Educational Institutions

Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

  • Saint Paul, MN
  • http://www.thefriends.org

Mission Statement

Mission:
Stronger libraries for stronger communities

Vision:
As an influential voice for libraries, we will ensure the Saint Paul Public Library and libraries in Minnesota, nationally and internationally are vital centers of engaged, educated and diverse communities.

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

The Friends has a nonprofit consulting group, Library Strategies, that provides services to libraries and library organizations across the country and internationally. The Friends also leads the Minnesota Book Awards and, because of its statewide, year-round outreach promoting literacy, reading and writing, serves as the Minnesota Center for the Book—the state affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. The Friends is the only library support organization in the country to be honored with this designation.

Main Programs

  1. Minnesota Book Awards
  2. Advocacy
  3. Cultural Programs for the Community
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Our grass roots advocacy and lobbying efforts have had a major impact on keeping our library strong for more than 20 years. As we present solutions – along with requests – to our representatives in local government, we are seen as important community development partners. Our elected officials appreciate our ongoing commitment and willingness to inform, educate and work together to keep our community strong.

Our private fundraising directly supports library initiatives and resources for residents in Saint Paul and, through the Minnesota Book Awards, readers and writers around the State of Minnesota.

Through the Bremer Rural Libraries and Literacy Leadership Institute (“L3") — a pilot program focused on building the leadership capacity of rural libraries and literacy programs, the impact of our work and expertise is felt in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Our support of the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment impacts job seekers and adult learners nationwide as the program expands to approved sponsoring sites. The assessment tools were developed with the Saint Paul Public Library and have been exported to sites around the country.

Due to our consulting work with contracts across the country and in Eastern Europe, we have the potential to reach libraries and library support organizations around the world. By sharing our expertise with others who value lifelong learning and who appreciate the crucial role libraries can play in strengthening a community, The Friends can have a profound impact on communities everywhere.

ruling year

1960

Principal Officer since 1979

Self-reported

Peter D. Pearson

Keywords

Self-reported

Committed, Creative Innovators, Supportive, Savvy Achievers, Generous, Community-minded, Trustworthy, Enthusiastic, Welcoming, Friendly, Fun.

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Also Known As

The Friends

EIN

41-6029683

 Number

0639299895

Physical Address

1080 Montreal Avenue Ste. 2

Saint Paul, 55116 1055

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (A12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Minnesota Book Awards

The annual Minnesota Book Awards is a project of The Friends
of the Saint Paul Public Library, with the Saint Paul Public Library and the
Office of the Mayor of Saint Paul. Statewide outreach partners include: Metropolitan Library Service Agency
(MELSA); Minnesota Department of Education—State Library Services; Minnesota
Educational Media Organization; Minnesota Library Association; Minnesota
Library Foundation; and Library Networks for Literature—a project of the Public
Programs Office of the American Library Association.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$500,000.00

Program 2

Advocacy

The Friends annually organize a grass roots advocacy campaign of volunteers from throughout the city to make the case for strong public support of the Saint Paul Public Library. The platform is based on concrete, specific and achieveable goals.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$400

Program 3

Cultural Programs for the Community

Each year, The Friends presents some 80 free programs in the community, free and open to the public, at libraries and other sites. Events feature presentations and discussions featuring authors, music, theater, films and history.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Adults

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$150,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Our grass roots advocacy and lobbying efforts have had a major impact on keeping our library strong for more than 20 years. As we present solutions – along with requests – to our representatives in local government, we are seen as important community development partners. Our elected officials appreciate our ongoing commitment and willingness to inform, educate and work together to keep our community strong.

Our private fundraising directly supports library initiatives and resources for residents in Saint Paul and, through the Minnesota Book Awards, readers and writers around the State of Minnesota.

Through the Bremer Rural Libraries and Literacy Leadership Institute (“L3") — a pilot program focused on building the leadership capacity of rural libraries and literacy programs, the impact of our work and expertise is felt in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Our support of the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment impacts job seekers and adult learners nationwide as the program expands to approved sponsoring sites. The assessment tools were developed with the Saint Paul Public Library and have been exported to sites around the country.

Due to our consulting work with contracts across the country and in Eastern Europe, we have the potential to reach libraries and library support organizations around the world. By sharing our expertise with others who value lifelong learning and who appreciate the crucial role libraries can play in strengthening a community, The Friends can have a profound impact on communities everywhere.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE FRIENDS OF THE SAINT PAUL PUBLIC LIBRARY
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Peter D. Pearson

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"A nonprofit membership organization established in 1945, The Friends has grown to eighteen full-time and part-time professional staff, 50 engaged trustees who serve on one or more of twelve working committees, and 100+ highly-involved volunteers who assist the organization with programs and events such as the Minnesota Book Awards and our annual fundraising gala, Opus & Olives: Fine Print and Fine Food, named “one of the best book events in the country" by authors and publishers.
The Friends and the library have a strong history of successful partnership in serving the people of St. Paul. Special programs at the library initiated with The Friends include: Homework Help for students; Workforce Development through digital literacy and job skills training; technology-based creative “Maker Spaces" for teens; “Borrow the Internet" – designed to increase Internet access among city residents by lending Wi-Fi hotspots, providing free, high-speed Internet service; and the Mobile WORKplace – essentially a computer lab on wheels that brings library technology and training to communities that face language and other barriers to access.
The Friends focuses its efforts on five major activity areas:
1. Fundraising – The Friends conducts private fundraising to support new Library initiatives and enhancements. Since 1997, The Friends has been providing the library with more than $1 million in support annually. In 2014, that figure was over $3.75 million.
2. Advocacy – For 25 years, The Friends' advocacy committee has been annually tracking and making recommendations on library needs and budget priorities in a coordinated effort to ensure that public support remains strong and the library's highest priorities are honored.
3. Public Awareness – We conduct public relations and public awareness activities so the Library is better known and valued as a resource by the community. A recent outcome of this work was St. Paul being honored with the LibraryAware Community Award, which recognizes communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create lifelong learners.
4. Community Programs – In addition to funding Youth Services programming for children and teens (which saw more than 127,000 visits in 2014) The Friends conducts almost all of the arts, humanities, civic, and cultural programs for adults at the library. Attendance at Friends' programs was nearly 4,500 visitors at 71 programs in 2014.
5. Library Strategies Consulting Group – We provide a wide range of consulting services to libraries across the country. A portion of proceeds supports the mission of The Friends. We have worked in 31 states plus two countries in Eastern Europe. Consulting revenue in 2014 exceeded $1 million. Library Strategies is now one of the largest library consulting groups in the country. Its work has brought recognition to the strong legacy of library support we have in St. Paul, and is making St. Paul known across the country and around the world."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

John Marshall

Excel Energy

Term: Mar 2013 - Dec 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?