Who funds the Library, anyway?

The short answer is, you do.

Saint Paul Public Library is part of the City of Saint Paul, so a portion of your tax dollars goes towards keeping SPPL branches running. But even in a city that loves its libraries, public funding isn’t enough for libraries to provide all the important resources that residents seek.

That’s where you come in—again.

Thousands of individuals like you make donations to The Friends each year, which help Saint Paul Public Libraries serve as vital centers for community connection, education, and inspiration. As an independent nonprofit, The Friends invests in libraries so that they, and the communities they serve, thrive.

Here’s what we’ve been able to accomplish together:

  • $15 million for Saint Paul Public Library capital projects since 1997.
  • $13+ million raised and granted to SPPL for operating support and special projects since 1997.
  • $43.5 million in new funding from the City of Saint Paul thanks to Friends’ advocacy since 1992.

Here’s how The Friends invests:

The Friends advocates for Saint Paul Public Library by engaging citizens and elected officials to support and sustain public investment.

Each year, The Friends works with Saint Paul Public Library leadership to determine funding priorities and create an advocacy platform based on those needs. The Friends then presents that platform to the Mayor and City Council to request that the Library funding priorities are part of the City’s annual budget.


We raise funds from thousands of supporters so that the Library can offer inspiration, information, and space for people of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. We raise general operation and special project funds to support the ongoing operations of SPPL.

The Friends connects people to libraries through a range of cultural programs. For more than 25 years, we have offered programs that entertain, enrich, and nourish curious minds.

People like you make the Saint Paul Public Library strong for all of our residents. Click here to support the library you love.