Minneapolis Public Library

From Academic Kids

The Minneapolis Public Library (MPL) is a library system serving the residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded as the Minneapolis Athenĉum in 1860. The library today comprises a central facility downtown, fourteen branch libraries, and a bookmobile. Each library also has a staff member who is assigned to local schools to discuss the services available at the library. The collection numbers about three million items.

After Minneapolis voters approved a $140 million package to improve library services on November 7, 2000, many renovation projects were begun. The new Central Library, designed by Cesar Pelli, is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2006. In the meantime, most services are provided at the interim Central Library Marquette location, located on two floors in Marquette Plaza (formerly the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis).

Improvements are also being made to the community libraries. East Lake and North Regional libraries are closed as they are undergoing renovation. Sumner Library is also closed for remodeling. Pierre Bottineau has re-opened after moving into a new building. Linden Hills and Hosmer have recently re-opened (The Hosmer project was completed before the referendum). Improvements are in the works for Nokomis, Northeast, Roosevelt, Southeast, Walker, Washburn, and Webber Park Libraries. Some locations (such as Roosevelt and Nokomis) may be consolidated at one location, and "express" library services along major transportation routes are also a possibility. The framework for the future of the library is a document called "Outlook 2010."

The library has suffered from austerity measures implemented by the federal government and the Tim Pawlenty state administration. Hours have been drastically cut and money for acquisitions has sharply declined. MPL also faces competition from the Hennepin County Library (HCL), which is remodeling its three central locations. Public-private partnerships are being considered to help keep libraries open in the future. In 2005, the Minnesota Legislature apportioned funding for the inclusion of a planetarium in the new Central Library building.

The Central, Franklin, East Lake Regional, Roosevelt and Nokomis Libraries are well-serviced by the Hiawatha Line. All locations are either wheelchair-accessible or will be after renovation.

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