How To Help

The St. Helena Public Library is supported through the City of St. Helena’s general fund. Approximately 80% of the library’s $1.2M operating budget is provided by the City through traditional municipal revenues. The remaining 20% come from outside funding, grants, and private donations. When the Wood Trust was gifted to the library it was set aside specifically for “Enhancement” meaning the funds could not be used for general operational costs. These funds and other donations to the library from private individuals and organizations have enabled the library to provide state of the art technology, award-winning programs and services, and regular activities for all ages in our community. As government budgets tighten, private funds are more and more important to just maintain the current standards of service and they will be crucial to any effort to bring new services and programs to the people of St. Helena.

In 2011 the Foundation funded the cost of bringing two library consultants to St. Helena to assist us over a period of months in the creation of a formal framework for future planning in order to ensure the St. Helena Public Library continues to meet the evolving needs of our community. The results of the process undertaken provide the library a clear picture of what our community wants and expects from us in terms of library service in combination with information about new trends and options in the field of public service will help us to prioritize use of funds as we head into times of economic uncertainty and will ready us to take advantage of future funds when they become available through the City, the Foundation, Friends, the State, or other resources.

The St. Helena Public Library Foundation has many opportunities for you to help. We accept regular donations via check or credit card (link to PayPal). If you would like to speak to someone on the Foundation Board about making a special donation either in honor of a loved one or to fund a specific project or service, please contact library director Jennifer Baker [link to email]


Current projects needing funding:

Long term Endowment—These funds are collected and invested for the purpose of providing for the library in perpetuity. An unofficial goal of the Foundation is that the library will someday be able to operate on funds provided directly to the City of St. Helena from the Foundation for the express purposes of ongoing operations. The result of this would be a library that can continue to run smoothly with world-class services independent of the City’s financial status. Until such time as the Foundation has amassed sufficient funds to provide 100% of the library’s ongoing operations, these funds will be used as needed to supplement those funds provided through the City and other resources.


Ongoing Enhancement—In the spirit of Dr. Wood’s Trust, fund gifted to the Foundation for Enhancement will only be used to augment library services. They cannot be used for basic operations but must be designated to be used for special projects, programs, and services approved by the Library Director and Library Board of Trustees.


Expansion Fund—The Library has a commitment from the City of St. Helena to add an additional 8,000 square feet to the library directly south of the current facility. Funds collected for the expansion fund will be used to determine the best use of this allotted space, the most efficient and appealing design, architectural services and construction and furnishings. Anticipated completion 2018.


Special programs—The library regularly provides weekly programs for all ages. If you are interested in sponsoring existing or new programs for a specific age group or segment of the community, you may make a donation to this fund to be earmarked for such programs. Use of these funds will be monitored and approved by the Library Director.


Wine Library— More than forty years ago, the original founders of the Napa Valley Wine Library Association sought to “preserve and disseminate information regarding viticulture, enology and wine lore, particularly as it pertains to the Napa Valley.” Today, the Library has amassed a very fine collection of books and other materials related to wine. Books on Napa Valley wine are our specialty, but the Library also has general books on all wine producing areas in California, the United States and elsewhere in the world. The collection is particularly strong in popular books about all aspects of wine written from the 1950s up to the present, basic winemaking manuals for professionals, rare wine books from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and transcripts of oral interviews of local individuals involved in the wine business. If you would like to make a donation to help build and preserve our special collection of wine related materials and resources, this fund is earmarked for such use. For more information about the Wine Library visit