On Monday, January 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Hennepin County libraries are closed.
Planning for the North Regional Library building project is underway. To help shape the project, Minneapolis nonprofit Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) engaged residents in a variety of ways in summer 2018, including pop-up events, patron interviews and door-to-door visits in the neighborhoods surrounding the library on the north side of Minneapolis.
Residents value features of the current library:
In a renovated library, residents want improved:
Other themes that emerged:
While some residents want separate spaces for each age group, others want family members of various ages to feel comfortable in spaces together, with friendly supervision of youth. Residents identified opportunities for better use of the second floor of the library, as well as potential to make outdoor green spaces more inviting.
During the summer of 2018, JXTA hosted community engagement activities around the upcoming renovation of North Regional Library. JXTA’s goal was to learn what resident priorities are for the renovation, including how people currently use the library (or why they don’t), what they want to see in a renovated library, how the library can be more accessible to them, and their thoughts about potential space configuration.
JXTA held activities both in the library and in the surrounding neighborhoods to gather input. Activities included art-making at the Folwell Neighborhood Resource Fair, interviews and observations at the library, a pop-up event at a nearby bus stop, conversations with residents at Hawthorne EcoVillage, door-knocking and a community bike ride.
Of those engaged, about 200 people shared demographic and library usage information.
Surveyed residents use and visit North Regional Library in a variety of ways:
A handful of those surveyed do not use North Regional Library. Given reasons include the quality of the collection, technology, use of other libraries, lack of transportation, too busy, and concerns about safety.
In the coming months, residents will be invited to see the refined renovation plans and provide further feedback. JXTA will provide special opportunities to comment at the library, in addition to community meetings with library staff and project architects.
More about this building project