Support your library

Volunteer, join a local Friends chapter, donate materials or make a financial donation. There are many ways to support the library you love.

Adult volunteers

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults. Support your library’s daily operations, programs and services.

How to apply

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

Questions? Call Volunteer Services at 612-543-8633. The phone line is staffed Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. to noon. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 24 hours.

Omnitheater tickets

Library volunteers who have worked hours can receive up to two free tickets to the Omnitheater at the Science Museum as well as free admission to the museum. 

Learn more about gettting tickets

Web usability sessions

Volunteers needed to participate in usability sessions to help improve the library website. 

Learn more about web usability sessions

To fulfill a requirement for court, probation or a diversion program, community service volunteer hours are available at Hennepin County libraries for youth (ages 12 and older) and adults, 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 612-543-8817 if you haven't been contacted within 5 days.

Local Friends groups are volunteer, membership-based organizations at individual libraries. Varied in size and activities, all share a common goal of supporting and advocating for their local libraries.

Learn more about joining your local Friends group

Teen volunteers

We have volunteer opportunities for youth, ages 12 years and older. Positions vary depending on the 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.

Omnitheater tickets

Library volunteers who have worked hours can receive up to two free tickets to the Omnitheater at the Science Museum as well as free admission to the museum. 

Learn more about gettting tickets

To fulfill a requirement for court, probation or a diversion program, community service volunteer hours are available at Hennepin County libraries for youth (ages 12 and older) and adults, 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 612-543-8579 if you haven't been contacted within 5 days.

Donations

Your support makes a difference

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

Give now

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.

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 contact 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.

Magazines are accepted for use by Outreach Services patrons. You can bring magazine donations to your local library; please label them “Donations for Outreach."

The Library does not provide appraisals and does not accept materials that are not outright gifts.

What happens to donated materials

Staff will determine whether 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.

Value

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.

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.

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.