East Side Financial Center interview with Peter Rachleff

Q&A: Peter Rachleff  (Written and posted by the East Side Financial Center on November 28, 2016) Peter Rachleff’s political philosophy incorporates picket lines and dog parks, direct action and opera, labor strikes and weaving circles. He believes in equity and the power of hell-raising. But none of it is possible, he says, without relationships. A labor historian, Rachleff left his teaching post at Macalester to co-found the East Side Freedom Library in 2014, in a former Carnegie library. The library, which is on Jessamine Avenue and Greenbrier Street, now hosts regular community gatherings, and holds…Read more

Coffee House Press: In the Stacks interview with ESFL

(Originally published by Coffee House Press: In the Stacks) EAST SIDE FREEDOM LIBRARY: A CATALOG OF THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE CHP In the Stacks: An interview with educators and historians Peter Rachleff and Beth Cleary, founders of the East Side Freedom Library CHP: What’s significant about the East Side that makes it the best location for this library?​ ESFL: For more than 150 years, immigrants have settled on the East Side, coming first from Sweden, Ireland, and Germany, more recently from Mexico, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. African Americans came from the South in…Read more

Second anniversary coverage from Twin Cities Daily Planet

We are so grateful to our friends at Twin Cities Daily Planet for this fantastic article and video about our first two years. We're reposting their article below, but please be sure to visit them online!   Building a radically engaged library: East Side Freedom Library celebrates second year By Todd Wardrope | June 30, 2016 Two years ago, founders of St. Paul’s East Side Freedom Library founders Beth Cleary and Peter Rachleff opened the doors to an institution that is changing what a library can be and can do for community “We’re…Read more

Freedom Rings at East Side Freedom Library!

"In something like the Miracle on Greenbrier Street the power of vision, passion and grit have transformed an abandoned public library building on St. Paul’s East Side. Phoenix-like, the once forlorn Carnegie Library is reborn as the East Side Freedom Library, a beehive of ideas, a hotbed of energy and a community resource of powerful potential.   Much of the impetus and support for ESFL comes from organized labor — Somewhere Andrew Carnegie, whose legacy lives on in the magnificent building, is bemused by the triumph of the “working boys” for whom the library…Read more

SUAB HMONG NEWS: Hmong Archives – Chaws Khaws Hmoob Keeb Kwm

Hmong Archives is to research, collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate materials in all formats about or by Hmong. This report is from the celebration launching the Hmong Archives at the East Side Freedom Library. --------------------------- Suab Hmong News broadcasts Hmong News, Hmong Entertainment, TalkShow, Travel, and Sports. Suab Hmong News has been serving the Hmong Community since May 11, 2000. We are the leading News for the Hmong Community around the world. To contact us, send your email to info@shrdo.com. Visit Suab Hmong News websites: http://www.shibc.com/ http://www.shrdo.com/ https://www.facebook.com/suabhmong http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suabhmon... https://twitter.com/suabhmongnewsRead more

Check out a 100-year-old St. Paul library’s rebirth

Peter Rachleff is a retired labor history professor, an often-outspoken expert on workers’ struggles. Andrew Carnegie was a steel tycoon, whose union-busting ignited the violent Homestead strike near Pittsburgh in 1892 that claimed 16 lives. Odd bedfellows, perhaps, separated by a century. But both men share the ardent belief that storytelling can improve communities — and the tale of their unlikely partnership is playing out on St. Paul’s East Side. Carnegie attached some pragmatic strings to his lofty philanthropic goals. The Scottish-born titan of industry funded 3,000 libraries in 47 U.S. states and…Read more

Fox 9: Karen refugees keep time-honored traditions alive in St. Paul

The East Side Library on Greenbriar St. in St. Paul is home to more than just books. Once a week, the basement turns into a master class for weavers. The eight or nine weavers are a group of Karen refugees that came to Minnesota from Myanmar (formally Burma) escaping an ongoing civil war. With bamboo looms strapped to their backs, women like Rosie Say spend hours creating shirts, scarves, and handmade hats. An outlet to practice a traditional craft, while they transition to a foreign land called Minnesota. Photo Karen refugees keep time-honored…Read more
  • 1
  • 2