Welcome to Minneapolis Central Library

Explore the wonders of Minneapolis Central Library!

Step inside this dynamic building—which spans an entire city block—and find yourself in the Commons, a six-story glass atrium full of light, activity, and people—typically welcoming one-million visitors per year! Surrounding this central hub you will find all sorts of treasures, from unique spaces and services to the books themselves—more than 1.3 million items which account for more than 1/3rd of the items in the entire county collection. This landmark, the heart of the library system, is home for many stories, including yours. Be sure to check out some of our favorite library features. 

1. Noise Encouraged in the Piano Room

Minneapolis Central Library is your one-stop shop for books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and….pianos? That’s right—reserve this soundproofed studio for one-hour jam sessions up to three times a week!

Make music at the library


Man plays the piano at Minneapolis Central Library's piano room.

2. Now We're Cooking

Cook up mealtime magic with the help of one of the largest cookbook collections of any public library in the country, with nearly 13,000 titles (5,000 of which are housed at Minneapolis Central Library!) Find your inner chef with the help of this signature genre of the world-class collection available at Hennepin County Library.

Browse the cookbook collection


3. Ready, Set, MAKE

Calling all creatives, ages 12-19! The Best Buy Teen Tech Center offers spaces to learn and use technology and multimedia tools for music and video production, photography, graphic design, programming, and much more with help from mentors and industry experts. 

Get Creative

Best Buy Teen Tech Center user creates using coding technology.

4. Cargill Gallery Showcases Community Perspectives

Admire free rotating exhibits at the Cargill Gallery—a space for exhibits that engage the community and often feature local BIPOC creators. 

See What's Showing

5. Authors, to the Stage!

Talk of the Stacks, a free author series showcasing urgent voices, welcomes the public to Minneapolis Central Library to foster vital conversations. Past speakers from the Friends sponsored series include Louise Erdrich, Carmen Maria Machado, Resmaa Menakem, and Stacy Schiff. 

See Upcoming Talk of the Stacks Events


Carmen Maria Machado reads from her book "Dream Land" at a podium.

6. Uncover History

Ever wished you could time travel? Visit the stunning Special Collections space, home to in-depth collections of historic materials. Explore your neighborhood through time with the Minneapolis and Hennepin County Collection, full of local photographs, yearbooks, maps, newspaper clippings, and more. Or, get lost in rotating displays or their inspired Tumblr page!

Get Lost in the past

7. Let Your Imagination Run Wild

For kids (and adults too!) Central Library’s brilliant, imaginative children’s room features a play area, tools to explore and discover, and the largest children’s book collection in the Upper Midwest. Drop in and play, or hear a story read by the talented library staff! 

Bring the Kids

A colorful and whimsical sculpture found at Minneapolis Central Library Children's Area.

8. Join the Club!

Whatever your interest, library clubs remind you you’re not alone. For film buffs, enjoy a Friday afternoon feature among other cinephiles. For crafters of all levels, gather and chat over embroidery, crocheting, and more at the Craft Club. And whether you are looking to brush away the cobwebs or you’re a regular Bobby Fisher, make a checkmate of an afternoon at the weekly Chess Club

Check out more library programs

9. Step Back and Enjoy

A walk through the library will surround you with four floors of artistic expressions past and present. Soak in the 1889 Women’s Reading Room wooden archway, or reflect on artwork exploring the 2020 pandemic. Made from media ranging from oil paint, to bronze, and even violins, the artwork is sure to delight. 

Take a Peek

Statue of historic sculpture, Minerva, at Minneapolis Central Library shows a woman in a toga reading a book.

10. Meeting Rooms Make Space for Every Moment

From solo study sessions to private concerts for friends and family, Central Library offers 14 meeting rooms to provide space for learning, connecting, celebrating, and more, all available for free with your library card.

Reserve a free meeting space


11. Put Your Records On

Missing the sweet scratch of a vinyl record? Library staff curate a selection of records from the library’s collection of more than 15,000 albums. Lounge in the Vinyl Listening Room and take a trip back to groovier times. 

Give the Vinyl Listening Room a Spin

Vinyl Record

12. Inventors, Make Your Mark

Have a great idea? The Patent and Trademark Resource Center provides access to powerful search tools and expert staff assistance for researching patents and trademarks, as well as a collection of reference materials and guides.

Visit the only patent and trademark resource center in Minnesota

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