Southdale Library community meeting engages residents in planning for new building

a word cloud with many words, the top words being one-level, accessible, and welcoming

Word cloud showing what survey respondents are looking for in a new Southdale Library.

Hennepin County Library hosted a community meeting at Southdale Library Thursday, August 31, as part of a series of events to engage the public in the upcoming new build project. In addition to considering library services, collection, and cardholder data, since the spring of 2023, Hennepin County Library has been engaging community members and Southdale Library staff in a variety of ways to gather input for the new Southdale Library building.

We heard you

Community and staff feedback is important as the county plans for the future of Southdale Library. Since 2017 the library has been engaging with community and sharing feedback with project planners and architects. More than 1,000 people responded to the most recent community engagement survey. The main takeaway from the survey is that respondents would like the new Southdale Library to be accessible, one-level, and welcoming, with access to natural light and outdoor/green space.

Respondents also said they want a collection that is easier to browse with more displays highlighting new materials, and multiple copies of new and popular titles available for checkout. In addition, respondents would like space near collections to sit and read; “reading nooks” and comfortable seating in all areas of the building was requested.

Multipurpose space

Libraries are an essential community hub. They are places to explore, learn, play, and gather. Hennepin County Library has been hearing from residents over the years that partnerships matter and are a way the library connects community to a wide range of programs and services. This is why the county is currently exploring partnerships, including with the City of Edina/Edina Art Center to create a space for both thinking and making.

Details of partnerships will be shared at future community meetings.

Sustainability is a priority

MSR Design, the architectural firm contracted for this project, is designing the new Southdale Library with sustainability at the forefront. This firm designed the Maple Grove Library and the recently renovated Eden Prairie Library in Hennepin County and won an international award for their design of the Missoula Public Library in Montana. The team will use county and state documents as a guide from which the sustainability of this project will be built. Those documents are:

Project updates

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