Saint Paul Public Library invites community members to provide feedback through new survey, interactive library dream board

Feedback will continue to inform interior design elements of three Saint Paul libraries

The Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) invites community members to participate in a third community survey to continue to provide input on the interior design elements for the library transformation projects at Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview libraries. Community members are also invited to visit the libraries to share their dreams for the future space through newly updated interactive art installations.

“Our top priority over the last several months has been to listen to as many Saint Paul voices across all cultures, abilities, and communities about what they both want and need from their libraries,” said Saint Paul Library Director Catherine Penkert. “We look forward to continuing these conversations over the remainder of the summer and are excited to unveil final design plans with the community later this fall.”

Community survey on interior design elements now open

In May, SPPL announced the final design direction for each of the three libraries, all of which were informed by extensive community input. SPPL has continued to engage the community throughout the summer through a series of pop-up events, design workshops, and local artist-led Creative Encounters.

While SPPL and LSE Architects continue to refine the details for each building’s plan, additional specific feedback is needed from the community about the interior design elements of each library, including the look and feel of the library spaces and meeting rooms, the comfort and functionality of new library furniture, types of public art, and the themes to be represented and celebrated in the public artwork at each library building.

Together, SPPL and the experienced LSE Architects team will take this feedback and work to balance the many community perspectives with three libraries that truly work for all – libraries that anyone can access with dignity and ease, that deliver on commitments to sustainability, and that provide more space for people of all ages to learn, grow, and connect with each other.

Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on this design phase through an online survey, open now and accepting responses through Tues., Sept. 6. Community members can take the survey online or in-person at the Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, or Riverview libraries.

The design process will continue through the end of summer as additional feedback is collected through the survey and input is received from various technical experts. Final designs will be shared with the community this fall.

Creative Encounter: Updated library dream board

The interactive library dream boards on display at Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview libraries all summer have been updated with new opportunities for input on what would make the library designs feels safe and affirming and what stories could be told through art in the transformed buildings. Community members of all ages are invited to continue visiting these three libraries to participate in the interactive arts experience and dream up their future library space, which have been created by the community engagement team’s Artist Advisory Cohort.

The Artist Advisory Cohort—a group of community artists taking a creative approach to community engagement by using their experience and skill as artists to inspire dialogue with the community about their future of libraries as cultural hubs—has created an interactive art installation on display in each library, where community members can draw, doodle, and dream big in communicating their hopes and long-term vision for the library’s public art and outdoor green spaces. Community members can also share about the communities and cultures in their neighborhood that they believe should be reflected in each library’s design.

The library dream board is on display now through the end of summer.

About SPPL’s vision to transform libraries

SPPL is co-creating with community a vision for its library spaces. Community input shaped SPPL’s initial Strategic Direction, which includes a goal to invest in spaces that are safe, inviting, affirming, and comfortable for people of all cultures, abilities, and communities. Using the Strategic Direction as a springboard, SPPL further engaged with the community to create a Facilities Direction that steers its capital vision for library buildings.

The vision to transform libraries in Saint Paul includes three library buildings that have not been renovated in more than 30 years, Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview, as well as make improvements to technology and play and learn spaces in all library buildings in Saint Paul.

To learn more about SPPL’s vision to transform libraries or join the email list to learn more about upcoming community engagement opportunities, visit