raise private funds for the growth of the Library of Michigan. The Governor envisioned building a strong public-private partnership, modeled on the successful New York Public Library Foundation.

Governor Engler followed and implementing this vision. He called upon philanthropically-minded citizens to recruit other leaders within the community. Over the years, thousands of generous donors helped create many enhancements to the Library of Michigan for our state’s citizens.

Not for Profit Charity

The Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity governed by a volunteer, independent board of directors. The Foundation provides opportunities to individuals and businesses for charitable giving to support programs, collections and services of the Library, not otherwise provided through state or federal funding.


Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $6 million in private and corporate donations for programs to boost adult literacy, youth and early childhood literacy, special services for the blind and physically impaired, statewide services for libraries, continuing education for librarians, library staff and trustees; and the construction of the Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room and its growing collection, which is housed in the beautiful Library of Michigan.


The Foundation does not raise money for day-to-day operations of the library. The Foundation provides opportunities for charitable giving to strengthen the cultural and literary world of Michigan by enhancing special programs and services of the Library of Michigan, not otherwise provided through state or federal funding.