When the Ridgedale Library reopens more than a year from now following a major makeover, it will cater to even more patrons' demands for internet connectivity to acquire information.
Among the details revealed last week by officials with the Hennepin County Library system ahead of the library's closure on July 9 for renovation are the installation of more computers, improved Wi-Fi coverage and more power stations for patrons' devices.
The 36-year-old library, in Minnetonka near the Ridgedale shopping mall, has not had an overhaul since 1999.
"This renovation is designed to ensure we meet the expectations of patrons who expressed their wishes about what they wanted their library to be," Lois Langer Thompson, the library system's director, said in a statement that accompanied the latest update on the makeover.
Other changes as part of the $21.4 million project include:
• A more open floor plan that will offer easier access to the collections and lower shelving to showcase the large windows and views to the outside.
• New furniture placed in varied seating options.
• More natural light and LED lighting throughout.
• A "sensory room" designed to accommodate the needs of patrons with autism.
• A room for mothers needing to nurse or anyone wishing to pray or meditate.
More than 300,000 visits were made to the library last year.
Ridgedale is the latest of the system's libraries to be renovated. The state's largest system has long had a goal of updating each of its 41 libraries every 12 years.
During the overhaul, the exterior book return will be unaffected, and a pickup area for reserved items will operate on the second floor.
Other government offices located in the building — the service center, courts and human services — will remain open. Same goes for the coffee shop.