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Continued: Minnesota's libraries are rushing to adapt to a post-book world

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 2, 2014 - 9:51 PM

She seldom visited libraries in the past, she said, not wanting to lug heavy books or preferring to just buy a book rather than navigate library hours. Today, though, reading digital downloads, “I’m on the site several times a week.”

Libraries might be thought of as “changing the menu and how we serve the meal,” said Marlene Moulton Janssen, director of the Anoka County system, which has done very little building or renovation. “It’s less physical, more digital. But we’re still fulfilling the mission we’ve always had, to connect our communities to ideas, information and inspiration.”

 

David Peterson • 952-746-3285

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  • Alayne Hopkins, left, with daughter Beatrice, 3 months, and husband Peter Henke attended “Loud at the Library” at the James Hill Reference Library in St. Paul. The baby, wearing ear protection, napped while her parents enjoyed the nontraditional event.

  • After a 20-month renovation, the Nokomis Community Library has a 4,300-square-foot addition, with an area full of computers, a multipurpose room and a refreshed collection of books, CDs and DVDs.

  • Circulation falling

    Checkouts from the eight metro Twin Cities library systems have dropped.

    System 2013* 2012 2011 Change (’11-’12) % change

    Hennepin 15,794,253 16,656,427 18,357,619 -1,701,192 -9%

    Dakota 4,841,772 4,972,594 4,991,074 -18,480 -0.4%

    Ramsey 4,596,085 4,772,566 4,713,703 +58,863 +1%

    St. Paul 2,840,868 2,866,183 2,958,656 -92,473 -3%

    Anoka NA 2,801,865 2,908,120 -106,255 -4%

    Washington NA 1,953,551 2,116,189 -162,638 -8%

    Carver 1,038,309 1,077,983 1,113,621 -35,638 -3%

    Scott 845,000 892,242 978,654 -86,412 -9%

    *Some are unavailable yet or considered preliminary Sources: Minnesota Department of Education, library officials

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