Osseo Library Branch Goes Virtual with No Staff
The outside of the Hennepin County Library branch in Osseo City Hall doesn’t look any different, nor does there appear to be many changes to the one-room space where patrons can check out books and other materials.
But the biggest change during operating hours could be it’s even more quieter inside, since no one actually works there full-time.
The library now operates almost entirely staff-less, with a few employees there each morning when the branch opens before they leave to go work at nearby full-service branches in Maple Grove or Brooklyn Park.
Expanded Service Model at Osseo Library
Patrons in Osseo can now use self-service kiosks to check-out materials — similar kiosks have long been available county-wide at other branches — and there’s a phone nearby that dials directly to a library employee elsewhere who can help answer questions about materials or databases that patrons need help with.
“We are hearing from people that they really like the access, that it’s a nice calm place to come down to do homework from the local community college and technical school,” said Dylan Young, Hennepin County Library services manager. “I think through the signage we have, through the relationship we have with the city, and with the patrons that use this building, I don’t think it was a big surprise, and so I’d say it’s been pretty smooth.”
The branch is now open during Osseo City Hall’s normal business hours, meaning it opens 90 minutes before other branches elsewhere in the county on most normal business days.
“It is an expanded service model, in many ways, for the patrons here,” said Young. “Our staff come in for a couple hours every day at 7:30 [a.m.], and, sure enough, residents are waiting to get in, ready to use [the library].”
Also available at the Osseo branch are computers for internet use, a copier/printer for library card holders to use, as well as periodicals and Osseo-centric books among the collection.
“Patrons can request materials sent from any one of our 41 libraries be sent here,” said Young. “That access is the same that you would get, say, at Central Library, or Ridgedale, or any of our other big libraries, so it’s reasonable to say it’s a smaller footprint.”
The Osseo library hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays. It is closed Saturday and Sunday.