Story Fair

Mark your calendars for the Saint Paul Public Library's Story Fair on May 21 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Arlington Hills Community Center!

The Story Fair will kick off a series of celebrations to honor those libraries turning 100 this year: Arlington Hills and Eastside Freedom Library, George Latimer Central, Riverview, and Saint Anthony. The Story Fair will focus on telling and collecting stories from our community. Here are some of the planned activities.

Mark Moran from Antiques Roadshow (call 651-632-3870 to register)

Mark Moran is the author of dozens of antiques reference guides. He conducts community events that involve appraisal of antiques, collectibles and decorative arts in the Midwest. Mark will assess the public's antiques at the Story Fair. Call 651-632-3870 to register (required); online register is not available. Please visit Mark's website to view a list of items that are prohibited.

Walking Tour of Historic Payne Ave (tour at capacity)

Join Peter Rachleff, labor historian and founder of the East Side Freedom Library for a walking tour of historic Payne Avenue! The tour will focus on the street's role as a center of immigrant working-class life, from the Swedes, Italians, and Germans of the 19th century to the Hmong, Mexicans, and Salvadorans of the 21st century. 


The library's Bookmobile will be on-site all day and will feature a historical photo collection! Working in partnership with a variety of organizations, the Bookmobile ensures that the resources of the Saint Paul Public Library are accessible to those who face barriers in using the library's fixed facilities. The Bookmobile visists 45-50 sites every month, including multi-unit housing communities.


Saint Paul Almanac’s Storymobile

The Saint Paul Almanac's Storymobile will be on site to record community members' stories throughout the day. Decked out with iPads, Storymobile makes it easy to share, display, and collect our stories. This "stories on wheels" is pulled by an electric bicycle with ready tools-iPads, cameras, microphones, amps, and keyboards, as well as good old paper and pencil-to share and record your stories. Storymobile expands on the Saint Paul Almanac's mission of highlighting authentic community stories by providing a space to share your story.  

Pop-Up Museum: An object in your personal "library"

A pop-up museum is a temporary exhibit created by the people who show up to participate. It works by choosing a theme and inviting people to bring an object on-topic to share, like a community show-and-tell. Each participant writes a label for his or her object and puts it on display. The pop-up museum will last all day and will focus on bringing people together in conversation through stories, art, and objects.

Music and spoken-word performances

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is an award-winning Lao American poet, playwright, and cultural producer. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and currently lives in Minnesota. DJ Kool Akiem is a renowned DJ of 20 years, as well as a music producer and pioneer of the Twin Cities Hip-Hop community. As DJ and producer for the legendary Micranots, as well as DJ for MF DOOM, Kool Akiem has toured nationally and internationally, 

Food Trucks & More

Additionally, there will be hands-on media arts workshops for kids and food trucks (including Sumo Eggroll and The Cave Cafe, which serves Afro-Italian fusion). Stay tuned for more information about this and other events that will take place at the centennial libraries through the fall at Arlington Hills/East Side Freedom Library, George Latimer Central, Riverview, Saint Anthony Park, and the Bookmobile.

New ways to tell your story

We are excited to announce that we will also be unveiling the library's Digital Scrapbook platform, an online space where we will exhibit community stories. Additionally, we will be demoing storytelling tools, including the library's StoryKits and StoryPhone service.


About 100 Years/100 Stories

One-hundred years ago, the Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) expanded from a single building to a network of neighborhood libraries, ushering in a new era of community-oriented service. In celebration of 100 years of transforming alongside our community, we aim to collect the rich, individual stories that define us. Learn more and tell us your SPPL story at