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.
The Beth Patridge Fund is an endowment in Beth's memory which helps the Alexandria Library acquire the type of books she enjoyed. Beth was a graduate of Penn State University and was one of the first women to be commissioned as a Navy intelligence officer via the challenging Aviation Officers Candidate School. She went on to complete a Master's Degree at the Naval Postgraduate School and serve a distinguished twenty-six year career in assignments all over the world. Books were an important part of her life. If you saw Beth there was certain to be a book - or several - close by. She took particular pride in serving as a volunteer librarian at overseas duty stations and wryly noted that most of her household goods shipping allowance was dedicated to her books. After retiring from the Navy, Beth made her home in Alexandria. Despite a busy second career she still found time for service, including helping maintain the garden at the James M. Duncan, Jr. Branch Library.
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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.