Build & Preserve Our Treasured Collection

The collection's life-changing information and perspectives…available to all

The Heart of Our Library

At the heart of our library is the collection…filled with millions of books…always free and available to all. Each and every day, these shared resources are shaping and uplifting the lives of people across our community, connecting one another through the love of books and a shared imagination. With one of the largest public library collections in the country, Hennepin County Library has become a main source of information, entertainment, and support for so many as they build full and successful lives.

Young girl peeking through a bookshelf

“There is such power in finding the first book where you see yourself.” —Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Senior Librarian

Friends Help to Buy More Books

Financial support from Friends helps expand the children’s collection, replace copies of popular, timeworn titles, and add additional copies of the most in-demand new books such as The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, and The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, which, in total, were checked out more than 16,000 in print and e-book forms in 2021 alone. Funding from Friends helps ensure that the library’s collection can keep up with demand from our community of voracious readers and continue to be the best resource for the transformative power of books.

How Your Support Benefits Readers of All Ages

Shorter waiting time

Adult reading a book

Increased circulation

Library checkout machine

Broader diversity of titles

Adult browsing library shelf

Our library's nationally recognized collection goes way beyond books!

Woman reading e-book on an iPad with boy


MNspin playing on phone

Music and audiobooks

Woman researching local history on computer

Genealogy and local history

Two adults reading newspapers

Newspapers and magazines

Person reading a large print book

Large print books

Man holding DVD


"Libraries are a cornerstone of democracy—where information is free and equally available to everyone..." —Carla Hayden

The Great Care of a Collection

The care of Hennepin County Library’s collection is threefold: purchasing new books, preserving the current collection, and digitizing material for future use. To the library, the word preserve does not mean to protect by shielding materials from patrons but rather the opposite: to increase access to materials by ensuring their longevity, keeping books circulating from this generation to the next. Digitizing material fulfills the same purpose. By building a robust digital collection, the library is creating a vital bank of resources and knowledge that can withstand the test of time. Your support helps preserve our history and maintain or restore more than 10,000 items – books, maps, photos, personal artifacts, and more – per year, ensuring the longevity, usefulness, and accessibility of our collection!

To help ensure our library's collection continues to entertain, inform, and delight patrons throughout the county, Friends of HCL has made a commitment of nearly $392,500 to support the collection in 2022. With your help, our library’s collection will remain a treasured resources for years and decades to come.

Stay up to date!

Be informed and inspired!

Get library updates and new stories delivered right to your inbox.