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2012 Annual Report
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Thank you for helping to make 2012 an excellent year for library service in Hennepin County. An estimated 5.4 million visits to our libraries. An estimated 21.1 million visits to our website. You came to us with book requests and reference questions, for storytimes and Wi-Fi. We came to you at senior residences, schools, community events and more. As always, it was our pleasure to serve you in buildings, online and in the community.

Almost 70 percent of Hennepin County residents are active library card holders, and the county supports your love of libraries in 41 library buildings. We are currently working with the county on four major library building projects, as well as a number of smaller projects to update and maintain our buildings.

We are always improving. Our talented staff are finding new ways to evaluate, streamline and innovate to advance the Library’s mission and vision, and to ensure our services remain relevant. We are spending our resources carefully and listening to your feedback continuously. Read on for a taste of our 2012 accomplishments and a look at the services we provide every day to nourish minds, transform lives and build community together.

Lois Langer Thompson
Director, Hennepin County Library

Hennepin County Library actively promotes the love of reading for all ages. We introduce parents and caregivers to simple yet powerful ways to prepare children to become readers. We create library environments that encourage families to talk, sing, read, write and play together. We provide access to reading materials that are of interest to students and adults, and we connect readers with each other through in-person and online book clubs.

Spotlight On: RFID Tagging
RFID stands for “radio frequency identification.” It is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic (RFID) tag through a reader for the purpose of identifying and tracking an object. RFID tags are unique, similar to barcodes.

In 2012, Hennepin County Library added RFID tags to nearly 1.7 million collection items and completed RFID tagging in 39 of 41 libraries. The Library also began tagging new items as they are added to the collection. Overall, Hennepin County Library has about 4.2 million items to tag, and RFID tagging continues into 2013.

The results of RFID tagging are quicker, more efficient pulling of requested items by staff and faster, more accurate checkout of materials by patrons. RFID tags also serve as security devices, helping to protect the Library’s collection.

Hennepin County Library is a county leader in supporting graduation. We give students access to tutors and homework help both in-person and live online. We provide computers with software programs and digital resources that students need. We have safe, clean spaces in which to study, think, learn and work with peers. Most important, we connect students with librarians and other adult mentors who care and are invested in their success.

Spotlight On: Homework Hub Alignment
Hennepin County Library understands there is more to student success than completing assignments. In 2012, the Library began work to align Homework Hub, our free tutoring program for K-12 students, with Hennepin County’s A-GRAD (Accelerating Graduation by Reducing Achievement Disparities) project to increase graduation rates across the county.

Literature reviews, staff training, program model testing, and other 2012 efforts positioned Homework Hub to operate more effectively in 2013 and help prepare students for graduation.

In 2013, Homework Hub is improving in key areas including volunteer retention, parent engagement and student recruitment, and staff are developing an effective ongoing evaluation method in partnership with the Hennepin County Research, Planning, and Development Department.

Hennepin County Library sees community engagement as essential to success. We engage community members who are passionate about their library through local Friends groups and community advisory committees for library building projects. We bring resources to the community through service to immigrants and outreach to seniors, at-home patrons and residents of county correctional facilities. We connect with patrons where they are through social media.

Spotlight On: Community Advisory Committees
Using Hennepin County standards, the Library aims to create spaces that are innovative, easy to access and welcoming, and configured to serve the new and broader purposes of a 21st-century library.

In 2012, construction began on a new Walker Library and the schematic design for a new Excelsior Library was approved. The schematic design contract for a new Brooklyn Park Library also was approved. Community advisory committees have actively participated in the work of each of these ongoing library building projects.

Advisory committees composed of community members and other stakeholders are bringing local perspectives and a diversity of ideas to the planning and design process to ensure new library buildings and their services meet distinct community needs.

Hennepin County Library supports job-seekers, business owners and entrepreneurs. We work with leading volunteer organizations to provide job and small business counseling. We offer public spaces for meetings and trainings, and public computers with Internet access and software to get things done. We also share reference and research resources that assist with job searching, career and business planning, and more.

Spotlight On: Teen Job Fair
Hennepin County Library strives to deliver relevant library services to Hennepin County residents, including programs that encourage local economic development. In 2012, the Teen Job Fair at Hennepin County Library — Minneapolis Central connected nearly 1,000 job-seeking young people with more than 30 area businesses and organizations.

At the annual Teen Job Fair, young people talk to employers about the hiring process, on-the-job expectations and more. Employers talk to teens about short-term and summer employment, job readiness programs, and volunteer and educational opportunities.

The 2012 fair was a joint effort of Hennepin County Library, Achieve Minneapolis, the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development, the Minneapolis Workforce Center’s Zone for Teens, the Minneapolis Youth Congress and the Mall of America.

Hennepin County Library partners with patrons in their lifelong learning. We present craft and hobby clubs, author events and other free programs to ensure residents of all ages — kids, teens and adults — have opportunities to remain active and vitally engaged. We develop classes as new technologies take hold to help shrink the digital divide, and we provide top databases and Special Collections for use by students, genealogists and other researchers.

Spotlight On: Digitizing Collections
Hennepin County Library is digitizing high-use, rare and unique Special Collections materials to make them more accessible and to preserve them. The Library’s digital collections include maps, programs, photographs, posters, reports, yearbooks, catalogs, oral histories and art. These materials are free to anyone online through the Library’s website and through the Minnesota Digital Library.

In 2012, the Library worked to digitize Minneapolis City Directories, historic city maps and business trade catalogs, early 20th-century news photographs, oral history recordings and transcriptions, and more. The Library’s digital collections have received more than 2 million hits in the past year, an increase of 100 percent in just two years.

The Library digitizes its collections materials in-house, as well as through partnerships with outside organizations and grant-funded contracts with commercial vendors.

Love! Awesome. Magic. Much affection. Very grateful. You used these words to describe Hennepin County Library in 2012. We feel the same way about you. Thank you for your support.

View last year’s Annual Report

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