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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy these photos which offer a glimpse at the experience of visiting Minneapolis Central Library.
Approach the library on Hennepin Avenue and 4th street, and be greeted by a remarkable structure covered in bright windows and including a central “wing” taking flight.
Get lost in the hustle and bustle of city life as you step inside the library atrium.
Glance up in awe at the four levels that house Minneapolis Central’s stacks – more than 1.3 million items in total.
Enjoy a welcome from Minerva–the 1,700 pound bronze sculpture who has greeted guests since 1889 when the first central library was built.
Explore one of the gems of the first floor of the library. The children’s area is stocked with whimsical art, nods to classic tales, tools to explore and discover, play areas, and of course, plenty of stories.
Be sure to say hello to the wonderful library staff on duty ready to give a recommendation, answer a reference question, facilitate an activity, teach one to use a computer program and more!
Read, lounge or study on one of four floors, surrounded by unique, curated art.
Teens can spend the afternoon at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center, chock full of tools for creating such as a recording studio, 3D printers, sewing machines, photography equipment and more.
Located on the 2nd floor, the Best Buy Teen Tech Center has been around since 2013.
Need to search something, write a paper, apply for a job, print a script, fax a resume or…just about anything else? Take advantage of the computer stations–there are plenty!
Check out this wooden archway, which originally graced the Ladies Reading Room at the first central library. Today the arch serves as the entrance to the Special Collections Department, offering a fitting reminder of the library’s long legacy.
Inside Special Collections, you can find all sorts of treasures – from old yearbook photos and menus, to postcards and correspondence, to this proposal from Eloise Butler to the parks commissioner!
Have a book club, study group or meeting on the table? Bop into one of more than 15 meeting rooms and other spaces available to reserve at Minneapolis Central Library.
…One of those spaces being Pohlad Hall! This auditorium with fixed, theater-style seating is available for free public reservation! Screen a movie, put on a private concert or attend an event such as our Talk of the Stacks author lecture series.
Lastly, experience a rotating exhibit at Cargill Gallery. This space committed to community-engaged group exhibits and local creators from underserved communities is sure to dazzle.