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

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.

Full Fireside Series

Wednesday, January 24
Miriam Karmel, Subtle Variations and Other Stories
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 31
Bao Phi, Thousand Star Hotel
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7
Marcie Rendon, Murder on the Red River
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14
Carolyn Porter, Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 21
Jon Lurie, Canoeing with José
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 28
Kaethe Schwehn, The Rending and the Nest
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Jan
31
Wed
Rose Ensemble Concert “American Roots: Harmonies that Shaped a Nation” @ George Latimer Central Library – Magazine Room
Jan 31 @ 12:00 pm

The Rose Ensemble

Join The Rose Ensemble for a journey across centuries of folk, spiritual, and cultural traditions in this free performance of “American Roots: Harmonies that Shaped a Nation.”

From the British Isles came ballads, hymns, fiddle tunes, and country dances that would shape new traditions in the hills of Appalachia, the dance halls of Boston, and the Shaker villages of Kentucky and New York. Four-part harmony spilled out of country churches and became the musical foundation for causes both religious and political, as anti-slavery meetings, tent revivals, and even presidential campaigns all found power in the marriage of catchy melodies and memorable rhymes.

Meanwhile, vocal lines brewed and bubbled throughout the 19th century, giving birth to what would become Bluegrass and Old-Time Gospel music, with tunes like “I’ll Fly Away,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” and “The Sweet By and By.”

Join us and witness the evolution of over 300 years of American musical heritage—all lovingly woven together through story and song.

About The Rose Ensemble

Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble is celebrating more than 20 years of reawakening the ancient with vocal music that stirs the emotions, challenges the mind, and lifts the spirit. Based in Saint Paul, the group tours internationally with a repertoire spanning 1,000 years and 25 languages, including new research in Hawaiian, Swedish, Middle Eastern, and American vocal traditions. With each performance, The Rose Ensemble strives to illuminate centuries of rarely heard repertoire and bring audiences fresh perspectives on history, languages, politics, religion, and world cultures and traditions. Learn more at www.theroseensemble.org.

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.

Full Fireside Series

Wednesday, January 24
Miriam Karmel, Subtle Variations and Other Stories
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 31
Bao Phi, Thousand Star Hotel
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7
Marcie Rendon, Murder on the Red River
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14
Carolyn Porter, Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 21
Jon Lurie, Canoeing with José
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 28
Kaethe Schwehn, The Rending and the Nest
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Feb
6
Tue
Books & Bars: “Homegoing” @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Feb 6 @ 5:00 pm
Books & Bars: "Homegoing" @ 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


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half-sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.

This unforgettable New York Times bestseller follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

Feb
7
Wed
Fireside Reading Series: Marcie R. Rendon @ Hamline Midway Library
Feb 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Marcie Rendon

Marcie R. Rendon
Murder on the Red River

Marcie Rendon’s debut mystery novel introduces us to Cash, a tough, 19-year-old Anishinabe woman who was taken away from the reservation as a child and grew up in more foster homes than she can remember.  Now a farm laborer and pool shark in Fargo, ND, Cash’s life changes when a dead body is found on the Minnesota side of the Red River and her longtime friend, Sheriff Wheaton, enlists her to help solve the case. Rendon, a member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation, is an accomplished playwright, poet, and author of books for children, including Pow Wow Summer.

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.

Full Fireside Series

Wednesday, January 24
Miriam Karmel, Subtle Variations and Other Stories
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 31
Bao Phi, Thousand Star Hotel
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7
Marcie Rendon, Murder on the Red River
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14
Carolyn Porter, Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 21
Jon Lurie, Canoeing with José
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 28
Kaethe Schwehn, The Rending and the Nest
Hamline Midway Library │ 7:00 p.m.

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…

Read More

More From the Blog

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library Confirms Eight New Board Members for 2018

January 9, 2018

The elected individuals complete a nearly 50-member board that will play a key role in the organization’s major 2018 endeavors, including strategic planning and resource development. SAINT PAUL, MN, January 9, 2017 —The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library has elected eight new trustees to its board of directors, effective January 1,2018. The new…

Read More

The Saint Paul Public Library is Preparing Residents to Work

January 2, 2018

The Friends invests in the Saint Paul Public Library so that it can connect individuals with resources that enrich and improve lives and make Saint Paul communities stronger. One of the ways the Library strengthens communities is by fostering a healthy, sustainable workforce. Read our recent case statement below about why investing in the Library…

Read More

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen Wins the 2018 Minnesota Book Artist Award

December 21, 2017

The artist and professor will be honored with an award and a retrospective exhibition for her work The Love Affair. The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announces Erica Spitzer Rasmussen as the winner of the 2018 Minnesota Book Artist Award for her work entitled The Love Affair. Sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group, this…

Read More

The need for a strong library is greater than ever.