Why does my gift matter?

Your gift improves lives and helps the library inspire lifelong learning. More than 90% of 6,000 annual Milwaukee Public Library programs are funded entirely through your private donor support.

What is the difference between donating to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library?

Both organizations support Milwaukee Public Library, and both are private non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations. Each organization has its own mission, leadership, and operating structure.

The mission of the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation is to provide essential support through private contributions for programs, books, materials, digital resources, and library facilities to ensure the Milwaukee Public Library's continued standing as a great library responsive to community needs. Donor support is crucial to funding library initiatives that complement, but do not supplant the City of Milwaukee’s responsibility for library operations, forming a synergistic public-private partnership. Since its inception, the foundation has provided funding for enhancements to the Milwaukee Public Library system which would not be possible on public funding alone.

Advocates for libraries, literacy, and lifelong learning is the mission statement of the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library organization. These volunteers conduct used book sales of books donated by the community, as well as the materials withdrawn from Milwaukee Public Library’s collection. Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library also helps to “Friend raise,” and offers annual memberships inviting individuals and families to join as “Friends of the Library.” Friends members enjoy receiving great benefits and discounts through their support for the library! Funds raised through Friends book sales and annual memberships significantly support Milwaukee Public Library’s collection and programming.

Can I donate books?

The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library accepts donations of books and sells them to the public. Contact the Bookseller Used Book Store at (414) 286-2142, or email for more information.

Feb 2021 update:

We’re thrilled to share our partners at Sharehouse Goods will be temporarily accepting used book donations until the Bookseller operations at Central Library have resumed. Click here for details.

Can I donate a bequest or trust income?

Yes. Directing your gift to Milwaukee Public Library Foundation creates a lasting legacy to the community and a continuing honor to the donor. Please contact Patricia Swanson:, or 414 286-3066 for more information.

Where do I send my donation?

Please make checks payable to Milwaukee Public Library Foundation and mail to:

Milwaukee Public Library Foundation
Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library
814 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233

*Donations can also be made securely online.