Meet the Director

About Catherine

Library Director Catherine Penkert has worked for the City of Saint Paul for nearly 10 years. Her career with the City began in Parks and Recreation where she led collaborative efforts to improve access and quality in out-of-school time learning, including contributions to the Sprockets Network, Canvas Teen Art Center, and the Saint Paul Youth Commission. She launched Right Track, a partnership between the City, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and Saint Paul Public Schools, to connect Saint Paul youth with meaningful work and career exploration opportunities.

In 2015, Catherine joined the Innovation Team where she worked with the Mayor’s Office, department directors, and City Councilmembers to lead innovation and improvement throughout the City. Before joining the City of Saint Paul, she worked for nonprofit and public sector organizations in Minneapolis and Chicago. She has masters degrees in public policy and social work from the University of Minnesota.

Catherine’s background in youth development, workforce, civic innovation, and cross-sector collaboration makes her a strong leader for Saint Paul Public Library. She recognizes the Library’s crucial role in the City’s educational ecosystem and its power to transform communities and change lives. 

Meet the New Director!

Meet Catherine at one of these upcoming community events!

Winter Carnival at the Library

Saturday, January 23, 1:30-4 p.m. | George Latimer Central Library (90 W. 4th St.), Otto Bremer Room (1st Floor)

Pop into Central Library during Winter Carnival and warm your hands with hot cider, and enjoy winter crafts and a slideshow with historic photos of past Carnivals! Located in the Otto Bremer Community Room on the 1st Floor of George Latimer Central Library.

Teach Me To Love Book Launch (Oromo Translation)

Tuesday, January 30, 6-7 p.m. | Rondo Community Library (461 N Dale St.)

Check out the children’s book the Saint Paul Public Library community helped translate – Teach Me to Love. To celebrate the publication of this children's book into Oromo, join us at this community event and get a free copy of the book! Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Word of Mouth Open Mic Night

Wednesday, February 7, 6-7 p.m. | Rice Street Library (1011 Rice St.)

Presented by North Side Arts

Innovation Lab New Member Orientation

Saturday, February 10, 11 a.m. - Noon | George Latimer Central Library (90 W. 4th St.), 3rd Floor

Become a member of the Innovation Lab, an adult maker space and recording studio. Must be 18+. 

Read Brave Writing Workshop

Wednesday, February 28, 5:30-7 p.m. | Arlington Hills Community Center (1200 Payne Ave.)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz will participate in two writing workshops for the public during his time in Saint Paul!