Tough times boosts business at Hennepin County libraries

Hennepin County libraries have seen an uptick in business this year, hand in hand with the terrible economy.

Lois Lenroot-Ernt, capital projects manager for the Hennepin County Library system, tells Finance & Commerce:

“I think it recognizes that people are trying to stretch their own budgets and recognizes that the library is full of resources, whether helping to find a job or entertainment like DVDs or access to computers. All those things, with a library card you can have access to it.

“I think it is tied to hard times in the economy. People realize what a resource the library is. We are trying to do our best to meet our customers’ demand and realize that there are a lot of resources in the library.”

That fuels the need for more flexible space and technology upgrades, which means six major construction projects in the system are well timed.

Those include, says Finance & Commerce:

  • A new $17.6 million library at 15700 36th Ave. N. in Plymouth.
  • A $29.23 million library at 8351 Elm Creek Blvd. in Maple Grove.
  • A $12 million budget for replacement of the New North/Webber Park Library in Minneapolis.
  • Planning for a new $26.9 million Brooklyn Park library.
  • A $6.9 million renovation of the Nokomis Library at 5100 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis.
  • A $5.2 million renovation of the Northeast Library at 2200 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis.

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