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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Apr
3
Tue
Books & Bars: “Beartown” @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Apr 3 @ 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


Beartown

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny Swedish community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

 Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

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
23
Fri
Loud at the Library: Band TBA @ George Latimer Central Library
Feb 23 @ 7:30 pm

Band TBA | Tickets $10

Doors Open – 7:00 | Music Starts – 7:30

You can do amazing things at the library – like enjoy live music and craft beer in the middle of the stacks. Come get LOUD at the Library this winter in downtown Saint Paul with local bands and local brews. Tickets help support all the amazing things you can do at the library.

All attendees over 21 who bring a current library card from any system will receive one free beer, courtesy of sponsor Summit Brewing.

Mar
9
Fri
Loud at the Library: Band TBA @ George Latimer Central Library
Mar 9 @ 7:30 pm

Band TBA | Tickets $10

Doors Open – 7:00 | Music Starts – 7:30

You can do amazing things at the library – like enjoy live music and craft beer in the middle of the stacks. Come get LOUD at the Library this winter in downtown Saint Paul with local bands and local brews. Tickets help support all the amazing things you can do at the library.

All attendees over 21 who bring a current library card from any system will receive one free beer, courtesy of sponsor Summit Brewing.

Apr
6
Fri
Loud at the Library: Band TBA @ George Latimer Central Library
Apr 6 @ 7:30 pm

Band TBA | Tickets $10

Doors Open – 7:00 | Music Starts – 7:30

You can do amazing things at the library – like enjoy live music and craft beer in the middle of the stacks. Come get LOUD at the Library this winter in downtown Saint Paul with local bands and local brews. Tickets help support all the amazing things you can do at the library.

All attendees over 21 who bring a current library card from any system will receive one free beer, courtesy of sponsor Summit Brewing.

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.

  

 

The need for a strong library is greater than ever.