Support your library

Hennepin County Library offers information, inspiration and much more. Here are three ways to support the library you love.


Hennepin County Library is proud of its talented and diverse group of over 2,000 volunteers who currently donate their time. Community volunteers help us achieve a Hennepin County where library services ensure every person has the opportunity and resources to read, graduate, engage, work and learn.

Ongoing or short-term volunteer assignments are available for adults at various library locations.

How to apply

  1. Check out the current volunteer opportunities.
  2. Complete a Hennepin County Library volunteer application.
  3. View the online orientation.
  4. Schedule an interview.

Questions? Call Volunteer Services at 612-543-8633.

Interested in volunteering at the library? Check with your local library for opportunities ranging from helping with programs, creating displays, working with technology and more! Youth, ages 12 years and older, can volunteer for fun, school, church, or scouting credit. Volunteer positions vary at each library.

How to apply

  1. Print and complete a teen volunteer application (PDF).
  2. Return it to your local Hennepin County library.
  3. A library staff member will contact you.

Questions? Call Volunteer Services at 612-543-8633.

To fulfill a requirement for court, probation or a diversion program, community service is available at Hennepin County libraries, depending on location, time needed, and volunteer openings. All positions require good organizational and communication skills.

It may take up to three weeks to process your request before you can begin your volunteer hours. Please allow enough time to complete your hours before the deadline.

How to apply

  1. Complete an online application for community service.
  2. A library staff member will contact you.

Call 612-543-8545 if you haven't been contacted within 5 days.

Help us make the Hennepin County Library website better by participating in a usability session. Volunteers complete several tasks while sharing their thoughts, reactions and processes. No advanced computer skills necessary. Regular library website users and people unfamiliar with the library website are welcome.


  • Minneapolis Central, October 21, morning
  • Ridgedale, November 18, morning

Apply to participate in a web usability session

Why volunteer at the library?

  • Support Hennepin County Library — one of the top library systems in the nation.
  • Get experience and receive verification of your volunteer work or letters of recommendation for school or resumes.
  • Get Omnitheater tickets.

Omnitheater Tickets

Library volunteers who have worked hours can receive up to two free tickets to the Science Museum's Omnitheater and admission to the Science Museum.

Next opportunity: Humpback Whales

Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of humpbacks: why are they the most acrobatic of all whales? Why do they sing their haunting songs? And why do they migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year? All these questions will be revealed throughout the film.

  • Thursday, October 29; RSVP by Tuesday, October 20

Shows are at 6 p.m.; pick up tickets by 5:45 p.m.

Tickets aren’t available in August, September, November or December.

Movie showings are subject to change without notice.

Please call 612-543-8636 for reservations.


Hennepin County Library accepts donations to enhance HCL’s collection and to provide additional support for the Library.

Before going to a Hennepin County library to donate materials, please contact that location for more information and to confirm that donations are currently being accepted.


Library supporters are encouraged to make financial donations to the Friends of the Hennepin County Library.

Donations of single copies may be given to staff in your library or placed in the book drop if they are marked as a donation. A donation form for tax purposes is available when you come into the library to make your donation. Please call a local library to discuss donations of larger collections.

HCL accepts donations of books and AV materials that are in good condition. The library does not accept books with mold, handwriting, or highlighting; magazines; Reader's Digest condensed books; or textbooks.

Donated books and other materials will be added to the library collection or sold in book sales to benefit the Library. The Library does not provide appraisals and does not accept materials that are not outright gifts.

What happens to donated materials

Staff will determine if the material will be added to the library collection or given to the Friends of HCL to be sold in a book sale to benefit the Library. Materials that contain outdated information about health, science, business, etc. will be recycled.

Once you donate an item, the gift becomes the property of the Library or the Friends of HCL. We are unable to return donated materials.


By law, we cannot determine the value of a donation for tax purposes. We can supply you with a letter that acknowledges the donation you made to the Library.

