Levi E. Coe Library Fund

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“This small building has been erected for you in hopes that it will not only be of benefit to you, but will stand and be of service to many generations. This small library has also been prepared for you in hopes that it will contribute to your happiness and the happiness of future generations.” (Levi E. Coe, 1893, upon the dedication of the Library)

Imagine what Levi E. Coe would say today, some 120 years later, to know that not only has the Library named for him continued to be of benefit to Middlefield, but has taken the next step to continue his legacy and ensure the sustainability of the Library well into the future.

Since Coe gifted the Library to Middlefield in 1893, it has grown from a building open once a week with a few hundred volumes to a community hub, housing more than 25,000 volumes, open five days a week, and hosting a broad array of programs and services essential to the community’s happiness and benefit.

Throughout its history, Levi E. Coe Library has benefited from the generosity of its community and the strong leadership of its Board of Directors.

Recently the Board spent time thinking strategically about the future of the Library, not just in terms of its programs, services and holdings, but its fiscal sustainability. The Board, after careful consideration and much discussion, determined it was time work with a community organization which focuses on building endowments for a strong future. They contacted the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and established the LEVI E. COE LIBRARY FUND at the Community Foundation. “I feel confident that our joining with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County will be a positive move for the fiscal future of the Library and an asset to their organization,” explained Ralph Sayward, President of the Levi E. Coe Library Board of Directors.

Establishing an endowment fund through the Community Foundation is an important next step in supporting the operation of the Library, today and in the future. It’s lasting. “Partnering with the Community Foundation has been a delightful, effortless endeavor.  The CFMC staff exude such confidence and enthusiasm that we knew we chose the appropriate organization to fiscally guide the Levi E. Coe Library into the future,” explained Jessica Lobner, Levi E. Coe Library Director. “Working with CFMC means the Library will endure for generations to come.   Realizing that our endowment has been placed into the proficient hands of Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a comfort and a relief to us all.”

“By your social gatherings here, by your reading clubs and literary exercises here, by your industrial education and benevolent work here for the unfortunate and needy, you will be made better men and women, and the organization a helpmeet to all that is good … If you derive as much pleasure and profit from it as the donors have in preparing it, they will be fully repaid for the undertaking.” (Levi E. Coe, 1893, upon the dedication of the Library)

The Community Foundation is proud and humbled by the trust of the Levi E. Coe Library Board of Directors has for CFMC and its services. CFMC believes they are fulfilling the hopes of Levi E. Coe for both the Library itself and its place in the Middlefield community which meant so much to Coe and his family. We know that this new partnership will continue Coe’s legacy – and Middlefield’s legacy – of providing financial and other resources for the improvement and betterment of the Levi E. Coe Library and the residents of the town its supports.