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

Moving Words: Writers Across Minnesota @ Mt. Royal Branch Library
Jun 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Enjoy a lively discussion with three multi-genre, Minnesota Book Award-winning authors. Moving Words is an opportunity for writers and readers to explore various themes together: the impact of literature in their lives, their connection as fellow Minnesotans, and the lens through which we read. Featuring: Jack El-Hai, Lise Lunge-Larsen, and Steve Sack.

Presented by BNSF Railway Foundation, Moving Words is a program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book. Additional support is provided by the University of St. Thomas Libraries and Graduate Programs in English, Education Minnesota, Friends of the Duluth Public Library and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation. This program is made possible in part by the State of Minnesota through a grant to the Minnesota Department of Education and the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Book sales provided by Zenith Bookstore.

Behind the Curtain with Park Square Theatre: “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Jun 27 @ 7:00 pm

Join The Friends and Park Square Theatre for an evening with cast members from the upcoming production of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

The game’s afoot in this hilarious thriller that’s anything but elementary! Five actors play over 40 comical characters in this fast-paced comedy about everyone’s favorite detective solving his most notorious case. When the wealthy Henry Baskerville is threatened by the fable of a bloodthirsty hound on the moors, Holmes and Watson are on the case to sniff out the culprit.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at this evening of mayhem and mystery with cast members McKenna Kelly-Eiding (Sherlock Holmes), Sara Richardson*(Watson), and set designer Eli Schlatter.


Attendees of the library program are invited to purchase up to four (4) half-priced, standard tickets to see a performance of the show at Park Square Theatre (June 28 – August 5). All tickets must be purchased in advance of the June 27 discussion program at Saint Anthony Park Library and can be picked up that evening. Register for the event below and get the code to access the discount.

*Member of Actor’s Equity Association

Books & Bars: “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us” @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Jul 11 @ 5:00 pm

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

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

Our July discussion will focus on They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us –Hanif Abdurraqib’s breathtaking collection of largely music-focused essays.

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Abdurraqib’s voice matters. Whether he’s attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown’s grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.

In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car.

In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among othersalong with original, previously unreleased essaysAbdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.

Books & Bars: “Vision: The Complete Series” @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Aug 7 @ 5:00 pm

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

Vision: The Complete Series by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Michael Walsh
Join us for an August discussion of Vision: The Complete Series, Tom King’s widely acclaimed and Eisner Award-winning series about Marvel’s Vision and his quest to be a human.

Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? So he heads back to the beginning – the laboratory where Ultron created him as a weapon, the place where he first rebelled against his destiny and imagined that he could be a man. There, he builds a wife, Virginia, and teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition – or obsession? – the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Theirs is a story of togetherness and tragedy and one that will set the Android Avenger on course for a devastating confrontation with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Considered one of the most celebrated graphic novels of the decade, Vision: The Complete Series features all twelve issues of the series, and also contains over a hundred pages of bonus content, including interviews, variants, original scripts, concept art, ink and coloring progression, and letters by the creative team.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library Blog

Featured Post

2018 Minnesota Book Award Winners Announced

April 23, 2018

30th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Presented April 21, 2018, SAINT PAUL, MN – The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library has announced the winners of the 30th annual Minnesota Book Awards, sponsored by Education Minnesota. In addition to winners in nine categories, The Friends presented the Book Artist, Hognander Minnesota History, and Kay Sexton…

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More From the Blog

Come work with us!

June 7, 2018

Are you our new colleague? The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is hiring an experienced grant writer as Institutional Relations Manager. The ideal candidate is a successful, experienced, and motivated fundraiser who loves libraries, understands what makes Saint Paul special, and believes in the Oxford comma. Check out the position description here. Position…

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Sorry, Crossword Fans: No More Tournament

May 7, 2018

The Minnesota Crossword Tournament Will Not Return in 2018. It’s been a good run. Unfortunately though, it’s time to say goodbye to the Minnesota Crossword Tournament. For six years, we had great competition, fantastic puzzles, and enthusiastic participants at this one-of-a-kind event. We appreciate the enthusiasm of the loyal tournament-goers and will remember the event…

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36 Finalists Blog: Louise Erdrich

April 20, 2018

Each day leading up to the 30th annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony, we’ll be featuring an exclusive interview with one of our 36 finalists. Learn more about these incredible local writers and gear up to see the winners announced live in person April 21.   Interview with Louise Erdrich, author of Future Home of the…

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The need for a strong library is greater than ever.