The bylaws of the Everett McKinley Dirksen Endowment Fund, adopted November 14, 1963, describe the organization's mission as follows:
"To finance and maintain the creation of a wing of the City Library of Pekin, Illinois, to house, display, and preserve the public letters, books, records, pictures, medals, and other materials associated with the public service of Everett McKinley Dirksen as citizen, soldier, and public servant; and to make such endowments for the study and dissemination of the art and science of public service as shall seem fitting."
In April 1989, the Board of Directors expressed the current mission in these words:
"The Everett McKinley Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institution whose mission is to help people better understand the U.S. Congress and its leaders."
October 1999 summary of The Center's essence
Innovative ideas and activities.
Remembering the ideals of Everett Dirksen.
Keeping ahead with technology.
Striving for excellence in
Educational, archival, and research programs.
Networking to find partners to further our mission.
Committed to maintaining quality service.
Exploring opportunities across the
Nation and within our community.
Teaching others about Congress and civics.
Encouraging learning through workshops, web sites, and awards.
Respected by those we teach and reach!