Library of the Future Now Open in Minneapolis

On May 20, 2006, the Minneapolis Public Library’s new Central Library opened its doors. Now, normally a library opening wouldn’t seem like something a genre traveler would be interested in. But this library is different.

Not only is its look futuristic, a look designed by Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, but how it does its job is something out of The Jetsons, as well. The building’s skin is made from transparent and translucent, light-controlling “channeled” glass etched with Minnesota imagery. Patrons use electronic kiosks to check out their own books. Librarians use wireless devices to communicate with each other. And, it sports a “green roof” planted with ground-cover.

In addition, the $125 million building features Teen Central, a studying space designed by local teenagers; 25 community meeting and study rooms; a state-of-the-art auditorium; and a center for new Americans.

Before the Central Library was built, only 15 percent of the library’s 2.4 million-item collection was available to the public. Now they have access to nearly 100% of the collection.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.