On May 20, 2006, the Minneapolis Public Library’s new Central Library opened its doors. Now, normally a library opening wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 buildingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
For more information, visit www.mpls.lib.mn.us/index.asp.