(Photos courtesy of Hennepin County Public Affairs.)
The grand opening of the new Hennepin County Library – Maple Grove was held May 22, with a gala event to show off features including a drive-up book drop, a green roof; a geothermal heating and cooling system and a parking ramp.
The ribbon cutting ceremony included senior librarians Pat Palahniuk and Kathryn Zimmerman; Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, Mayor Mark Steffenson, Library Board President Therese VanBlarcom, Library Director Lois Langer Thompson; and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
“The residents of Maple Grove are rightly proud and excited about this beautiful new building,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. “It will serve as a central gathering point in one of the best communities in the state and will be a great place to read, study, meet or just hang out.”
Located at 8001 Main Street N., the new 40,000 square foot library is nearly triple the size of the old library a few blocks away on Elm Creek Boulevard. It has thousands more books, CDs, and DVDs, 69 computers, more individual study and meeting rooms for kids, teens, and adults alike.
The city of Maple Grove is one of the fastest growing communities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Adjacent to the library is the city of Maple Grove civic area, a Town Green, and a concert-venue bandshell.
Opening day activities included a scavenger hunt to discover areas and features of the new library, live music by a jazz ensemble, an origami craft, and a visit by the Cat in the Hat.
In celebration of the library’s opening, several summer programs are scheduled.
On Wednesday, June 9 at 7 p.m., there will be readings from Bethany House authors Lynn Austin, a five-time Christy Award winner, and Julie Klassen, a finalist in the 2010 Minnesota Book Awards. Bethany House is a Bloomington publisher of Christian fiction and nonfiction.
A new “Sunday in the Stacks” program series is sponsored by the Friends of the Maple Grove Library. On June 20 at 1 p.m., the Minnesota Crime Wave – mystery writers Ellen Hart, Carl Brookins, and William Kent Krueger – will discuss the foibles and follies of writing mysteries.
A Family Game Day of Wii games, board games, and cards is scheduled Sunday, July 11, 1-4 p.m.
Kids entering grade five and up are invited to dress as their favorite character and enjoy fun fantasy activities and games at a “Harry Potter vs. Percy Jackson” program on Sunday, Aug. 8, 1-4 p.m.
Visit www.hclib.org for information on all Hennepin County Libraries.