The Otto Bremer Trust has awarded St. Paul’s East Side Freedom Library $75,000, money officials say they will use to hire more staff and expand operations.
The library, started more than four years ago by Peter Rachleff and his wife, Bev Cleary, focuses on labor, immigration and the history of social movements. It is housed in the former Arlington Hills Library.
“This investment from the Otto Bremer Trust will enable [the library] to expand its staff, which will, in turn, build capacity among our growing network of volunteers, interns, and program participants,” Rachleff said in a statement. “Adding one full-time staff person will enable us to add thousands of hours of well-directed involvement on the part of dozens of East Siders.”
In addition to making its collection of books and other materials available to students and researchers, the East Side Freedom Library hosts community conversations and workshops, artistic and cultural presentations and author events.
“The East Side Freedom Library is an important connector and collaborator on St. Paul’s East Side,” Daniel Reardon, co-CEO and trustee of the Otto Bremer Trust, said in a statement. “The work [the library] is doing is having a positive impact on building community and bringing together the neighborhood’s diverse residents.”