Mayor Coleman Appoints Jane Eastwood to Direct Saint Paul Public Library

Eastwood recognized for expertise in education, change management and communications

Jane EastwoodSAINT PAUL – Mayor Chris Coleman today announced the appointment of Jane Eastwood to Director of the Saint Paul Public Library. Eastwood has directed education policy for the City of Saint Paul since 2010, and previously held executive positions with Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Libraries, the Science Museum of Minnesota and Scholarship America.

“Jane’s expertise in educational policy, lifelong learning and equity is a perfect fit for leading our libraries forward as institutions of 21st Century learning,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “I’m confident she will continue to ensure our libraries are regional, accessible assets for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

As the education policy director for the City of Saint Paul under Mayor Coleman, Eastwood has launched numerous initiatives, including helping to develop and grow Sprockets, the city’s nationally-recognized out-of-school-time network, and Right Track, the city’s marquee youth career development program. She also worked to launch the City of Saint Paul’s racial equity work and has been a leader on multiple local education and nonprofit boards.

“Jane’s longstanding commitment to education and her strong relationships across the city make her a superb choice for director of the Saint Paul Public Library,” said City Councilmember and Library Board Chair Chris Tolbert.

Prior to her time working for the City of Saint Paul, Eastwood worked as director of external relations and partnerships at the Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Libraries, where she oversaw program development of early literacy, youth development, immigrant services, workforce, adult and senior programs, and advanced innovative programs such as digital media creation for youth. She also served as interim director of the Minneapolis Public Library.

“The innovative and equity-focused educational programs that have come to life under Jane’s leadership directly reflect the values and mission here at the Saint Paul Public Library,” said Peter D. Pearson, president of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. “I look forward to working with her as we continue to grow and strengthen Saint Paul’s libraries.”

The Saint Paul Public Library continues to reimagine how it delivers educational services, having recently developed programs such as the Createch Studio, a national model of teen experiential learning. The Library also currently employs cultural liaisons to deliver programs in eight languages and offers workforce preparation classes, early learning and reading programs and numerous adult, teen and child enrichment programs.

“I cannot think of a better person to carry forward the Administration’s work on evolving and reimagining the mission of the libraries in the 21st Century,” said retiring Library Director Kit Hadley. “It’s safe to say that under Jane, the Saint Paul Public Library will continue to connect the people of Saint Paul with the opportunity – and the joy – of learning through a lifetime.”

Peter Pearson, president of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library was enthusiastic about the announcement. “Jane Eastwood is very committed to the programs and services provided to the many diverse communities in Saint Paul by the library,” he said, adding, “She also has a strong background in private fundraising. We look forward to continuing the great work Kit has begun with Jane.”

Eastwood will assume her role as Saint Paul Public Library Director on October 5, 2015, and will transition her work on Education Policy by early November.

Letters About Literature National Essay Contest

The Center for the Book invites Minnesota’s 4th through 12th grade students to enter the 23rd annual writing contest.

Letters About LiteratureSeptember 14, 2014 –The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, along with local co-sponsors the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English and Common Good Books, calls all Minnesota students in grades 4-12 to share their love of literature.

The 23rd annual contest is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature asks student readers to write a letter to an author describing how his or her work touched their life in a personal way. Authors can be of any genre or time period, living or deceased, and can come from any country.

The contest focuses on reader response and reflective writing and has three competition levels: Level 1 for students in grades 4-6; Level 2 for students in grades 7 and 8; and Level 3 for students in grades 9-12. State level judges choose the top letter writers from each of the three competition levels who will advance to the National Level Judging. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners of each competition level.

A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level to receive a $1,000 cash award. The judges will also select one National Honor per competition level to receive a $200 cash award.

Entries in each state will be assessed on three criteria: content, or the writer’s achievement in addressing the contest theme; exposition, or the writer’s use of language skills; and voice, the writer’s style and originality of expression. Last year’s contest attracted 1,179 participants from Minnesota!

There are two deadlines for the competition:

December 4, 2015 is the deadline for Level 3: grades 9-12

January 11, 2016 is the deadline for Level 1: grades 4-6, & Level 2: grades 7 & 8

Click here for official guidelines and last year’s winning letters.

Love the Bookmobile? Show It on Social Media!


All summer, photos tagged with ‪#‎stpBookmobile‬ result in a $5 library donation from The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

The Friends are sharing their love of the Bookmobile and its new graphic wrap (sponsored by HealthPartners) with a special offer for everyone to make a difference for the Saint Paul Public Library: For each selfie taken with the new Bookmobile and posted to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #stpBookmobile, The Friends is donating $5 to the library, up to a total of $1,000. The campaign runs through Labor Day.

