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In this unparalleled age of information, technology and learning, Hennepin County Library welcomes all who seek to be literate, educated, entertained, inspired and involved. A large and wide-ranging collection of free library resources, services, classes and programs invites all to explore their potential. Patrons from across the globe flock to the great gathering spaces of these cornerstones of democracy to expand their knowledge, understanding and universe. Today, the inquisitive minds and creative spirits who pass through Hennepin County Library's doors or visit it virtually symbolize the Library as much as the bricks-and-mortar buildings themselves.

Hennepin County Library is consistently recognized as one of the top library systems in the United States. Forty-one libraries, outreach to people who can't go to a library, and online resources provide library service to a diverse population of 1.2 million Hennepin County residents in an area of 611 square miles.

Hennepin County Library's vision is to support and foster a community that is reading, learning, graduating, working and engaging. With the Library Board and the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, the Library strives to fulfill its mission to nourish minds, transform lives and build community together.

Cardholders
• More than 860,000 people have library cards and are considered active users. Almost 70 percent of Hennepin County residents have a library card and have used it within the past three years.

Visits
• There were an estimated 5.8 million in-person visits to the 41 libraries in 2011.
• There were more than 21.4 million visits to the Hennepin County Library website, www.hclib.org in 2011 – an increase of 1.5 million over 2010.
• Hennepin County Library's Facebook page: 6,300 friends and counting.
• People who follow HCL on Twitter: 4,700 and counting.

Collection
• Approximately 5 million books, CDs, DVDs, electronic resources and other items.
• More than 18.3 million items were checked out in 2011, including over 7.4 million checkouts of children's and teen materials, and more than 450,000 downloads of eBooks and other content. This compares to 17.5 million checkouts in 2010.
• Items checked out per capita: 15.9.
• 155 subscription databases were accessed more than 840,000 times in 2011. In comparison, 135 databases were accessed about 630,000 times in 2010.
• New Freegal online music database became available; patrons can download three free Sony Music selections each week.
• Some of the oldest Minneapolis school yearbooks in Special Collections were digitized to provide online access.

'Ask Us' Reference Service
• More than 820,000 reference questions were asked at libraries and online in 2011.
• Text messaging access to Ask Us reference service became available in September 2011

Technology
• There were 1,807 public computers in Hennepin County libraries in 2011.
• Library computers were accessed more than 2.9 million times by library patrons in 2011.
• Hennepin County Library's mobile app was launched in March 2011.

Outreach
Outreach services were provided at 93 sites, including senior housing sites and correctional facilities throughout Hennepin County in 2011..
• Outreach liaisons assisted Hmong-, Somali- and Spanish-speaking residents.
At Home Service provided library service to more than 950 patrons who could not go to a library due to disability, illness or lack of transportation..

Programs, Events, Classes
• More than 9,000 programs and classes were presented in 2011.
• More than 200,000 children, teens and adults attended library-sponsored programs in 2011.
• Program highlights included children's workshops presented in partnership with the Guthrie Theater; the fifth annual Teen Job Fair; "Bookawocky" summer programs; "125 Years of Library Service in Hennepin County" exhibit; and Family History Fair.

Volunteers
• More than 2,400 adult and teen volunteers and Friends of the Library contributed almost 100,000 hours of service in 2011.

Resources
• A $69.9 million operating budget was approved for 2012.
• Hennepin County Library is a department of Hennepin County Government and reports to County Administration and the County Board of Commissioners.
•The Library Board is an advisory board that reports to the County Board and helps Library staff define and meet the Library's mission.
• The Friends of the Hennepin County Library enriches the resources and enhances the potential of the Hennepin County Library.

Awards in 2011
• Achievement Award for "Freedom Ticket: A Partnership Paving the Way for Successful Re-entry," a collaboration between Hennepin County Library and Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation. Freedom Ticket provides programs and resources to help offenders make positive changes so as not to reoffend, which results in lowering the cost of incarceration and improving public safety.
• Upper Midwest Emmy® Award in Interview/Discussion, Program/Special/Series category for "Life Changing Art" video co-produced by tpt, a companion video to the "Art of Aging" exhibit at Minneapolis Central Library.
• Two honorable mention awards from the American Library Association's Public Relations and Marketing "Best of Show" competition: Special Events and Programs, print category and Bibliographies and Booklists
• Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)'s Exceptional Service Award to Outreach Services. The award recognizes exceptional service to persons who are homebound, to inmates, to older adults, and to adults with a physical or mental disability who live in group homes or residences. Award also recognizes professional leadership, effective interpretation of programs, pioneering activity and significant research.

*NOTE: Nokomis and Northeast libraries were closed for part of 2011.

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