Skip to content

About The Friends of
the Saint Paul Public Library

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is an independent, nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst for libraries to strengthen and inspire their communities.

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. The Friends invests in libraries because we believe that libraries are essential to strong communities.


Click here to read our strategic plan.

Here's How We Invest


The Friends advocates for the Library by engaging citizens and elected officials to support and sustain public investment in the Library.

Each year, The Friends works with the Saint Paul Public Library to determine funding priorities and puts together a platform based on those needs. The Friends advocacy committee then presents that platform to the Mayor and City Council to request that the Library funding priorities are part of the City’s annual budget.


We raise funds from thousands of supporters so that the library can offer inspiration, information, and space for people of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.


The Friends connects people to libraries through a range of cultural programs. For more than 25 years, we have offered programs that entertain, enrich, and nourish curious minds.

Our events are always open to the public and most are free. You can make an investment in the library simply by joining us at one of our upcoming programs.


We share our expertise to strengthen libraries nationally and internally through our consulting services, Library Strategies Consulting Group.

LSCG provides a wide range of dynamic services to libraries and affiliated library organizations, specializing in fundraising, strategic planning, advocacy, training, and Friends and foundation development.

History of The Friends

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library was originally created in 1945 by then Library Director Perrie Jones. The initial membership fee was $1. Today The Friends is a $3 million organization whose mission is to “act as a catalyst for libraries to strengthen and inspire their communities,” serving libraries locally and nationally.

The Friends is the Center for the Book in Minnesota, designated by the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book is a national initiative established in 1977 to promote reading, literacy, libraries, as well as the scholarly study of books. All 50 states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, have a designated Center for the Book.

The Friends was honored with this distinction largely because of the success of our statewide programs, including the Minnesota Book Awards. As Minnesota’s Center for the Book, The Friends produces dynamic programming that benefits all ages and reaches all corners of the state.

Learn more about the Minnesota Center for the Book >

The need for a strong library is greater than ever.