I was happy to learn that my hunch was right--this is another Carnegie library. Not only that, it is looking ahead to its centennial in 2014! Here's a tip I learned: if you look for Franklin Library on page 42 in the book Libraries of Minnesota--well, that's not it! Instead, look at pages 68 and 69 in Carnegie Libraries of Minnesota for some handsome photos, including closeups of architectural details.
The children's area has a small "Storybook Room" reserved for kids 8 and under and their caregivers. Neat idea; when I looked in, a small girl was happily looking at books while her caregiver seemed to be napping. The regular children's area is sort of a "room within a room" that is hard to describe, but very nice to see, so you'll just have to go take a look. The inside of the "room" is lined with shelves of fiction, readers, and Spanish books; picture books and non-fiction are outside.
In the adult areas there are two handsome fireplaces. The area to the east houses an American Indian collection and has a colorful mosaic, "Red Lake" above the fireplace. To the west is the world languages collection and a mosaic "World Language." The contemporary glass mosaics, added during renovation in 2005, fit wonderfully with the classical Carnegie library look.
The library was busy, with computers in use in every available space; there is also a learning center on the lower level. There is a special collection on local history, and at one time this library housed the largest collection of Somali-language books in the country. (The person I was speaking to is not sure this is still the case.) It is clear that this branch is serving the needs of its population.
8/14/12 light rail, bus, walking