The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is a nonprofit organization established in 1945 to support the Saint Paul Public Library.

This may be the best time to be there for your library. Several generous Friends Trustees have pledged a matching gift challenge to serve as an incentive for Give to the Max Day and our year-end campaign. Every dollar you give over and above the amount you gave last year will be matched—dollar for dollar—up to $25,000. This is a great opportunity to maximize your impact!

Our Mission:

  • To increase the use of the Library through cultural programming and public awareness activities;
  • To advocate for strong public funding of the Library; and
  • To provide private funding to enhance Library services.
  • To share knowledge and expertise to stengthen libraries and library organizations everywhere.

Through this work, The Friends serves as a national model for its unique, comprehensive support of the Saint Paul Public Library.

Our Vision:

The Friends will provide the necessary support to ensure that the Saint Paul Public Library is among the foremost library systems in the United States.

Our Values:

The Friends is guided in its work by:

  • Creative, innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to challenging issues;
  • Inclusivity and integrity in all its activities;
  • Responsible stewardship of its resources in perpetuity.

Membership helps to strengthen the Saint Paul Public Library and ensure the continued growth and improvement of Library services. The Friends support a variety of Library initiatives, including:

  • Purchase of thousands of new books and materials for the Library’s collection
  • Innovative children’s reading programs
  • Award-winning literary and cultural events
  • Student support services and WORKplace services for business owners and job seekers
  • Consistently effective advocacy for strong public support of the Library

In addition to its comprehensive support of the Saint Paul Public Library, The Friends hosts the Minnesota Book Awards - a year-round program celebrating the best of Minnesota’s books and culminating with an annual gala presentation of awards. The Minnesota Book Awards works to connect the state’s writers and readers through programs, activities and outreach materials distributed through libraries and booksellers statewide.

Through this work, in 2012 The Friends was designated the Minnesota Center for the Book – the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. One of the major initiatives of the Center for the Book is Letters About Literature, a state and national contest that invites readers in grades four through ten to write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre – fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic – explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.

In 2006, responding to an increasing number of requests for advice and consultation, The Friends launched Library Strategies, a nonprofit consulting group whose proceeds support the mission of the Friends. Library Strategies provides services to libraries and library organizations across the country and internationally. Its consultants are library leaders and other experts who offer services in the areas of organizational growth and strategic planning, fundraising, feasibility studies and capital campaigns, Friends and foundations, advocacy training and other focus areas critical to these organizations.

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