Calendar of Events

One way The Friends invests in the Library is by connecting 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.

Full Calendar of Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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Books & Bars: “The Annie Year “ 5:00 pm
Books & Bars: “The Annie Year “ @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Dec 5 @ 5:00 pm
Books & Bars: "The Annie Year " @ 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…
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7
Human Rights Film Series: “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America” 6:00 pm
Human Rights Film Series: “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America” @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Dec 7 @ 6:00 pm
Human Rights Film Series: "Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America" @ Saint Anthony Park Library | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States
About the event: When Moises Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico and make the journey across the desert in search of the American dream. Twenty-three years later, as an…
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Buster Keaton Silent Comedies 7:00 pm
Buster Keaton Silent Comedies @ Hayden Heights Library
Dec 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Buster Keaton Silent Comedies @ Hayden Heights Library | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States
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…
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Ongoing Series

Behind The Curtain with Park Square Theatre

Periodically throughout the year, The Friends and Park Square Theatre present an evening in conversation with cast members from the latest Park Square Theatre production. Attendees of the program can purchase half-priced tickets to see the Park Square production.

Visit our secure registration page to reserve your spot at the program. Receive a special reservation code and call Park Square Theatre at 651-291-7005 for standard half-price tickets (subject to availability). Meet the artistic team at the Library for a “Behind the Curtain” discussion and pick up your tickets to the show. Must attend library program to receive discount.

Friends members always receive a $5 discount on Park Square Theatre tickets.

Feb
20
Tue
Behind the Curtain with Park Square Theatre: “The Pirates of Penzance” @ Merriam Park Library
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm

Pirates of Penzance

Join The Friends and Park Square Theatre for an evening with cast members from the upcoming production of The Pirates of Penzance.

In this fresh twist on the classic comic opera, Gilbert and Sullivan are on a steamer bound for the New York opening of their new hit – a roaring farce of sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, and hopeful young lovers. Unfortunately, they’ve left the score in London! They scramble to recreate the show with only the clothes in their trunks and ship mates for a cast.

The Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble is a renowned vocal music group that produces inspiring performances and educational programs with the goal of connecting individuals to compelling stories of human culture and spirituality from around the world. The Friends partners with the Rose Ensemble throughout the year to bring educational programs, lecture demonstrations, and sing-a- longs in libraries. To learn more about The Rose Ensemble, visit their website.

When you attend one of the library programs, you can enjoy a free ticket upgrade with purchase for most Rose Ensemble performances throughout the Twin Cities. Mention that you are a Friends member when ordering (not available with website purchases) by calling The Rose Ensemble at 651-225- 4340.

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.

Mar
6
Tue
Rose Ensemble Lecture & Demonstration: “Welcome the Stranger: The Promise of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica” @ Merriam Park Library
Mar 6 @ 7:00 pm

The rose Ensemble

This original new program showcases over five centuries of music celebrating the unconditional hospitality of the Benedictines. Join Artistic Director Jordan Sramek for a look at the history behind the music and enjoy samples performed by members of The Rose Ensemble.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, “Welcome the Stranger” highlights music by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Caterina Assandra (1590-1618), and Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602-1678), as well as a new work honoring St. Scholastica by Minnesota composer Abbie Betinis.

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.

Women's History Lecture Series

The Friends and Professor Jill Zahniser present a series of lectures on women’s history that shines a light on influential women who have made important contributions to our society and paved the way for future generations.

Jill Zahniser is an independent scholar who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Dr. Zahniser is the co-author of the book, Alice Paul: Claiming Power, and also authored the And Then She Said series of quotations by women. She sits on the steering committee planning the nationwide 2020 commemoration of women winning the vote. She resides on the West Side of Saint Paul.

Books & Bars

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.

Kamin has taken the suburban book club tradition and put it in a public bar where opinions flow freely with a little “liquid courage.” 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.

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

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.

Mar
6
Tue
Books & Bars: “The Underground Railroad” @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Mar 6 @ 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


The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora—an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse, Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this magnificent tour de force from Colson Whitehead chronicles a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

Fireside Reading Series

With cookies in one hand and coffee in the other, cozy up to the fire for six weeks of free readings. Gearing up for 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.

Below is the full 2018 line-up. Click on a listing to view full event.
1/24 | Miriam Karmel
1/31 | Bao Phi
2/7 | Marcie R. Rendon
2/14 | Carolyn Porter
2/21 | Jon Lurie
2/28 | Kaethe Schwehn

List of podcasts from previous years>>

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
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
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
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 need for a strong library is greater than ever.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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2
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5
Books & Bars: “The Annie Year “ 5:00 pm
Books & Bars: “The Annie Year “ @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Dec 5 @ 5:00 pm
Books & Bars: "The Annie Year " @ 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…
6
7
Human Rights Film Series: “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America” 6:00 pm
Human Rights Film Series: “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America” @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Dec 7 @ 6:00 pm
Human Rights Film Series: "Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America" @ Saint Anthony Park Library | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States
About the event: When Moises Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico and make the journey across the desert in search of the American dream. Twenty-three years later, as an…
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9
10
11
12
13
Buster Keaton Silent Comedies 7:00 pm
Buster Keaton Silent Comedies @ Hayden Heights Library
Dec 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Buster Keaton Silent Comedies @ Hayden Heights Library | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States
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…
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16
17
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19
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22
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