Saint Paul Public Library offers free reading, learning fun for kids and teens all summer long

Summer Spark learning activities and events from June 1 through August 31 for ages 0-18.

Saint Paul Public Library invites kids and teens to make the Library their destination for summer fun. Summer Spark, the Library's summer learning and reading program, encourages kids and teens to stay active and read for fun all summer long with hands-on exploration, reading challenges, performances, and free books.

“Learning for kids and teens does not stop when the school year ends, and we know families are looking for free ways to keep learning all summer long,” said Catherine Penkert, library director. “Summer is the perfect time for all ages to read, create, and play together at the library. We hope all children and families make their library a regular stop this summer.”

To get started, kids and teens can stop in at any library location to pick up their Summer Spark Reading and Activity Log and pick out a free book to keep. Readers set their own reading and learning goals, and library staff are here to help.

The library knows how important it is for kids to see themselves in the books they read. Staff intentionally focus on selecting and purchasing books that appeal to Saint Paul's diverse communities of kids, including centering BIPOC authors, creators, and characters.

Most students in Saint Paul can check out books, e-books, audiobooks, and more with Library Go. Saint Paul Public Schools, and many charter schools, automatically enroll their students in Library Go, which is an easy-to-remember number based on students’ school ID. There are no fines and no financial risks to families who borrow items with Library Go.

Throughout the summer the library will be hosting reading programs, giving away Take and Make Kits, offering hands-on fun with art and music, technology-focused pop-up programs, outdoor performances, and more.

Summer kick-off parties at most branches on June 11 from 1 to 4 p.m: Fun for the whole family with games, activities, and more.

• In-person programs: Spend an afternoon outside on the library lawn enjoying music, puppets, and performances from some of our favorite local performers. Come to storytime or stop by a FunLab to explore and create. Programs are open to all and take place throughout the summer.

• Story Strolls: The Library is partnering with the Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation to host story strolls at a variety of libraries and parks throughout the summer. Participants stroll from one oversized storybook page to the next in parks and green spaces throughout the city. Check for times and locations of additional Story Strolls and other outdoor events.

• Take and Make Kits: Community members can pick up pre-made kits that include art, sculpture, and seed/nature supplies for the whole family to create and explore the great outdoors. Take and Make kits will be available to pick up at all Library locations and are available while supplies last.

• Spark Camps: Drop-ins are welcome at these art and music-based programs that will explore Japanese bracelet making and playing the Ukulele.

Suggested book titles, a calendar of events and performances, and more information can be found at

Summer Spark is sponsored by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Star Tribune, Kare11, and MELSA Summer at Your Library. Summer Spark is made possible by Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.