The principal source of the Library’s operating budget is New Castle County property taxes. New Castle County, through the Department of Community Services, reviews operating budgets annually and requests proposals for the next fiscal year in the Fall. County funds represent approximately 74% of the Library’s operating budget. Other sources of funds are Private Endowment 6%; the State of Delaware 15%; and the City of Wilmington 3%; additional Grants 5%.
State funds are received from the State of Delaware’s operating budget, the amount of which is allocated according to a formula. The formula emphasizes the importance of local contributions; State funds increase each year if local funding for the prior year increases.
On-going development projects, including Annual Giving Appeals, are performed by The Wilmington Library Foundation.
Each year the Friends of the Wilmington Library contribute funds from proceeds of two annual book sales, membership drives, and proceeds from the Friends Book Shop. The Friends also provide funds for the salary of the Library’s part time Coordinator of Volunteers.
Additional revenues are received annually from fines, administrative fees for borrowing audio-visual materials, gifts, bequests and special memorial funds.