Libraries for Health

Photo of a library

Libraries for Health


St. David’s Foundation is pleased to announce the Libraries for Health Initiative to address some of the most pressing health needs facing communities: depression, anxiety, and other types of mental health conditions. This initiative recognizes and elevates the opportunity for an anchor institution that is woven into our social infrastructure—a local public library—to purposefully support and tackle mental wellness. Further, it seeks to provide the requisite capacity-building skills and collaborative learning for libraries to be broadly successful in community mental wellness endeavors. Beyond traditional grantmaking, the Libraries for Health initiative will involve identifying new and innovative ways to bring health initiatives where they are needed most – particularly in rural and under-resourced communities.

This Request for Proposal (RFP) process seeks to support public libraries as integral community hubs and gathering spaces that offer access to resources for those who may be at risk for mental health conditions and who may experience the greatest barriers in receiving appropriate care. This funding opportunity builds on the Foundation’s existing investments in the Thriving Rural Communities strategic goal area, as well as other goal areas.

Total funding for this initiative is $1.5 million allocated over a two-year period. Up to $1 million will be utilized in the first year for grants made to awardees from a pool of potential public library applicants in Central Texas. The remaining balance will be utilized to engage additional grantee supports, including the services of a technical service advisor/intermediary.

Click here to download the full RFP.

Information Session

The Foundation hosted a virtual information session on August 4 to assist applicants in understanding the goals of this funding opportunity and how to prepare their submissions. The session also included a question and answer portion.

Curious about what this work might look like in action? See the graphic below.

Libraries for Health seeks to collaborate and learn from each public library, and thus, there is no “perfect” applicant. Instead, there are organizational characteristics that strengthen an applicant’s case for participation. At the most basic level, applicants should be:

  • Located in one of the following counties: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson
  • Willing to work to close health equity gaps in their service area’s communities
  • Open to being part of a cohort-learning environment and receiving mentoring and coaching
  • Willing to set goals to strengthen the library’s contributions to improve adult mental health
  • Excited to collaborate with lay mental health workers/community health workers and licensed mental health providers
  • Devoted to meaningful engagement of patrons to support their journeys to improved mental wellness
  • Motivated to model approaches that address the root causes of barriers to mental health care
  • Willing to use public data and patron feedback to drive decision-making and share insights as appropriate
  • Open to trying new ways to enhance existing library programs to better support adult patrons’ mental health
  • Eager to be part of an effective training, coaching and peer-mentoring process
  • Ready to adapt best practices that are relevant to its community’s mental health and wellness
  • Has the capacity to fully participate in all aspects of Libraries for Health (including various forms of training during dedicated sessions) and actively apply learnings in between trainings to progress (in partnership with the licensed MHP and lay MHW)

RFP Issue Date: August 2, 2021

RFP Information Session: August 4, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Central Time.

Attendance is optional. Session will be recorded and available to anyone registered.

Register via this link here.

RFP response date (by electronic submission): September 14, 2021 by 5 p.m. Central Time.

The Senior Program Officer reserves the right to accept late applications.

Review and Negotiations: Fall 2021

Notice of decision: December 2021

Questions regarding the intent of this RFP, applicant eligibility or technical questions/issues may be directed to the RFP information inbox, please email:

Applications must be submitted to the Foundation by 5 PM Central Time Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Applications that do not conform to the requirements described will not be accepted. The Senior Program Officer reserves the right to accept late applications.

Contact with any technical issues with the online application.

Click here to submit an RFP application online.

Questions regarding the intent of this RFP, applicant eligibility or technical questions/issues may be directed to the RFP information inbox, please email: