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The DeKalb County Community Foundation is honored to announce the Cortland Community Library Endowment Fund. Created by Barbara Coward in honor of her cousins William and Wayne McWhinney, this is the first Foundation endowment Fund directly supporting the Cortland Library. The Fund’s purpose is to contribute annually to needs such as shelving, books, programming, ongoing building maintenance, and future projects.
William and Wayne McWhinney were brothers. Both men were Korean War veterans and hard workers. After the war, William became a Chicago police officer and later a deputy for the Cook County Sheriff. Wayne started as a schoolteacher in the Chicago public schools for 5 years before moving to Florida to finish his 35-year career. When William passed, he left a monetary gift to Wayne, and after Wayne passed, the gift went to their cousin, Barbara Coward.
Barbara has greatly supported the Cortland Community Library for many years. She began volunteering for the library in 1984, and in 1996 she took over as the library’s director and sole employee. In June 2020, she retired.
“My heart has been in this library since 1984,” said Barbara. “I’m honored to direct this family gift to create something that benefits the Cortland community indefinitely. It’s fitting to start this Fund at the Community Foundation because, in many ways, they helped build the Cortland Library. Over the years, the library has greatly benefitted from grants awarded by the Foundation.”
The Cortland Library opened in 1984 as a small blue house that stood where the current Casey’s gas station is. When Casey’s came to town, the library moved into Cortland’s Town Hall, where it stayed for almost eight years. In 1993, the library moved to its current location on Somonauk Road, originally the Cortland fire barn.
“Libraries can enhance their services in meaningful ways with additional supplemental income. Endowment Funds for libraries such as this are a great way for donors to support these anchor institutions in our communities,” said Foundation Executive Director Dan Templin.
Donations to any Fund at the Community Foundation, including the Cortland Community Library Endowment Fund, can be made online at or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178. For questions or to get started creating your own charitable Fund to support causes important to you, please contact Executive Director Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.