Chartered in 1998, the Alexandria Library Foundation, Inc. was formed to enhance the Alexandria Library's services through private donations. In 1999, when asked for $50,000 to meet increased demand for books and electronic information for the new Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Library, the City approved instead a $25,000 challenge grant. The donors to the Foundation met this challenge.
In 2000, with the opening of the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, the Library asked the City to add $50,000 to its operating budget in response to the increased demand for materials and services. The City offered a second challenge grant of $25,000, which required matching funds by the Foundation.
In 2015, the City of Alexandria agreed to a matching grant, known as the 50-50 Plan, to support the Library’s materials budget. All donations for the Samuel W. Tucker Fund and the 50-50 plan received were matched by the City of Alexandria, up to a total match of $50,000.
In 2014, the Samuel W. Tucker Fund was established to recognize Tucker’s contribution in organizing an historic peaceful protest in 1939 at the Kate Waller Barrett Library. On August 21, 1939, five African American men were charged with civil disobedience for quietly reading books after being denied library cards. As a result of the earliest known library sit-in, the Robert Robinson Library was built to provide service to the City of Alexandria’s African American residents. The Samuel W. Tucker Fund supports Library programming and collections that center on civil rights, human rights, social freedoms and equality.
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The continued generosity of the community is needed for the Alexandria Library to provide the excellence in service and materials our residents deserve. We would like to thank everyone for their generous support.