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Recent News
Hennepin County Library – Hopkins, 22-11th Ave. N., a community landmark and gathering place for 100 years, invites all ages to celebrate its centennial at free festivities in May and June. 
Exhibits celebrating the library’s centennial will be displayed beginning in May. The exhibits include historical stories, photos --  including some on loan from the Hopkins Historical Society, 100 best children’s and 100 best adult books from the past 100 years, and a display of photos of community families entitled “Portraits of Us.” “Portraits of Us” is funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, sponsored by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency, and presented in collaboration with the Minnesota Historical Society.
Kids, teens and adults are invited to draw or tell their favorite library memory or story. Submit a memory or story online at http://www.hclib.org/pub/info/hopkins100.cfm or fill out a form at the library. Entries will be displayed in the library.
Additionally, “Libraries of Minnesota” author Doug Ohman will present a free program on Tuesday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m.  And area residents are invited to a community celebration on Sunday, June 3, 1-3 p.m. sponsored by the Friends of the Hopkins Library.
“The Hopkins’ Library’s centennial celebration is a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the community to learn about the library’s history and to acknowledge its enduring importance to residents today,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison. “For 100 years, the Hopkins Library has improved lives by offering free access to books and other resources. Today, technology such as computers and downloadables have been added to the mix, and librarians help patrons make sense of information overload on the Internet. By celebrating the centennial, we’re honoring the past and looking forward to a future where Hopkins residents are even more literate, more informed and more successful, thanks in part to the library.”
The Friends of the Hopkins Library are sponsoring Ohman’s May 8 program. The professional photographer is author of 13 books about Minnesota’s architecture, historic sites, and state parks, all illustrated with his spectacular photos. “Libraries of Minnesota,” his latest, features more than 100 photos of libraries around the state, from elegant Carnegies to today’s modern structures replete with technology. It includes essays written by some of Minnesota’s most well-known writers of children’s and young adult literature about their library experiences.
Books will be available for purchase and signing.
“Happy 100th: Then, Today, Tomorrow,” an open house with programs and activities for all ages, will be held on Sunday, June 3, 1-3 p.m.  Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison and Hennepin County Library Director Lois Langer Thompson will welcome the community and offer remarks about the library’s centennial. 
Tales of the Dow House (the library’s home from 1948 to 1963) and ghosts, plus photo displays, will celebrate 100 years of the Hopkins Library. Local authors Anne Ursu, former Hopkins children’s librarian Maryann Weidt, and JoAnn Bren Guernsey will lead all ages on an authors’ walk.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Kristin Kaspar, a Hopkins resident and history major, researched and wrote a history of the Hopkins Library for the centennial.  Among its highlights:
  • In 1910, the village of West Minneapolis, as the city of Hopkins was known at the time, was a bustling community, population about 3,000.  As businesses, housing, churches, and other buildings sprang up in the area, the Women’s Improvement League convinced city officials that the village needed a library.  In 1912, a library was organized and housed in three rooms in City Hall on 8th and Excelsior Avenue (now Mainstreet). The library was stocked with books provided by the League and high school alumni, and staffed by volunteers and its first librarian, Lillian Wheeler. 
  • By 1915, the library had 800 books, checked out about 450 books each month, and had issued 1,050 library cards.  Children’s story hours were attended by as many as 175 children. 
  • A collection of 1200 Czech language books was donated to the library by the Western Bohemian Fraternal Association of Glen Lake (many town residents were immigrants from the Czech Republic).
  • In 1931, the community discussed merging its independent library with Hennepin County Library to improve access to resources, but the village council voted in favor of the library remaining independent. 
  • In 1932, Bloomie Mountain began her 30-year tenure as the village librarian, a period during which the library’s collection grew from 3,600 volumes to more than 28,000.
  • In 1948, in need of more space for its growing collection, the library moved into the Dow House, a 15-room Victorian brick mansion built in 1894 by Daniel and Belinda Dow at 9th and First Street South, where the U.S. Post Office is now located.  Kaspar notes that the library had “two large fireplaces on each side of the South Parlor. A large staircase led upstairs to the children’s section. Circulation, Reference, Fiction, and Non-Fiction were all on the first floor housed in the various rooms. In the dining room, the shelves were so tall and over-burdened that the public was not allowed into the section.”
  • In 1963, to improve public access to its collection, the library moved into a new temporary location at 9th Street North and Mainstreet (now law offices). 
  • In 1968, a new library was constructed at 22-11th Ave. N. 
  • In 1973, the Hopkins Library merged with the Hennepin County Library system to enhance resources and better meet patron needs.
  • In the 1990s, the 1,000 books that remained in the Czech language collection were donated to the Hopkins History Center, then to the University of Minnesota’s Immigration Research Center.
  • In 2002, coinciding with other redevelopment projects on Mainstreet, the Hopkins Library was renovated to improve customer service and work flow, make room for more computers, and expand the meeting room.  Since then, other library improvements have included an expanded teen area and lounge along the front windows. 
  • In 2010, an early literacy play area called “Main Street Hopkins,” funded by a National Leadership Planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in partnership with the Minnesota Children’s Museum, was created near the children’s collection.
  • Other recent improvements to the library include stained glass art, new furnishings, and year-round programs for all ages funded by the Friends of the Hopkins Library.
Hopkins librarian Lisa Bjerken said, “Although the library building and its resources and services have changed tremendously over the past century, we continue to serve a diversity of people, and library patrons still love to read and rely on their library for information, education, and enrichment. We think the library will continue to transform, respond to patron needs and be a vital part of the Hopkins community in the next 100 years.”
For more information about the centennial events and the Hopkins Library, call 612-543-6400 or go online to www.hclib.org, click on Library Information, then Location & Hours, then Hopkins.

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