Meeting materials for Southdale Library open houses

Southdale Library

The following information will be shared on presentation boards at the Southdale Library open houses, May 30 and June 8.

View PDF version of presentation information

Hennepin County staff are proposing that Southdale Library relocates to Southdale Center.

  • 57,700 square feet — similar size of public space to current Southdale Library.
  • At former Herberger’s location — demolish former Herberger’s building and construct a new building for the future library.
  • Building owner constructs exterior of building. Hennepin County designs and constructs interior of the future library.
  • Opens to the public in 2022.

Elements important to patrons and library staff will be reflected in the lease agreement:

  • Access to upper-level amenity/green space
  • Bike and pedestrian access to the adjoining community
  • Reserved parking stalls
  • Curbside book drop
  • Access to the mall interior

Library spaces and services

The Southdale Library community identified these priorities for the new library in 2017–2018 through public meetings and over 1,400 online survey responses.

  • A variety of spaces to support people of all ages
  • Strong collections
  • Children’s play and learning area
  • Comfortable seating
  • Ample use of natural light and outdoor views
  • Places that support conversation and collaboration
  • Places that are quiet and support focus
  • A variety of meeting spaces for smaller and larger groups
  • Furnishings with access to electricity
  • Library computers and Wi-Fi access
  • Outdoor space


Benefits of a mall location

  • Accessible by public transit, as a bus route connector in the area.
  • Co-locating with other amenities:
    • Creates a more dynamic and convenient experience for patrons
    • May attract people who do not currently use the library
  • Current Southdale Library remains open until new library opens, instead of closing for 18–24 months.
  • Cost is less than rebuilding at current site, saving taxpayer dollars for other uses.
  • Co-locating with Southdale Service Center — patrons who need to print or look up documentation can do so at the library.

How can I get to the new library?

Walk, bike, transit, drive. We are committed to a location that offers multiple ways to access the library.

Similar local examples

Examples of libraries in malls

  • King County Library System, Washington, Southcenter Library Connection
    • Opened 2004; 5,000 square feet
    • Multigenerational space that responds to high- and low-tech information needs
    • Emphasizes public computers, Wi-Fi, charging stations and comfortable seating
    • Collections include world languages and periodicals, in addition to books for all ages
  • London Public Library, Ontario, Canada, Central Library (Citi Plaza Mall)
    • Opened 2002; remodeled 2017
    • Features a children’s library, reading lounge, creative makerspace, and rich collections for leisure reading and research information needs.
    • Meeting and study rooms, computer training lab, and performance hall
    • Facility also houses library administration and other supporting departments
  • McAllen Public Library, Texas, Main Library
    • Opened 2011; 124,000 square feet
    • Reclaimed retail space in a former big-box store
    • Collections, computer lab, meeting rooms with videoconference technology, outlets in all furniture
    • Nature incorporated throughout the design in indoor and outdoor spaces

Next steps

Project timeline:

  • April 2019 - Hennepin County Administration recommended to the board that the Southdale Library moves to Southdale Center
  • May/June 2019 - Open houses to inform community of location recommendation
  • June 2019 - Hennepin County Board votes to officially begin negotiating lease terms with building owner at Southdale Center
  • Fall 2019 - Additional community engagement conversations about services and resources at the new Southdale Library
  • 2019/2020 - Pursue additional bicycle and pedestrian possibilities
  • 2020 - New library construction begins
  • 2022 - New library opens, as current library closes

More about this building project