Nearly 70 percent of Hennepin County residents have a library card and have used it within the past three years. Your support of the Friends of HCL will make a difference for everyone who uses the Hennepin County Library’s extraordinary services and resources. While millions of people come to the Library each year, the Library also does an extraordinary job in serving members of our community who may have barriers to accessing the Library’s vast resources. In 2011, the Hennepin County Library’s Outreach Services received the Exceptional Service Award from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, a division of the American Library Association.
Funds from the Friends of HCL allow the Library to develop responsive programs and new initiatives in core service areas.
Here are highlights of Library outreach programs that the Friends of HCL helped support during the last two years that serve the unique needs of our diverse community:
New Immigrant Resources.Library staff and resources help under-served immigrant populations succeed in Minnesota through unique programs to accommodate all ages and ethnicities. The goal of these programs is to build successful families through integration into the community. The programs help new Americans through employment, education, citizenship, language acquisition, housing, and health care services and resources. Annually over 8,000 people are reached through HCL’s bi-lingual liaisons, on-demand assistance, the Franklin Learning Center, Conversation Circles, World Language story times, and more.
Corrections Outreach Programs.The Library has extended its services to incarcerated men, women and juvenile offenders in Hennepin County through a series of unique, collaborative programs. Ex-offenders are offered employment re-entry resources, technology classes, small business training, literacy programs, community service opportunities, and full access to Library collections. The programs are designed to support the ex-offender and improve the quality of life for their families and dependents.
Digitization of Collection. The Hennepin County Library is making rare and unique items in their Special Collections available online through digitization. Digitization allows the Library to drastically improve access to high-interest materials while limiting handling of the fragile originals. Thanks in part to grants made through the Friends of HCL, a selection of yearbooks from the historic Minneapolis Collection (dating back to 1890) will be digitized within the year. You can now view online digital resources at www.hclib.org.