The Foundation works in unison with the Friends of the Library, who have supported library programs and smaller capital needs for over forty years. The Foundation’s focus is major gifts, bequests, and to develop planned giving strategies to enable the St. Helena Public Library to continue offering unique, successful programs and high-quality services. The Foundation also works to secure capital funding for library renovations and future expansion. Together we ensure that our library is consistently one of the best in the state.
The Friends is a membership organization open to anyone who wishes to support the library. There are a variety of membership levels available to individuals, families, and businesses for as low as ten dollars a year.
The Friends of the Saint Helena Library was established in 1968 . The very first project undertaken by the Friends was to preserve our local newspaper, The St. Helena Star, on microfilm and make it available in the library. Starting with the earliest available edition of September 1874 the back issues were copied to microfilm and now occupy a prominent place in the California and Special Collections room of the library.
Just a few of the projects undertaken by the Friends over the ensuing years have included the extensive fund raising for the 1978 construction of the George and Elsie Wood Public Library building on Library Lane; the most timely organization of a highly successful group of in-house library volunteers who assist the staff in providing library service for the public; the 1993 remodeling project to provide better access for the handicapped, a new reference desk and area, new wiring and conduit for the SNAP system and the online patron access terminals and the creation of the California Special Collections room. Over the years the Friends have funded enhanced children’s programming and for many years have provided treats and funding for the Children’s summer reading program.
In addition to all of the regular activities of the Friends that benefit the library, the Friends spearheaded the fund raising campaign to fund a major expansion of the library building, completed in 1998-99. During 1999-2000 the Friends financed the purchase of materials and plants for a revamped landscaping for the newly expanded Library Building. The Friends of the St. Helena Library have also sponsored technology workshops for the public.
Donors to the Foundation are automatically granted membership to the Friends as well.
To learn more about the Friends, visit www.shpl.org/about/friends-of-the-library/.
To volunteer for the library, go to www.shpl.org/volunteer/.