Annual report 2018

Your library. Here for you.

In 2018 Your library. Here for you. made its debut in the community, featured prominently at pop-up libraries and community events.

The message is simple, but it means a lot. It says the library is here, both as a physical place and in the supportive sense of being an ally for our communities.

We are also for you, because we speak directly to our communities when we say all are welcome, and there is something for everyone here.

And, of course, library – libraries play a unique role in the community, and we are very proud of that identity.

We invite you to join us here.

This library is for you.

Janet Mills, Interim Library Director


This year, we made it even easier to manage your library account with automatic renewals. We love it when library materials are in your hands – where they’re needed and used the most – so as items are coming due, we attempt to renew them for you. Improved service saves time and benefits all patrons, but we are especially proud to have significantly reduced fines assessed for late renewals, a barrier to service with an inequitable impact.

We also dropped the fee for replacement library cards, so cards are truly free and give you access to everything the library has to offer. 845,000 patrons are active cardholders, making the most of their library.

Patron quote from Twitter

 @CoPerryPhoto: "My goodness, @hclib, did you just auto renew the book I forgot to renew that was due yesterday? I never thought I could, but I (heart) you even more." January 2018

6.1 million items automatically renewed


Libraries are for learning and connecting, in all the ways that work for you. For our youngest library patrons, early literacy play spaces offer limitless ways to talk and learn together. Library events for all ages included hands-on bike maintenance, intergenerational crafting, healing circles, and comedy workshops exploring social issues, building knowledge and stronger communities.

We’re committed to reducing educational disparities in our communities. Franklin Learning Center offers a unique adult education program at Franklin Library, with learners studying basic skills or preparing for GED tests or the United States Citizenship test – this year, 74 learners became U.S. citizens.

Patron quote from Twitter

 @shelkubitzwrite: "What I’m doing this morning: Creating business plans for creative types with @SpringboardArts at @hclib in Edina. #alwayslearning #writinglife"  May 2018

20,650 hours studied at Franklin Learning Center


Our signature K-12 Homework Help service launched at two new locations in 2018, offering in-person tutoring and support for students at Minneapolis Central, Webber Park and 12 other locations.

Year-round, students of all ages can find academic support whenever they need it, with homework resources and tutoring available online, partnerships with local school districts and classrooms to connect students with library cards and resources, and expert staff available to help.

Patron comment

"As a high school student I have used the library’s resources many times. Overall a great place with a lot of variety."  East Lake Library Google Review, December 2018

16,200 K-12 Homework Help tutoring sessions


Your work matters. Community leaders and volunteers, entrepreneurs and career builders are welcome here, with space for coworking and collaborating, focusing and reflecting. Online and on the shelf, we’ve got materials to support your research needs and skill development – plus books, movies and music for the rest of your life.

Teen Tech Squads offer hands-on STEM learning opportunities to youth through library events, but just as importantly, give our teen employees meaningful support in workforce readiness and leadership skills.

Patron quote from Twitter

 @tessa_tito: "Shoutout to @hclib librarians for being super helpful in a bind so I could use a study room for a zoom interview when I didn’t have anywhere else to go. You guys rock!" December 2018

3.6 million Wi-Fi sessions throughout all 41 lbraries


Based on the success of the library’s work in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, we expanded our community embedded library service model to the American Indian Cultural Corridor along Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis, and the Latino community in east Bloomington. Building on community strengths and assets, librarians and local liaisons work together in areas experiencing economic, social and educational disparities, reducing barriers to library service.

At the Hennepin County Law Library, we support access to justice for all with legal materials online and in person, expert staff assistance in the library and at community events, and free continuing legal education – all open to the public. Visit to learn more.

Patron comment

"I’m in awe of the amount of work and time you must have spent on my request. The materials you emailed are extremely important to us... I’m writing this letter to say “THANKS” for your assistance and what I view as professionalism."  Law library patron letter, 2018

26 community members and volunteers serving as library ambassadors


We’re here for you.

41 libraries throughout Hennepin County

Patron quotes from Instagram

@spudsimple: "I love how convenient the library makes it to explore and pick up books that match my eclectic reading style." October 2018

@projectungoverned: "[Ridgedale Library]… did a major renovation in 2018, adding in conference rooms to create workspaces and meeting rooms. Genius way to create free, very useful community spaces for collaboration. Thank you @hclib for this amazing space!" December 2018

2,100 open hours each week across 41 libraries

2018 Leaders

Hennepin County Library is a department of Hennepin County Government and reports to County Administration and the County Board of Commissioners.

Hennepin County Board Of Commissioners

  • Mike Opat, District 1
  • Linda Higgins, District 2
  • Marion Greene, District 3
  • Peter McLaughlin, District 4
  • Debbie Goettel, District 5
  • Jan Callison, District 6
  • Jeff Johnson, District 7

Hennepin County Administration

  • David J. Hough, County Administrator
  • Chester Cooper, Assistant County Administrator

Hennepin County Library Board

The Library Board is an advisory board of Hennepin County residents appointed by the County Board.

  • Katherine Blauvelt
  • Caitlin Cahill
  • Chris Damsgard
  • Tim Dolan
  • Jonathan Gaw
  • Rahfat Hussain
  • Adja K. Kaba
  • Sheila Letscher
  • Margy Ligon
  • Samuel Neisen
  • Erin Vrieze Daniels

Friends of the Hennepin County Library

Friends of the Hennepin County Library is a community of supporters raising funds for books, materials, programs and technology.

  • Kristi Pearson, Executive Director


$86.2 million: 2018 budget

$72.5 million: property tax

$12.6 million: other

$1.1 million: Friends of the Hennepin County Library

More budget information is available online at

Patron quote from Twitter

@pkhorn: "Support your library because they are a national treasure. @hclfriends." December 2018

3.6%: Library portion of total Hennepin County 2018 Operating Budget