I’ve needed a reason to explore St. Anthony Park, and what better way than to visit the St. Anthony Park Branch Library? St. Anthony Park has always been a diverse community enriched by its members, and its library clearly reflects that.
“Librarian first; manager second.” That is how Branch Manager Tati Terfa responded when asked to describe her position. Her career matches that sentiment. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Ethiopia, Tati started her library work by establishing a library in Ethiopia from the ground up. The experience taught her how to manage all the diverse facets of libraries. It also taught her the importance of community in building and maintaining a space. Her goal was to provide people with access to information,, so they could make informed decisions. After moving to the United States, she went to St. Catherine University to obtain her Master of Library and Information Science degree. She has worked for the St. Paul Public Library ever since. She is in her second year at the branch in St. Anthony Park, where she has helped foster a welcoming environment and encouraged involvement from the community. She continues to promote the values and mission that moved her towards library work.
Housed in a beautiful and classic Carnegie building, St. Anthony Park Library has served its community since 1917. When you visit, you are greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions or guide you in the right direction. One of its standout features is its extensive children’s collection and area, added in 2001, containing literature of all genres, in a number of languages. The library also hosts the VOX Books program, which pairs audio recordings with books to help early readers follow along through cues and instructions.
A collection on the history of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood is also available. The collection includes materials related to the library building itself, as well as the culture of the neighborhood, including how it has changed and adapted over time. Various programs, ranging from storytimes to movie nights and book clubs, allow patrons to come together. A social worker is also available to help connect patrons to resources and provide one-on-one help and personalized attention. The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library helped get the funding to make this important resource available not only here, but in other libraries within the system. As a branch of the St. Paul Public Library, patrons have access to many online resources, including LinkedIn Learning and the popular Libby app that provides access to ebooks, audiobooks, and e-magazines.
St. Anthony Park Branch seeks to address the diverse cultures and needs of its community by fostering a safe and welcoming environment. Many patrons contribute to the library through membership in the St. Anthony Park Branch Library Association. The Association assists in the planning, funding, and execution of various programs and events. Community members also volunteer for events and help to maintain the property, including its beautiful garden. It has become a gathering space where people of all different backgrounds can connect, share, and explore. The library’s success is due to its fantastic staff, community of involved patrons, and their continuous search for improvement.