Your Library, Your Voice
Imagine free gathering spaces for neighborhood meetings, for job seekers to access Wi-Fi and resume help, for children to discover and learn through play, and for community members to work, study, and access services that help them meet their goals. Imagine accessible, inspiring, and comfortable spaces that invite people to come together across similarities and differences to connect and grow. Imagine these scenes in your neighborhood library.
We are co-creating a vision to transform library spaces in Saint Paul to meet the wants and needs of community members now and for the next generation.
Over the past few years, we have heard from many of you. In 2019, we rewrote our Library mission, vision, values, and goals based on community input. Your input shaped our facilities goal: to invest in spaces that are safe, inviting, affirming, and comfortable for people of all cultures, abilities, and communities.
Your input helped develop the Facilities Direction, which presents a vision and recommendations for investments in library facilities.
And your voice helped us to secure funding to transform for Hamline Midway Library and is needed to help us secure funding for all library transformation projects.
Please continue to co-create with us.
Community Engagement to Co-Create Schematic Designs
Co-create with us! As we launch into the next phase of building a vision for libraries in Saint Paul, we are excited to build upon insights, wants, needs, and dreams of community members that we have heard over the past few years.
To create community-informed schematic designs for Hayden Heights, Hamline Midway, and Riverview, we have designed an equity-centered community engagement process with our design partner, LSE. As we all create the future of these libraries together, we seek to ensure that historically excluded perspectives and communities are at the center of this work. This includes young people, BIPOC communities, people who identify as trans or non-binary, and people with disabilities.
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Ways to Get Involved
There will be progressive surveys for community members to participate in to provide input and react to designs. Surveys will be available online and paper surveys will be available at Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview libraries.
Community Open House Meetings
All community members will have opportunities to stay involved through progressive open houses (virtual and possibly in-person). Community members will be able to stay informed, provide feedback on analysis and alternatives, and have their concerns and aspirations reflected in the alternatives that are developed.
- Meeting Materials
Separate listening sessions for Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview will be offered in-person at each library location. Community members are invited to stop by to engage with designers and architects from LSE along with library leaders to share ideas, ask questions, and learn more about the project.
Additional Community Engagement
Artist Advisory Cohort + Creative Encounters
Led by experienced public art curator and community organizer Tricia Heuring, the Artist Advisory Cohort is a creative approach to community engagement.
The Artist Advisory Cohort will conduct creative engagement sessions in the neighborhoods of Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview libraries to gather community members’ feedback. They will use their experience as Saint Paul artists and community members to inspire dialogue with the community about the future of libraries as cultural hubs. More specifically, they will use their skills in curiosity and creativity as artists to identify points of relevance—whether tensions, connections, or opportunities—and develop creative community engagements, or encounters, for further public conversation (perhaps through a pop-up or by attending a community event).
The Artist Advisory Cohort includes:
Library Design Project Ambassadors
The Library Design Project Ambassador group includes selected individuals representing neighbors or other stakeholders of the three focus libraries: Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview. It is comprised of neighborhood groups, associations, community organizations, City representatives, and youth leadership teens. As representatives from these areas, they meet monthly to get updates to share with the community and bring to us concerns they are hearing from their constituents or neighborhood groups.
The project ambassadors group helps ensure key community stakeholders have opportunities for regular informational updates, opportunities to bring forward feedback and questions, and feel confident serving as information ambassadors for the library design work underway in their neighborhoods. It is comprised of members who represent neighborhood groups, associations, community organizations, and the youth experience.
If you would like to connect us to a community publication, organization, or group to help ensure we are reaching all community members, including historically excluded perspectives and communities, please contact Marika Staloch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Vision Shaped By You
Community members are showing up to shape their libraries.
3,000 participants in Strategic Direction process
1,680 surveys completed on library facilities wants and needs
110 participants in neighborhood forums
47 youth shared their desires for library buildings
35+ letters and testimonials shared with City leaders
- Secured funding for design work for Hayden Heights renovation and a limited number of additional mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) system upgrades.
- Held neighborhood forum focused on the options for Hamline Midway Library that emerged from 2019/20 engagement process (slides and discussion questions results).
- Submitted project proposals to the City’s Capital Improvements Budget (CIB) Committee for investments in three libraries: Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview. Hamline Midway submitted as request for investment in one of two options – renovation plus expansion or new building – with additional community process to inform direction.
- CIB Committee collected input via online survey and public hearing.
- CIB Committee submitted their 2022/23 funding recommendations to Mayor Carter, which included Hamline Midway Library.
- Proposals for Hayden Heights and Riverview renovations, and library technology investments, included in Senator Smith and Senator Klobuchar's Congressionally Directed Spending requests.
- August: Mayor Carter proposed $8.1 million investment to transform the Hamline Midway Library in his 2022 Budget Address.
- August: City released RFP for consultant to support community-informed schematic design work, opens a new window for all three priority library locations: Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and Riverview.
- September: Began next phase of community engagement to develop community-informed schematic designs for all three priority locations.
- September-December: Youth engagement process led by Youth Leadership Initiative. Neighborhood engagement process led by Hamline Midway Coalition.
- December: LSE Architects selected and announced as design partner.
- December: Truth in Taxation Public Hearing before City Council.
- December: City Council adopts 2022 city budget and capital budget, including $8.1M investment to transform Hamline Midway Library
Work with The Friends and City of Saint Paul partners on capital fundraising strategy.
2022 and Beyond
- February-September: LSE led community engagement to develop community informed schematic designs for all three priority libraries. Hamline Midway community engagement process invites community to inform direction: new building or renovation plus expansion at current site.
- Develop construction documents and begin construction of any projects (Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, and/or Riverview) funded through 2022/23 CIB process or other.
- Continue to seek public and private funding for the priority projects outlined in the case statement.