Skip to main content

Learn how one couple’s gift to the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library will support youth and their families for years to come.

Public libraries have been essential to our communities for more than a century, often serving as a safe and welcoming space for education, resources, entertainment and fun for people of all ages. The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library (The Friends) is working to ensure that libraries are around for generations to come.

“Reading for pleasure takes us to other worlds, while reading for information helps us understand stories other than our own,” said Beth Burns, president of The Friends. “And at the heart of that, libraries exist to connect people to information, each other and to programs and services that are going to help them achieve their goals in this world.”

Since 1945, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library has invested in public libraries in Saint Paul through fundraising, advocacy and programming. As a nonprofit, it works closely with donors interested in strengthening libraries and finding ways for them to continue to thrive.

Two donors who understood the importance of public libraries were Scott and Kathy Heiderich. For 52 years, they both worked for the Saint Paul Public Library; Scott as a building engineer and Kathy as a librarian and branch manager.

“Scott and Kathy were incredible advocates for The Friends and for the library,” said Liz Boyd, director of special events and donor relations. “They gave thousands of dollars over the years, and Scott would share ideas and thoughts on what we could do to be a better support system for the libraries.”

Watch the Corner Conversations Video

video poster

Inspired to Make a Difference?

Here are three ways you can support your local public libraries:

  1. Visit. Libraries have evolved today, and books are just the beginning. They offer resources like recording studios, sewing and 3D printing. Not to mention, they’re free.
  2. Support. Consider supporting your library with a financial gift, whether through a donor advised fund, annual gift or as a part of your estate plan.
  3. Advocate. Raise your voice on behalf of your local public library. Support causes and policies that promote the advancement of libraries and the people they serve.

View More Corner Conversations

Corner Conversations feature individuals and nonprofits driving change in the East Metro and beyond by highlighting their work in connection to current topics and issues facing our communities and state.

Read Creating a Greater Minnesota for Our Youth

Creating a Greater Minnesota for Our Youth

Here are three ways you can improve the opportunity gap for Minnesota’s youth.

Watch the video
Read Understanding the Power of Music

Understanding the Power of Music

Learn how music has the abilities to teach and heal.

Watch the video
Read Combining Community Service and Sports to Shape Future Leaders

Combining Community Service and Sports to Shape Future Leaders

Mario & Sparkle Wimberly are using futsal as a way to build future community leaders through SOL of the Cities.

Watch the video
Read Scientists Develop Ecosystems to Explore the Effects of Climate Change

Scientists Develop Ecosystems to Explore the Effects of Climate Change

Learn about one of the largest ecosystems in the world and its predictions on future climates.

Watch the video

More Stories

Corner Conversations: Sowing the Seeds of Change

Learn how Sharing Our Roots is providing BIPOC, queer and immigrant individuals with equitable access to land.

Watch the video

Foundations Announce $8.7 Million in 2024 First-Round Community Grants

Grants will provide funding resources for community organizations that provide critical resources to Minnesotans across the state.

Read the announcement

Meet Four East Metro Main Street Grantees

Learn how funding from the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is empowering nonprofits and businesses to serve their communities.

Learn More

Brick By Brick: Saint Paul Team Clinches Spot at National Robotics Competition

Capitol Hill Magnet School’s LEGO Llamas will show off their talents in STEM at the Florida Sunshine Invitational.

Watch the video

We’re Moving in 2025

In early 2025, the Foundation will relocate to Osborn370, a dynamic hub of innovation and diversity in downtown Saint Paul.

Learn More

Continuing Collaboration in 2024

Learn how the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation is working with community partners and welcoming new staff in this video.

Hear from Dr. Jolly

What Is a Community Foundation?

Learn how a community foundation works and can help you achieve your charitable goals in this short video.

Watch the video

Operationalizing Equity

Chief Operating Officer Nadege Souvenir discusses how the Foundation weaves equity into everything we do.

Learn More

GET MONTHLY STORIES, NEWS AND UPDATES

JOIN
US!

* Indicates a required field