The full vehicle wrap features original artwork by Twin Cities’ illustrator Julie Van Grol. The design, coordinated by local creative agency, 5IVE, showcases the people and places of Saint Paul, reflecting a community that values lifelong learning, healthy living, and engagement with our vibrant city resources.

Sponsorship by HealthPartners supports the Bookmobile’s new look and its services to the community. The sponsorship, facilitated by The Friends, is an essential partnership between two important institutions working to strengthen and improve the future of the communities they serve.

The bookmobile will be on its regular route (visit for locations and hours) throughout the remainder of the campaign, and making a couple special stops, as well:

  • Tuesday, September 1, 9 a.m. to noon at HealthPartners’ Saint Paul Clinic, 205 South Wabasha Street.
  • Friday, September 4, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at CHS Field, when the St. Paul Saints take on the Gary Southshore Railcats, 360 Broadway Street.

The Library will be giving away free souvenir Bookmobile paper hats at the Saints game, while supplies last. The Friends encourages everyone—St. Paulites and visitors alike—to participate in the fundraising promotion.


Saint Paul Public Library and HealthPartners Plan Bookmobile Tuesdays

Saint Paul Public Library and HealthPartners are making it easier for kids to complete their Summer Spark activities and stay healthy, with a month-long series of events at local HealthPartners clinics.

Bookmobile Tuesdays runs from August 11 through September 1, with the Bookmobile visiting a different HealthPartners clinic each Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Families can sign up for library cards, check out materials, play games, hear storytimes, and complete Summer Spark activities to earn prizes.

Bookmobile Tuesdays:

August 11, 9am-noon: HealthPartners Como Clinic (2500 Como Ave., Saint Paul)

August 18, 9am-noon: HealthPartners Midway Clinic (451 N. Dunlap St., Saint Paul)

August 25, 9am-noon: HealthPartners Maplewood Clinic (2165 White Bear Ave. N., Maplewood)

September 1, 9am-noon: HealthPartners Saint Paul Clinic (205 S. Wabasha St., Saint Paul)

Donna Zimmerman

A new sponsorship by HealthPartners, facilitated by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, supports the Bookmobile’s new look and its services to the community. “We’re committed to investing in children,” said Donna Zimmerman, senior vice president of government and community relations at HealthPartners. “As part of our Children’s Health Initiative we are able to focus on the importance of reading, talking and singing to children, which contributes to that child’s success in school and long-term health. By supporting the Saint Paul Public Library’s Bookmobile, we have the opportunity to reach more children in the community, and give them a head-start towards future success.”

In addition to the family activities around Summer Spark, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library hopes to increase awareness of the Bookmobile and the HealthPartners sponsorship with a special offer for everyone in the city to make a difference for their beloved library: For each picture taken of the new Bookmobile and posted to the social media channels Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #stpBookmobile, The Friends will donate $5 to the library, up to a total of $1,000. The campaign runs through Labor Day. The Friends encourages Bookmobile Tuesday visitors to participate in the fundraising promotion.

Finance & Commerce names Highland Park Community Center one of 2014’s Top Projects

By Frank Jossi, Finance & Commerce, July 29, 2015

The Highland Park Community Center is a beacon of activity overlooking Highland Village in St. Paul. The modern window-filled structure — with a perforated metal sign depicting Highland Park’s place on the Mississippi River — is hard to miss on a drive up Ford Parkway.

Lawal Scott Erickson fundamentally transformed the building, mainly the city library, in several ways. First, it replaced an underground parking lot with a first-floor entrance, check-out area, teen center and conference room.

Project details“That was a really big change,” said St. Paul Public Library director Kit Hadley. “People told us they couldn’t even find the door of the old building.”

The architecture firm’s education and public sector director Jennifer Anderson-Tuttle considers the “re-imagining” of the parking garage as an entrance as the key to the entire project. “What was missing was a connection between Ford Parkway and the fabric of the neighborhood and the library,” she said. “The entrance and first floor created that connection.”

The first floor’s teen center follows the library’s policy to create space specifically for that demographic. The nearby express center offers a convenient spot where patrons can unload books and materials and pick up items they reserved without having to enter the main upstairs library, Anderson-Tuttle said.

The sprawling second-floor library has an open floor plan with two conference rooms for community meetings. “We had heard community meeting rooms were really needed in that neighborhood and these are in locations where they can still be used even when the library is closed,” Hadley noted.

To accommodate the digital age, the library offers 20 computer terminals and a shared table where patrons can plug in devices.  Five private study rooms rarely go unfilled, said Hadley.  Large windows deliver natural light to a children’s area with birdhouses created by Amanda Lovelee.

