Ribbon cutting for Rice Street Library Children's Area


Leaders and friends from PNC Bank, Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Saint Paul Council President Amy Brendmoen gathered to  celebrate the library’s new Children’s Area on Aug. 25, 2021.

The transformation, led by national education nonprofit Heart of America, features a showcase area designed for children ages 3-5 with new books, resources, and a new interactive mural that incorporates community art by library staff and artist as well as several areas for imaginative and discovery-based play and learning.

As Rice Street Library serves one of the most diverse communities in Saint Paul, culturally relevant books, flexible design, and new resources are designed to provide enriching experiences for the community and make the library a hub for families to learn and play. Library staff can configure the space to meet COVID protocols with easily moveable furniture and book bins while maximizing the overall usage of the space.

The Rice Street location of Saint Paul Public Library has served the community since 1952 and believes that learning is a human right. Curiosity, connection, and the power of belonging guide the library’s work and are reflected in both the design of a mural as well as the new learning area. The new Children’s Area allows staff to engage with their youngest patrons in new ways and Wednesday’s event also marks the return of the library’s beloved storytime which had been on hiatus during the pandemic.

As part of the grant, PNC Bank is providing a yearlong Americorps position through ServeMN focused on early childhood literacy and learning.

Present at the event were:

  • Mayor Melvin Carter, City of Saint Paul
  •  Council President Amy Brendmoen, City of Saint Paul
  • Jill Hardy Heath, President & CEO, Heart of America
  • Kate Kelly, Regional President, PNC Bank Minnesota
  • Deb Rohloff, Vice President & Director of Client & Community Relations, PNC Bank
  • Catherine Penkert, Director, Saint Paul Public Library
  • Barb Sporlein, Deputy Director of Operations, Saint Paul Public Library
  • Representatives from ServeMN


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