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East Side Freedom Library Button Collection

This collection is a snapshot of the broader social justice and union button collection at St. Paul’s East Side Freedom Library (ESFL) which is currently in the process of being cataloged. Although it will not have a permanent home in the St. Kate’s Digital Collection, the ESFL and St. Catherine University share similar values which are put on display in this collection: discovering knowledge, working for systemic change, community, and reflecting on the human experience.

The ESFL is a non-profit library in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA that is open to the public. Founded in 2013, they are a non-circulating library that focuses on topics realting to social justice, labor history, and the Hmong archives. They are also the recipients of the 2017 John Sessions Memorial Award from the American Library Association (ALA) and the 2017 Arts Achievement Award from the Metorpolitan Regional Arts Council. You can visit the East Side Freedom Library in person at 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA or you can go to their East Side Freedom Library website for more information about the library and their programs. The T-shirts on display in the heading of this collection are from a temporary exhibit featuring the buttons before they are catalogued and digitized that were part of a community lead discussion on unionization and solidarity.

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