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
1
2
Books & Bars: “Before the Fall” 5:00 pm
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…
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 6:00 pm
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Jan 11 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 @ Arlington Hills Community Center | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States
Register online for these free programs HERE. 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.…
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

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
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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

Human Rights Film Series

The Friends and The Advocates for Human Rights present thought-provoking and enlightening films followed by moderated discussions throughout the fall and spring. Films in the series cover a broad range of human rights issues that affect people all across the globe.

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

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.

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

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.

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

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.

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

Loud at the Library

Live music and craft beer in the middle of the stacks.  You’ve never experienced the library like this before! Grab some friends and get LOUD at the Central Library after hours this winter with live music and craft beer.

   

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

Untold Stories

In celebration of labor history month each May, the Untold Stories series presents programs and talks on both local and national labor history topics. Past programs in the series have featured historian Robin D.G. Kelley, singer Larry Long, author Cheri Register, and walking tours by local historian Dave Riehle. The series received the 2003 John Sessions Memorial Award from the American Library Association for service to the labor community. All events are free and open to the public.

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

See more Club Book events >>

Feb
15
Thu
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

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.

  

 

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
13
Tue
Club Book: Omar El Akkad @ Saint Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm

American WarOmar El Akkad

Join us for a presentation by author Omar El Akkad, with audience Q&A and book signing to follow. 

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.”

Club Book, a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies Consulting Group, is funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Feb
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Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 2 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Feb 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Echoes of War

Register online for these free programs HERE.

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.

The need for a strong library is greater than ever.

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Books & Bars: “Before the Fall” 5:00 pm
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…
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Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 6:00 pm
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 @ Arlington Hills Community Center
Jan 11 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Echoes Of War Veterans Discussion Series: Program 1 @ Arlington Hills Community Center | Saint Paul | Minnesota | United States
Register online for these free programs HERE. 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.…
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