Another Carnegie gem, with appropriate additions. This one, built in 1915, is the third library built in Minneapolis--and it is still going strong. Very strong. It was most recently expanded in 2004.
I like the features that mark a Carnegie library: the tall windows, the classic architecture, the handsome fireplace, the cushioned window seats. One of the new sections has soaring, curved, laminated-wood beams with iron tie-rods. A feature in the center of the oldest part, five sides of an octagonal structure with seating inside, was the original service desk; it was nice to see it still there.
If I had an award for "best use of small, odd spaces," I'd nominate the tiny space called the Book Nook. It's next to the picture book room, which is lined with books and has a room-sized rug with nursery rhyme themed pictures around the edge.
A staff person, Natalie, asked me if I needed help finding anything--a rare occurrence on my visits. She explained the "Sudduth collections" that I had seen in every part of the library: kids, adults, fiction, non-fiction. These collections are thanks to a Mr. Gary N. Sudduth, a former Mineapolis Library Board member. You can look him up on the Hennepin County Library website. Natalie described the library as "a true neighborhood library, an extension of people's living rooms." She said that many people spend many hours a day there. Indeed, though I had missed the preschool story hour, the library was busy at 10:45, with many chairs and most computers in use.