Westonka Library engages community in planning for new building

Site concept showing relationship between surrounding natural environment and new Westonka Library building

General site concept showing relationship between surrounding natural environment and new Westonka Library building. Building design and floor plans are in development and will be shared at a future community engagement session.

Hennepin County Library hosted an open house at Westonka Library Tuesday, July 18, as part of a series of events to engage the public in the upcoming new build project. These events will give residents an opportunity to hear about the upcoming project, view drawings and floor plans, and share their feedback.

In addition to considering library services, collection, and cardholder data, since the spring of 2023, Hennepin County Library, and project partners, has been engaging community members and Westonka Library staff in a variety of ways to gather input for the new Westonka Library building. 

We heard you 

It is important for us to hear from community members who use the library. The number one takeaway from reviewing the data collected through community engagement efforts is that Westonka Library is a beloved and essential part of the community.  

More than 25% of survey respondents said they would go to the library more if the physical space had more natural light, room to spread out, space for kids and teens, and better space for individual and group work, better wayfinding, more accessible parking, and an easier-to-use book return.

Another highly requested change is a larger browsable collection. Respondents of all ages said they wanted an up-to-date selection of popular and entertaining materials, as well as collections that reflect a variety of formats, reading levels, and interests.  

More than books

Westonka Library is an essential community hub. It is a place to explore, learn, and play. Patrons see the library as a space to gather and connect with family, friends, and neighbors, access county and community resources, attend classes and events, and use technology. Having fun is a top priority for both adults and youth. Spaces, both inside and outside of the building, should facilitate community-based conversation, gathering, and events. 

Many survey respondents commented on their desire for more natural light, a sustainable design, and connections to the surrounding natural environment.


The new Westonka Library will be built with sustainability at the forefront.

  • Net-Zero: A feasibility study for designing a net-zero library facility was conducted in 2018/2019. A net-zero building balances energy used with energy produced through on-site renewable sources such as geothermal heat source and solar panels. The study found that the Westonka Library, based on its building size and ample south-facing site, would be an ideal candidate for a net-zero facility. This project is expected to have a payback of 13 years. 
  • Tree preservation: A significant number of healthy, mature existing trees surrounding the current building will remain. Those trees to be preserved are denoted in green on the graphic above.
  • Water management: The flow of water on the site will inform the building location and design, and 92% of stormwater will be managed on site.  
  • Waste diversion: Recycling, salvage, and reuse of 75% of construction and demolition waste will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.  

Project updates

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