Read Brave Saint Paul is a citywide, intergenerational reading program set around a common theme relevant to the city. The 2019 Read Brave theme was housing, a critical topic in Saint Paul where thousands of people struggle to afford housing. The program featured six book selections spanning all ages and reading levels, from children’s picture books to Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction. It forged partnerships with educators at 40 local schools and with more than 20 community organizations and gave away 6,000 books to students and community partners. Library staff members coordinated nearly 30 complementary events for all ages — from pre-school to older adults. The program culminated with a visit by Newbury Award-winner Meg Medina, author of Burn Baby Burn, the 2019 Read Brave Saint Paul young adult novel.
2019 BY THE NUMBERS
Books & Partners
Read Brave print titles had almost twice the checkout rates compared to other books purchased in the past year.
5,500 copies of Burn Baby Burn and Evicted
were distributed to students and community members.
620 copies of Read Brave children’s books —Shelter, Rich, Crenshaw, and Yard Sale — were distributed to community partners.
Read Brave engaged 40 school partners and 20 community partners in reading and discussing the books.
675 students participated in author events with Meg Medina at local schools, including Johnson High and Saint Paul College.
80 community volunteers created hygiene kits at two Care Brave events at Dayton’s Bluff and Highland Park libraries.
40 community members attended the Rethinking Eviction: Options for Landlords seminar at Sun Ray Library.
1,347 public interactions with the library’s Civic Lab — an on-site display with information, public polls, and a quiz about housing.
96% of teen survey participants would recommend Read Brave Saint Paul to a friend.
More than 50 local book clubs signed up with The Friends to win a Read Brave book club meeting hosted by Mayor Carter.
“I love everything that is going on with Read Brave. I’ve been able to have some really honest conversations with my students about what home means to them. Just got a bunch of our fourth graders to check out all of my ‘RICH’ books by Nikki Grimes.”
“Keep choosing topics that enlighten and have meaning for local communities and highlight social and racial issues.”
“It was refreshing to have young people join the conversation.”
“I love the opportunity to provide my students with meaningful, engaging books, and I was excited this year about the diversity of events around the topic!”
Read Brave is presented by the Saint Paul Public Library, City of Saint Paul, and The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Read Brave Saint Paul is generously sponsored by Bremer Bank. Read Brave is supported by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, the Katherine B. Andersen Fund, the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation, and the Saint Paul Saints.