How are libraries and librarians doing in Minnesota?
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After just recently reading about two Hennepin county libraries finishing multi-million dollar renovations, I did a mental double-take. "Wait a minute, aren't libraries struggling just to stay open?" It took me a bit to remember the Legacy Amendment and wonder how much this was a part of it. Or is it just that in general Minnesotans understand the importance of such things? Or am I just living in the big-city bubble and have no idea how things are going anywhere outside of the metro?
So, I ask you Minnesotan librarians (or just anybody who is interested) for your information and opinions on the subject. I only moved to Minnesota in 2005, and have only really started making use of the great Hennepin library system in the last couple of years after having moved closer to one. What do you think about the whole thing?
(And yes, I read about the Gaiman thing.)
What's the Gaiman thing?
All I know about the system is as a user. It's fabulous.
Please direct followups on that subject there. :D
>1 The reason there have been so many library constructions and renovations opening lately (this is all over the States, not just Minnesota), despite the economic downturn, is that they were all approved and under way when the economy was still humming. It takes a very long time for these things to go through, so the libraries that are now opening were probably in the early planning stages in the late 90s (no joke). By the time the plans and funds are approved, the land acquired, and the contractors hired, many years will have passed. Those of us who are needing a new facility now will be waiting for decades, literally, since we will have to wait until governments are closer to being in the black before dreaming of asking for money.
As for the Legacy money, it has been great for us, as it has allowed us to bring in many more programs than we otherwise would be able to, but it cannot be spent on something like building expenses or even furniture. For more specific info on the types of things the money is used for: http://www.crplsa.info/display/crplsa/Library+Legacy+Funding
So be thankful for the new facility you have, as it is probably going to be among the last completed for quite some time.
I don't know about that. I know of at least one suburb that is just now starting the process for a renovation (Excelsior.)
My library has been in the process of a new library for 2 decades. We have recently had the good fortune that the citizens of our county have voted in a library levy so those libraries that were reduced (greatly) in hours have picked up open time, and our library is actually in the process of designing our new library.
The woefully inadequate building we are in now is stuffed to the gills and has multiple floors with no handicapped access to them. We were unable to serve out community appropriately and we are proud and pleased to put an end to that as soon as possible.
>5 Well, Excelsior has a significantly higher median income than almost any other Mn city, so I'm not surprised at that.
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