The results still impress Hadley, who admires the architect’s attention to details and budget. “I think the design is brilliant,” she said. “I admire their creativity, design and their business skills.”

The renovated and expanded Highland Park Community Center features a perforated metal sign depicting the neighborhood's place on the Mississippi River. The structure is hard to miss on a drive up Ford Parkway in St. Paul. (Photo: Bill Klotz)

The renovated and expanded Highland Park Community Center features a perforated metal sign depicting the neighborhood’s place on the Mississippi River. The structure is hard to miss on a drive up Ford Parkway in St. Paul. (Photo: Bill Klotz)

Though the construction project is finished, the capital campaign to build the library is still in progress. You can be a part of it. Learn how… >>

Read more at Finance & Commerce >>

Leaving a Legacy for Our Libraries

Pioneer Press – OPINION

An ambitious public-private campaign is leaving “A New Legacy of Learning” for St. Paul.

Millions have been raised to transform key anchor libraries around the city for St. Paul’s 21st century.

“The final stride to the goal includes an appeal for broad support — in any amount — from the community. The campaign should receive it.”

The effort includes $7 million from the city and a $7.8 million fundraising goal for the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. The organization, the nonprofit that supports the system, has raised $7.5 million so far in gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals.

The final stride to the goal includes an appeal for broad support — in any amount — from the community. The campaign should receive it.

Campaign funding already has secured major renovations at the Highland Park Library and the Sun Ray Library on the East Side. The buildings — transformed into interactive, multi-purpose spaces that “invite patrons to do more than just read quietly or peruse books on a shelf,” the Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo wrote — reopened in November to huge crowds and community acclaim.

Enhancements planned for later this year at the George Latimer Central Library downtown will improve customer service and create new meeting and event spaces.

Friends President Peter Pearson expresses confidence the remaining dollars will be raised. St. Paul, after all, loves its libraries. There’s a sense of ownership and recognition of the value they bring to the community, he said. It’s fitting, therefore, “to give every household in the city an opportunity to support this important public-private partnership.”

Kit HadleySupport for the campaign “really represents this broadly held belief that libraries are important for St. Paul,” said Library Director Kit Hadley, describing their work “at the intersection of community learning” and citizen engagement.

The campaign, she explains, equips the buildings for changes that go beyond technology to the way learning itself is changing.

The notion of life-long learning, she said, “is taking on a much different meaning. A while ago, people thought of it as learning for enrichment.” Now, however, it’s the “notion of needing new skills at really almost every stage of life.”

That, Hadley said, is driving changes in libraries, from their layouts, to the skills staff members need, to programming. You can see the changes “reflected in these capital projects,” she added, describing more interactive spaces for children and teens, individual and small-group study areas, spaces for classes and community gatherings and other features.

The changes she’s observing also include people increasingly bringing their own devices to the library to connect to the Internet, a trend with implications for seating, bandwidth and power connections.

The legacy effort to equip our libraries for such changes is the largest capital campaign in the 70-year history of the Friends organization, which is nationally recognized as one of the best library support organizations in the nation. It is a true credit to St. Paul.

Information on ways to give is at Options include a one-time gift or a pledge, with payments spread over a maximum of three years. Donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized on donor walls installed in the three libraries undergoing renovation.

In making the case for giving, campaign materials note that the appeal comes at a time when public resources are limited, yet we ask our libraries to do more than ever. As a key component of St. Paul’s learning network, we rely on them to serve us broadly, assuring that our youngest citizens are ready for school and that other learners develop the workforce skills they need to succeed.

The case for broad community support of the campaign is a compelling one, especially in a town that loves its libraries.

Read on >>

Nonprofit Leader Joins The Friends as Finance Director

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announces the recent hiring of Ann E. Moore as Director of Finance. Moore brings a wealth of demonstrated leadership in Nonprofit Financial Management, Strategic Planning, Information Systems Management, Human Resources and Benefits Management to the august literary and library support organization.

Ann E. MooreAnn E. Moore, trusted and accomplished nonprofit leader with nearly 35 years of financial management experience – 28 of which were in the service of The Domestic Abuse Project – has recently joined The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the Director of Finance. Moore replaces Amy Zimmer, who is moving within the organization to serve as financial analyst for Library Strategies Consulting Group, a nonprofit library consulting service, the proceeds of which support the mission of The Friends.

“Ann will be an important addition to our team,” said Friends President, Peter Pearson. “She is a strategic thinker who will play an active role in the future of our organization.” Moore joins The Friends at a time of growth and clarification around mission as the nonprofit expands its library support work in communities across the country and strengthens the statewide outreach of the Minnesota Book Awards.

