James J. Hill Library. Photo: Payton Chung

The Saint Paul Public Library traces its earliest beginnings to 1856 when the newly formed Young Men’s Christian Association opened a reading room. The following year, both the Saint Paul Library Association and the Mercantile Library Association were organized. These early efforts merged in 1863 into the Saint Paul Library Association.

In 1879, under the leadership of Alexander Ramsey (who had served as mayor, governor, U.S. senator, and U.S. Secretary of War), the library association proposed that the city accept responsibility for its collections and establish it as a free public library. Finally, on September 7, 1882, the city council approved an appropriation of $5,000 to establish the Saint Paul Public Library. By this date, the collection had grown to include 8,051 books.

Another milestone for the library came in 1945 with the establishment of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Through the years, the Friends has grown to become a key partner with the city in the provision of library service, through fundraising, programming, and advocacy. The Friends is now nationally recognized as one of the best library support organizations in the nation. Today, the Saint Paul Public Library system consists of the downtown Central Library, 12 branches, and a bookmobile.

The Saint Paul Library system is an information resource for everyone from children doing homework to adults reading their favorite periodicals on a leisurely afternoon. Offering literary, historical, and cultural events, the City of Saint Paul and the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library provide learning opportunities for eager minds. Library buildings are a calm, safe environment, and all entries are handicap-accessible. The following is a list of locations and hours. For further information, visit the Saint Paul Public Library.

 

Library Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Arlington Hills
1200 Payne Ave
651.632.3870
10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-5:30pm 10am- 5:30pm 1-5pm
Dayton’s Bluff
645 E 7th St
651.793.1699
12-8pm 10am-8pm 12-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-5:30pm 11:30am- 5pm 1-5pm
George Latimer Central Library
90 W 4th St
651.266.7000
12-8pm 9am- 5:30pm 9am- 5:30pm 9am- 5:30pm 9am- 5:30pm 11am- 5pm 1-5pm
Hamline Midway
1558 W Minnehaha
651.642.0293
12-8pm 10am- 8pm 12-8pm 10am- 8pm 10am- 5:30pm 11:30am- 5pm CLOSED
Hayden Heights
1456 White Bear Ave
651.793.3934
12-8pm 10am-8pm 12-8pm 10am-8pm 10am- 5:30pm 11:30am- 5pm CLOSED
Highland Park
1974 Ford Pkwy
651.695.3700
10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-5:30pm 10am-5:30pm 1-5pm
Merriam Park
1831 Marshall Ave
651.642.0385
12-8pm 10am-8pm 12-8pm 10am-8pm 10am- 5:30pm 11:30am-5pm 1-5pm
Rice Street
1011 Rice St
651.558.2223
12-8pm 10am-8pm 12-8pm 10am-8pm 10am- 5:30pm 11:30am- 5pm 1-5pm
Riverview
1 East George St
651.292.6626
12-8pm 10am-8pm 12-8pm 10am-8pm 10am- 5:30pm 11:30am- 5pm CLOSED
Rondo
461 N Dale St
651.266.7400
10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-5:30pm 10am-5:30pm 1-5pm
Saint Anthony
2245 Como Ave
651.642.0411
12-8pm 10am-8pm 12-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-5:30pm 11:30am-5pm CLOSED
Sun Ray
2105 Wilson Ave
651.501.6300
10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-8pm 10am-5:30pm 10am-5:30pm 1-5pm
West Seventh
265 Oneida St
651.298.5516
12:30pm-8pm 11:30am-5:30pm 10am-5:30pm 12:30pm-8pm 10am-5:30pm CLOSED CLOSED