North Regional Library (1315 Lowry) will be closing for renovation on March 16. Unfortunately we don’t have complete info quite yet, but the timeline we know is: “Library closes – beginning March 16.” The rejuvenated North Regional Library will reopen sometime in spring 2021.
The temporary North Regional Library site is at 1200 Plymouth Ave. N., opening on March 21.
Sorry folks, there won’t be any books at the temporary site. And the temporary site is a bit off the beaten path for most Camden residents. The library staff is encouraging people to visit Webber Park, Brookdale and Minneapolis Central libraries to pick up library materials and access other services not available at the temporary site (meeting rooms, events, etc.) Info: hclib.org/about/building-projects/current-projects-container/current-projects/north-regional/north-regional-library-project.
The temporary site, at 1200 Plymouth Ave. N., will offer limited library services including: computers and printing; homework help; in-person tutoring; snacks for youth, provided by Minneapolis Public Schools; and one-on-one help from library staff. No books. The temporary site will be open seven days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from noon-7 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday noon-5 p.m.
Like all other Hennepin County libraries, the temporary site will also serve as a Questionnaire Assistance Center (QAC) for the 2020 Census. At QACs, individuals can complete their Census online and receive assistance from trained staff as needed.
The current building on Lowry is long overdue for improvements. Project architects say the North Regional Library renovation will enhance access to technology, redesign areas for children and young people, and offer collaborative meeting spaces for patrons of all ages. Acoustics will be improved throughout the building. The renovation will also include building infrastructure and systems updates.
Interior finish concepts were proposed by Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA), the Northside nonprofit leading community engagement for the library renovation. The concept most preferred by the public and planning team uses an environmental theme, including colors from Minneapolis lakes and rivers, and area topographic lines, to create spaces that fit together seamlessly. Patterns will be used on exterior fence panels, site paving, and interior walls and glass.
The children’s area will be on the north side of the building, with all new early literacy play elements, and the teen space will be on the south side. Both areas will include computers and lounge seating throughout. A new enclosed room on the main floor features computers for adults and will allow for focused work, and can also be used as a program space for library events such as computer classes.
Adult computers and the adult collection will be located upstairs, along with four small study rooms. The large meeting room will remain upstairs as well, with a new seating area just outside. Meeting room windows will balance light and privacy.
Site work will improve the south entrance and breezeway, with a focus on traffic control and pedestrian safety. The east side of the building will feature a reading garden with seating, with fencing and plantings serving as a buffer to the street. On the west side, a children’s garden will make use of existing trees and add new environmental learning elements to engage children in play.
There is more info about renovation plans on their website. Visit hclib.org/about/building-projects/current-projects-container/current-projects/north-regional/north-regional-library-project. Much info is from more than six months ago, so note that it’s possible some of the smaller details may have changed. Library staff is currently waiting for the project manager to sign off on an updated description that they’ll post at end of February.