Welcome to the Princeton Public Library Foundation.

The Princeton Public Library Foundation supports the library’s mission to connect people with ideas, information, technology, resources and each other in ways that enrich their lives and help them to realize their dreams.

The library has a tradition reaching back more than 100 years, but the strength of the library is its ability to remain meaningful and contemporary in an ever-changing world. A gift to the Foundation will provide the support necessary for the library to continue to meet the challenges and needs of the next century.

About the Foundation

The Princeton Public Library Foundation was established in 1996 by a group of citizens who realized that the annual $1 million gap between public support and the cost of providing leading-edge library services could jeopardize the library’s long-term health. The Foundation was incorporated in 1997.

The Foundation has pursued its original vision of generating private-sector support to provide a stable source of funding for the library. This income supplements the generous tax-based funding (nearly 75 percent of operating costs) provided by the municipality of Princeton, NJ. A lead gift from George and Estelle Sands created an Endowment Fund in 2003, following a successful building campaign. Since then, private contributions have brought the total value of endowment to $17 million. As we look to the future and our goal of providing a stable source of funding for the library, the Foundation hopes to build the Endowment to $20 million by the year 2025.

The Mary S. Wisnovsky Fund for Acquisitions at the Princeton Public Library

The Mary S. Wisnovsky Fund for Acquisitions (“the Fund”) has been established in memory of Mary Wisnovsky. Mary and the library were inseparable. Her enthusiasm, expertise, exquisite taste and sheer love of the Library were essential to making it into the beloved and viable institution it is today. The Fund will be used for the purchase of the Library’s print and digital book collections, which are all purchased through private funding. And while physical books form the core of the Library’s collection, of particular need now is the purchase of digital materials to benefit an ever-growing diverse and often underserved audience.

Donate online here or by check to The Princeton Public Library Foundation for The Mary S. Wisnovsky Fund for Acquisitions. Checks can be mailed to Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon St. Princeton, NJ 08542.

The Willard T.C. Johnson Challenge Grant for Building Stewardship

As facilities age they require significant investment to ensure that the space is updated and refreshed to meet changing needs. To meet this challenge a Building Stewardship Endowment was created. This targeted endowment fund will provide funding resources required to maintain a world-class public library facility that can adapt to the ever changing needs of future generations.

Through the extraordinary kindness and vision of long-time library supporter Betty Wold Johnson, the library received a $1 million challenge grant, to be used as an incentive toward building the Stewardship Fund. Every gift raised toward the challenge was matched dollar for dollar.

Jean Featherly Byrne Endowment Fund for Children’s Literature

The Jean F. Byrne Endowment Fund for Children’s Literature was established in 2015 by Barbara and Tom Byrne in honor of Tom’s mother, the former first lady of New Jersey, Jean Featherly Byrne, whose patience and kindness were a beacon to young children. Jean Featherly Byrne was a champion of programs in support of children and we are pleased to continue her legacy at the library.

2021 Foundation Board of Directors


David Hill

David Scott
Vice President

Sudeep Das

Jennifer Podolsky
Library Director

Leonard Berlik
Swati Bhatt
Kelly Freidenfelds
Melissa Grzymala
Beth Heaney
Carol Herring
Jeaninne Surette Honstein
Jonah Lansky
Ann Parker McKeehan
Rosalind Muir
Jane Silverman
Yamile Slebi
Andrew Sutphin
Christopher van Buren
Sarah Porter Waterbury
Pam Wetherill

Estelle M. Sands
Founding Director