21st Century Library (Part 1)
The Hennepin County Library started as a horse-drawn book wagon in the 1920s and has grown to 41 locations with more than three quarters of a million check-outs of more than 15 million items. But in a world where you can tap into just about any information on your smartphone, the library creates new opportunities to stay relevant and important. In Part 1, we examine in-person classes and opportunities to learn from what’s offered at the Hennepin County Library.
New Opportunities to Learn
Library planners knew that books weren’t the only thing that would bring in crowds, so libraries today feature more rooms for in-person learning.
Genevieve Loberg teaches a yoga class at Brooklyn Park branch. She talked to library staff about offering one and it’s been a hit with her students.
Troy “King Fuvi” King teaches artists who to turn their art into a business.
“I think it’s super beneficial for artists,” says King, who admits to not thinking about the business aspects of his art until taking a class at the library. “From finding a venue, doing the album release, to collaborating with other artists, I never know that I had to take that into consideration.”
Business hopefuls can learn how to get their business to the next step in a class offered by SCORE, or Service Corps of Retired Executives.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we do have a lot of help,” says Bill Richardson, who volunteers with SCORE. “We’re a good sounding board for people that have ideas. We have workshops. We have a free webinars, round tables for discussion and many mentoring opportunities.”
Book Clubs too
It’s probably a given that libraries would be home to a variety of book clubs and that’s true. These clubs tend to take a more serious tone than your social book clubs.
“We bring together the community to read this book and then we bring in the author,” explains Becky Rich, from the Golden Valley Reads group. “So she can tell us about her inspiration. Why she’s a writer and make that connection for readers to connect the book to the person who created it.”
Meetings often go into overtime as passionate readers find no end of things to talk about.