While working as Director of Advancement at the Domestic Abuse Project, a model program that works holistically with all affected members of the family to stop domestic violence as it occurs and prevent it in the future, Moore developed and implemented a business plan to offer organizations nationwide the opportunity to become certified to offer DAP’s innovative Change Step™ program for veterans and service members. In 2014, the US Air Force implemented Change Step™ at each of its 75 bases worldwide.

She played a key role in creating and implementing an individual giving program, which was vital to DAP’s ability to sustain and grow programming during a period of instability in government and foundation funding. She also negotiated and monitored employee benefits, and the organization’s property, liability and workers’ compensation insurance.

“My 28 years at DAP gave me the opportunity to progressively take on additional responsibilities and become proficient in a wide variety of functional areas,” Said the newest of The Friends’ 18-member staff. “I’m very proud of the contributions I’ve made to DAP’s success, and I’m excited to take on fresh challenges.”

Moore says libraries have held a special place in her heart since she was a child and her mother took her weekly to pick out books. She acknowledges that, while the demands on libraries have changed dramatically since she was a child, libraries remain vital to the health and well being of any community. “The mission of this organization is crucial, and as a group, they are welcoming and engaging. The Friends is well and truly named. I couldn’t be happier to be here, and I look forward to many years of working together.”


The Fourth Annual Minnesota Crossword Tournament Held June 14 at Landmark Center

Amateur, expert and team puzzlers from around the region competed for prizes and honors in a tournament modeled after the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

Puzzlers of all skill levels competed in The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library’s Fourth Annual Minnesota Crossword Tournament held on Sunday, June 14 at Saint Paul’s Landmark Center. Cruciverbalists from throughout Minnesota, and from such far-flung locales as Indiana, Iowa and California competed for bragging rights, trophies and prizes.

Solvers in each of three brackets – Amateur, Expert and Teams (of up to four players) – tackled three original crossword puzzles created and edited specially for this tournament by professional constructors with a local connection, all of whose work has appeared in the New York Times. Like the New York Times crossword editor, Will Shortz’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) after which Minnesota’s was modeled, scoring was based on accuracy and speed. The three solvers or teams with the highest combined scores from the first three rounds moved on to the finals in each category, with championship puzzles solved head-to-head-to-head in front of the crowd.

Professional Crossword Constructors

Professional crossword constructors C.C. Burnikel, Tom Pepper, George Barany, Victor Barocas, Michael David, and David Liben-Nowell were among the contributors to the locally-flavored contest.

In addition to trophies from A.J. Schaake, winners were awarded prizes of gift cards, redeemable at local bookstores and eateries. There were also prizes for special categories including the best finishers under age 25 and age 65 or older; rookie competitor; Friends member; competitor from Saint Paul; competitor from out of state; team from a college; team from a library; and best team name. Mintahoe Catering donated an extravagant gift basket of wine, sweet and savory treats, and Minnesota gift items to be given as a door prize, which was open to all in attendance.

Solvers and spectators alike enjoyed an entertaining day of suspense, surprises and fun. Spectators at the tournament were provided copies of the puzzles to play along. Following the tournament, the organizers, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library are making the 10-puzzle play-at-home packs available to purchase online for just $5 at Proceeds support the mission of The Friends.

Learn more about the annual tournament here. >>

Teens Get High-Tech Toys for the Summer

Arlington Hills Community Center to Offer Area Teens Free Access to a Laser Engraver and 3D Printer this Summer

Teens will have access to a laser engraver and 3D printer at Arlington Hills Community Center this summer. The equipment is on loan from Johnson High School’s Fab Lab, thanks to funding from a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

3D printingThe equipment will be housed in the Arlington Hills Community Center’s Createch Studio, where it will be available for use Mondays through Thursdays from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Fridays from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., beginning June 11. The Createch Studio is a creative tinkering space for youth ages 13-18. Youth are encouraged to stop by and check out, learn about, and experiment with the equipment. There is no charge for use of the studio or equipment. Createch Studio is in the lower level of the Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave, Saint Paul MN 55130, 651-632-3870.

Saint Paul Public Library and Parks and Recreation staff were trained at Johnson High School on proper use of the equipment. This summer, they will be joined by eight Johnson High School students who will be paid to help the Createch Studio manage, maintain, and operate the equipment.

This project is intended to offer work experience to the Johnson High School students, and increase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge for youth visiting the studio.

The project was made possible, in part, by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Podcast: Home by Starlight: Writers-in-Conversation

Paula Meehan, the 2015 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry, and Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota’s Poet Laureate, discuss their body of work and poetry generally at Merriam Park Library. Presented by The Friends and the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas.