100 Years / 100 Stories

100 Years/100 Stories is an expanding collection of stories from our community, as told through written word, photography, audio, and video. They are all unique, and yet they share a similar thread of living and learning in Saint Paul. We are proud to have been a gathering place for Saint Paul residents for 100 years and look forward to serving the city for 100 more.

Perfectly crisp Fall morning. #Love @ St Anthony Park Library

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

"The Case of the Missing Library Card" (1979)

Laura Jeffrey: An American pioneer in the Park

“I never thought of myself as a pioneer. I was there at St. Anthony Park Library to be the best kind of librarian I could be.”…

Continue Reading

Laura Jeffrey: An American pioneer in the Park

Author: Judy Woodward, Park Bugle (1998)

“I never thought of myself as a pioneer. I was there at St. Anthony Park Library to be the best kind of librarian I could be.”

“I knew I was African-American, but I never thought I’d be part of history, ” says 82-year-old Laura Jeffrey. It’s safe to say that Black History Month wasn’t high in Jeffrey’s mind forty years ago when she became the first African-American at the St. Paul Public Library to earn a master’s degree in librarianship. A year later, in 1959, she became the first, and so far only black person to head the St. Anthony Park Branch Library.

There are unsubstantiated reports of an earlier black employee at the St. Anthony Park Branch, and Jeffrey herself mentioned that a woman named Frances Hughes was probably the first black person to work for the library system. But, as far as anyone knows, Jeffrey was making history when she was put in charge of the St. Anthony Park Library.

Jeffrey grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Macalester College in 1935. She became a librarian partly because she was rebuffed on account of her race in her first choice of profession.

“They wouldn’t hire me to teach in the St. Paul Public Schools. A little later they were going to hire a black teacher – just one.”

READ MORE

At 77-years-old, retired volunteer celebrates his library

Seventy-seven years have passed and, during these years, my path through life has included, in small ways, this library all along the way. My daily trip to Gutterson School was right past the library beginning in Kindergarten.

Continue Reading

At 77-years-old, retired volunteer celebrates his library

Author: Thomas R. Foster

Seventy-seven years have passed and, during these years, my path through life has included, in small ways, this library all along the way. My daily trip to Gutterson School was right past the library beginning in Kindergarten.

On the way home from school I would sometimes stop along the way to scale the ledge around the building. Getting around the corners of the building was a difficult feat. I also remember how proud I was that my painting of a wild turkey was displayed for a month during a Murray Jr. High art fair.

In my high school years at Murray, my research projects began and ended here and a back table was one of my favorite study corners when attending the University of Minnesota.

As a teacher, I found an opening at St. Anthony Park Elementary and found it an advantage to escort my fourth-grade students to the library to learn about the services it would supply in their daily lives. Many of these children had parents that I went to school with.

Next, as principal of the same school, our educational program always included a short walk to the library for the programs they offered. Many of these children were grandchildren of some of my high school friends.

Now, as a retired volunteer, I am pleased to be able to provide a puppet and repair a few books as an inadequate repayment for what our St. Anthony Park Library has provided for me. It has always played a central role in our community.

Saint Anthony Park: 100 Years Later

This 1917 Carnegie library was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. An award-winning 1999 renovation added a rotunda to the rear of the building which includes an expanded children’s services area. This inviting space, combined with a juvenile collection that is well funded through a private grant, make it a “destination library” for young families, teachers, and school visits.

Saint Anthony Park: 100 Years Later

This 1917 Carnegie library was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. An award-winning 1999 renovation added a rotunda to the rear of the building which includes an expanded children’s services area. This inviting space, combined with a juvenile collection that is well funded through a private grant, make it a “destination library” for young families, teachers, and school visits.

The library has an active Library Association which has served the community since 1934. The annual Arts Festival, held the first Saturday in June, is its major fundraiser. Funds from this festival are used to underwrite additional summer youth programming.

I just ousted @benandmattsmom as the mayor of St Anthony Park Library on @foursquare! 4sq.com/aorln0

Honor Roll Re-Dedication (November 11, 1964)

Honor Roll Re-Dedication (November 11, 1964)

Share Your Own Story!

SPPL has developed a set of fun, easy-to-use tools that allow you to share YOUR story. Explore our tools below.

LEARN MORE