Decisions to withdraw from or add materials to the collection are based on the Library Board Collection Development and Management policy. The Library Board reviews and approves this policy every three years.

Withdrawn materials may be:

  • Re-used by Hennepin County Library’s Outreach Services.
  • Given to local Friends of the Library to sell at book sales.
  • Sold at the Ridgedale Library bookstore or online.
  • Donated to community partners.

Once the Library has exhausted these options, all remaining materials are recycled. For health and safety reasons, any materials that are wet or moldy are discarded.

To have your book, CD, or DVD considered for the library collection, please send a copy to:

Hennepin County Library
Collection Management Services
12601 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Please include a cover letter, a fact sheet with standard bibliographic information (ISBN, cost, publisher, etc.), and copies of reviews by standard review media (professional journals or newspapers), if available.

The title will be evaluated as would any other title being considered for the collection. Because of the volume of these requests, the Library is unable to return submitted materials or respond directly to each author or artist.

We welcome donations to our collections to increase their research value and preserve the record of our shared heritage. Contact Special Collections to discuss whether we can accept your donation or suggest a more appropriate recipient for your donation.

Please discuss preparation of the donation with staff before sorting, weeding or reorganizing your collections. It is often helpful for us to receive collections in their original order. Materials which seem unimportant may be significant in light of our other collections.

You may be asked to sign a donation agreement to document the transfer of ownership. Any material donated becomes the property of the Library. Transfer of materials does not affect the copyright status unless materials are specifically owned by the donor and the rights are specifically transferred to the Library.

We do not appraise materials or collections. It is the donor's responsibility to determine the monetary value of donated items.

What we collect

From businesses, organizations and government agencies based or operating in Minneapolis or Hennepin County:

  • Annual reports, financial reports, meeting minutes
  • Newletters or other organization publications
  • Research or other special reports
  • Legal documents
  • Architectural records, maps and diagrams
  • House or building histories
  • Catalogs, programs, menus or other descriptions or schedules of products or services
  • Yearbooks from colleges, academies, and public and private secondary and elementary schools
  • Manuals, guides or other instructional materials produced by the organization and related to their operations
  • Photographs(with identification) and other visual media (e.g., 16mmm film, VHS, DVDs, posters etc.)
  • Audio recordings
  • Official correspondence
  • Manuscripts of published material
  • Advertisements, flyers, pamphlets, postcards and other promotional material

Related to individuals who lived/are living in Minneapolis or Hennepin County or are/were active with an organization (e.g., a sports team) based in Minneapolis or Hennepin County:

  • Photographs (with identification)
  • Manuscripts, and other creative output (e.g.,musical score)
  • Memoirs, diaries and journals
  • Correspondence
  • Other materials directly related to the individual
  • Personal scrapbooks directly related to the individual
  • Audio and video recordings

Electronic versions of all of the above are acceptable.

What we don't collect

  • Non-printed realia (e.g., furniture, furnishings, equipment, knickknacks)
  • Routine financial information such as receipts, statements, invoices or ledgers
  • Material not directly related to Minneapolis or Hennepin County subjects
  • Photographs with no date or time frame or unidentified subjects
  • Art work will be considered on a case-by-case basis but is not normally collected

Why donate?

  • The records of individuals, organizations, businesses and communities provide important historical information about our community.
  • Donated records are arranged, described, preserved and made accessible by professional staff.
  • The records will become part of our community's heritage and made available to everyone and preserved for future generations.
  • Use of all parts of the collection is free and available to the public.
  • Collections are used extensively by students, researchers, writers, artists, teachers, architects, business persons and other library patrons.

Be a Friend

Friends of the Hennepin County Library

Friends of the Hennepin County Library is an active community of supporters – helping the Library fulfill its mission to nourish minds, transform lives and build community. By raising critically needed funds for books, movies, music, events and technology, and through presentation of the highly regarded Pen Pals and Talk of the Stacks author series, the Friends of the Hennepin County Library enhances the potential and enriches the resources of the Library.

Learn more