Revamped Ridgedale Library Opens
Every year, more than 300,000 people visit the Ridgedale Library.
Lindsay Kvasnik of Plymouth is one of them.
“My little boy loves coming to pick up books from the library,” Kvasnik said. “He thinks it’s super fun to explore and we like to get new books. It’s a good way to be able to try a bunch of different books without having to buy every single one of them.”
The library can introduce her son to a world of imagination and adventure, but as he gets older, the hope is that $7 million worth of renovations will keep him and other children coming back.
“We completely redid the inside of the library,” said Ann Woodson-Hicks, the senior administrative manager for Hennepin County Libraries.
She helped oversee the 14-month construction project, which transformed the 55,000 square-foot space.
The library now has more meeting rooms, improved Wi-Fi connection, 100 more electrical outlets, and more natural light.
Library remodel driven by patron needs
“The library needs to be about the community, and the best way for us to do that is to actually hear from the community,” Woodson-Hicks said.
The last time the Ridgedale Library had undergone a major renovation was in 1999, but the needs and wants of people have changed since then.
“I think a lot of it is just staying relevant,” Woodson-Hicks said. “Books are certainly the basis of that relevancy. We have also heard and know that people need a place to congregate and collaborate.”
Now, Ridgedale Library patrons can congregate with more comfort and convenience.
Upon first glance, Kvasnik likes what she sees.
“I think it’s nice that it’s open, and it looks a lot cleaner,” she said. “And the stations are set up nicely. It seems like it’s very kid-friendly.”
After 14 months of construction, library officials are eager for those 300-thousand visitors to return and check it out.
“This is really exciting. This is what I looked forward to the most, is the grand opening and turning the building back over to the public,” Woodson-Hicks said.
The Ridgedale Library opened in 1982. After the renovations, the library will still have the same amount of books, CDs and DVDs in its collection.
That’s 220,000 items.