East Side Freedom Library Continues to Reach New Audiences

From Star Tribune, 12/2/16: Ask Peter Rachleff and his wife, Beth Cleary, to explain their goal of helping people connect to the history of their community and they begin to answer with a tour.  At one side of the main room at East Side Freedom Library is a new collection of Hmong textiles, musical instruments, books and tools. On the walls leading downstairs, there’s a mural showing centuries of Dakota, European, Southeast Asian, Latino and African-American migrations to the East Side. Another mural showing the history of St. Paul’s labor movement is in the basement.  To Rachleff, a retired Macalester College labor history professor, and Cleary, who still teaches theater and dance at Macalester, this old library is a place where the history of immigrants, of labor, of feminism, of jazz and of African-Americans in Minnesota comes alive.  This is utopia. It’s just great,” said Rachleff, who founded the library with his wife in 2014. “It’s much more than we imagined.”  Read entire article here.