Invest in Your Community
Invest in Your Library

We support libraries through fundraising, advocacy, and cultural programming.

More Than Books

Libraries are the best way to strengthen communities because they connect individuals of every age, ethnicity, and background with resources that enrich and improve lives.

Maker Spaces

The library provides technology and space for innovation. Saint Paul resident, Rachel created a package prototype at the George Latimer Central Library.

Small Business Resources

The library helps the local economy. Darren and Oie were able to start their own company using small business resources at Central Library.

Homework Help

The library provides educational support. Ramla's daughter improved her grades thanks to homework help at the Arlington Hills Community Center.

Digital Literacy Training

The library provides opportunity to grow your skills. One of our patrons, Nancy got promoted after taking a digital literacy class at the Rondo Library.

Zhen Tu's Story

There is no better way to understand the impact of the Library than through the personal stories of those who rely on it for learning and inspiration. Zhen Tu first came to the Library as a young girl after moving to the US from China. Watch the story of how the Library helped her become the person she is today.

Has the Public Library Made an Impact in Your Life or Community?

Here's How The Friends Invests

Even in a city that loves its libraries, public funding isn’t enough for libraries to provide all the important resources that residents seek.

The Library, part of the City of Saint Paul, depends on The Friends to support those resources. As an independent nonprofit, The Friends invests in libraries so that they, and the communities they serve, thrive.

We Raise Money

We Advocate

We Produce Programming

We Consult

Stronger Libraries for Stronger Communities

“I don’t know how to help my child with their homework, so this helps them. We love it here, and the kids want to come.”

– Safiya, mother

“This storytime means so much to me because my kids get to learn their native language.”

– Po, parent

“The library brings people together. It’s a place to come together around community and information.”

– Darren, small-business owner

“The best thing about this program is that it has all the resources a low-income student may need to do well in school… along with a safe learning environment for students to work.”

– Mai Xee, student

The need for a strong library is greater than ever.

Upcoming Events

Dec
13
Wed
Buster Keaton Silent Comedies @ Hayden Heights Library
Dec 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

One Week My Wife's Relations

Join us for two sidesplitting short films starring one of the most beloved comedians of the silent era. This special event will feature Buster Keaton’s masterpieces, “One Week” and “My Wife’s Relations,” with a live musical score by Dreamland Faces.

“One Week” (1920, 19 minutes)
Buster and his new bride receive a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift. (“Easy to assemble! Construction takes only one week!”) Things get complicated when Buster’s rival swaps the numbers on the crates containing the house parts and everything begins to go wrong.

“My Wife’s Relations” (1922, 22 minutes)

Through a judicial error Buster finds himself married to a burly Irishwoman with an unfriendly father and four bullying brothers. The whole family mistreats Buster until they mistakenly come to believe that he is due a huge inheritance. The resulting chaos leads to a wild chase and ends with Buster on a train headed for America’s divorce capital, Reno, NV.

DREAMLAND FACES is a musical project of Andy McCormick and Karen Majewicz. They have composed scores for more than fifty silent films and regularly play live shows throughout Minnesota and the Midwest. Find out more and listen to samples of their work at dreamlandfaces.com.

Jan
2
Tue
Books & Bars: “Before the Fall” @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Jan 2 @ 5:00 pm
Books & Bars: "Before the Fall" @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States

With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month (with some exceptions). Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club. No registration required.

5:00 Happy Hour Social | 6:15 Discussion


Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, 11 people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter Scott Burroughs and a 4-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Winner of the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2017 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel

Jan
11
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Jan 11 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs at https://mnhum.org/vets/echoes/.

Join The Friends for two discussion programs that engage Veterans and members of the public in community dialogue on the memory of war in personal and public history. Presented in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center, the programs will use literary texts, personal stories, and public history to process the experience of war and deepen understanding between veterans and non-veterans about war and service. The programs will be led by trained community discussion leaders.

Thursday, January 11

The first session will look at war, place, and personal history during World War I and the Iraq War. 

Thursday, February 15

The second session will engage participants in dialogues as they relate to the Vietnam War and the colonial conflicts that preceded it.

Jan
24
Wed
Fireside Reading Series: Miriam Karmel @ Hamline Midway Library
Jan 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Miriam-Karmel

Miriam Karmel
Subtle Variations and Other Stories

Winner of the inaugural “First Fiction” prize from Holy Cow! Press, this masterful collection of stories explores topics of marriage, divorce, old age, and motherhood with gentle humor and insightfulness. In the title story, a husband tries to convince his wife of the beauty in the many shades of green in their garden. In other stories, a woman makes jam to resurrect a daughter killed in Iraq and immigrants struggle to find peace in a country that will forever be strange to them. Filled with loss and echoing grief, these stories also hold equal measures of resilience and joy, gratitude and pride. Karmel is also the author of a novel, Being Esther, and has received numerous awards for her short fiction.

About the Series

With cookies in one hand and coffee in the other, enjoy six weeks of free readings at Hamline Midway Library. Now in its 24th season, the Fireside Reading Series is one of The Friends’ oldest and most popular events. The series annually highlights the work of some of Minnesota’s finest writers who have published a new work in the previous year. Programs are accompanied by coffee, cider, cookies, and book signings. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Jan
31
Wed
Fireside Reading Series: Bao Phi @ Hamline Midway Library
Jan 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Bao Phi

Bao Phi
Thousand Star Hotel

In his second book of poems from Coffee House Press, Bao Phi confronts the silence around racism, police brutality, and the invisibility of the Asian American urban poor. At once a poetic resistance to being erased and a loving history meant for his daughter, this collection is a reminder of the power and value of truth. Phi, a two-time Minnesota Grand Slam poetry champion and National Poetry Slam finalist, is also the author of Sông I Sing and a children’s picture book, A Different Pond.

About the Series

With cookies in one hand and coffee in the other, enjoy six weeks of free readings at Hamline Midway Library. Now in its 24th season, the Fireside Reading Series is one of The Friends’ oldest and most popular events. The series annually highlights the work of some of Minnesota’s finest writers who have published a new work in the previous year. Programs are accompanied by coffee, cider, cookies, and book signings. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library Blog

Featured Post

Zhen Tu’s Library Story

October 10, 2017

Watch Zhen Tu’s story   Dear Friends Supporter, A very big THANK YOU to everyone who attended and made the 14th annual Opus & Olives fundraising gala a huge success. Together, we supported the incredible work of the Saint Paul Public Library and raised a LOT of money to continue our efforts in the year…

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More From the Blog

Authors on what the Minnesota Book Awards means to them

November 8, 2017

We sat down with three incredible Minnesota Book Award-winning authors to find out just what the Book Awards have meant to them. Following are our interviews with Maureen Millea Smith, 2007 Novel & Short Story winner for When Charlotte Came Home, Shannon Gibney, 2016 Young People’s Literature winner for See No Color, and David Housewright,…

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The Evolution of the Minnesota Book Awards and Why it Matters

October 4, 2017

Dear Reader, As we begin our 30th anniversary season of the Minnesota Book Awards, I can’t help but reflect on the storied history of the program and how many times it almost ceased to exist. In addition to the gratitude I will convey to certain individuals who fought to save it over the years, I…

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Tom Perrotta on the guitar and libraries

October 3, 2017

We are so thrilled that Tom Perrotta will join us for this year’s Opus & Olives. In preparation for the big event, we asked Tom a couple questions to help fans get to know him better in this #opusexclusive. Tell us something that people might not know about you. I play rhythm guitar in a…

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The need for a strong library is greater than ever.