Plans for new Southdale Library building progressing

landscape highlighting native plants and a library building in the distance

Hennepin County hosted a community meeting at Southdale Library Saturday, January 20, as part of a series of events to engage the public and share updates on the Southdale Library building project.

Southdale is the fourth busiest library in the Hennepin County Library system. This project provides an opportunity to improve accessibility, strengthen programming and partnerships, and showcase sustainable design at one of the busiest branches in the county.

Community engagement

Southdale Library serves residents in the south metro cities of Edina, Richfield, South Minneapolis, and Bloomington. Nearly 30% of Edina and Richfield residents are under the age of 18; a new library is a generational investment in learning, literacy, and enrichment. In addition to engaging with and gathering feedback from library patrons and county residents through surveys and community meetings, Hennepin County staff have also been meeting with local government agencies, including the cities of Edina and Richfield, to discuss plans.

Incorporating feedback into design

Community, local government, and staff feedback is important as plans progress on the Southdale Library project. We are incorporating feedback from the community as the new design is taking shape. The new Southdale Library will be a hub for lifelong learning and creativity. The space will be accessible, welcoming, include lots of natural light and outdoor/green space, and be connected to neighborhoods and public amenities. The project will include a local traffic study to ensure the new design will maintain ease of movement and safety for all visitors, no matter their choice of transit. The library will include defined areas for adult, teen, and children’s collections. It will also include small and large meeting rooms.

Sustainability remains a priority

The vision for the Southdale Library site is about library services, and so much more. The site will include renewable resources like solar and geothermal to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Several acres of the site will be returned to a more native state with native plants covering the landscape and promoting diversity of living species while supporting the surrounding natural environment. Landscape design will manage 95% of annual average rainfall, reduce stormwater runoff, and maximize porous paving (a paving treatment that allows water to flow through it). The landscape design will also provide outdoor learning and play opportunities for library patrons of all ages.

Project updates

Construction on the project is set to begin in mid-2025 with completion expected in late-2027.

Interested in receiving future updates on the project? Subscribe to the Southdale Library updates email list or visit the Southdale Library building project page.

A look at potential designs

Concepts depicting what the interior and exterior of the new Southdale Library could look like are included in this meeting summary (PDF 1.0 MB).