Minneapolis’ Quatrefoil: America’s 2nd-Oldest LGBTQ Library

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While most libraries offer literature on numerous topics by countless authors, one library in Minneapolis has found success in sticking with one single collection.

The Quatrefoil Library features only materials and information related to the LGBTQ community.

The intersection of knowledge and understanding can be found at 13th Avenue and East Lake Street in Minneapolis.

The Quatrefoil Library is a place for research, learning and literary escape.

quatrefoil library Minneapolis Quatrefoil: Americas 2nd Oldest LGBTQ Library

(credit: CBS)

“We have drama books, we have non-fiction, we have fiction. We have DVDs and we always get in new things,” said Howard Maki, a board member at Quatrefoil Library.

This library is not the average book collection. Every author, literary character, magazine and document has ties to the LGBTQ community.

“As far as I know, we are the only GLBT library in Minnesota,” Maki said.

Maki has known the value of this library for years. He started borrowing books as a patron years ago and eventually decided to become a board member.

“You really need an access or an outlet to learn about the lifestyle and to network with other folks,” Maki said.

The space is not only rich in the history of the gay movement, it’s also is an important piece of its story.

Quatrefoil is the second-oldest LGBTQ-focused library in the country.

“We’ve just celebrated our 30th anniversary on October of last year,” Maki said.

quatrefoil library 2 Minneapolis Quatrefoil: Americas 2nd Oldest LGBTQ Library

(credit: CBS)

Volunteers like Bill Scattergood help keep the doors to this private nonprofit open. He joined the library as a member 15 years ago, but wanted to do more.

“I got so much satisfaction and pleasure out of the library that I really felt I needed to pay it back in some way,” Scattergood said.

He has witnessed how the library can be a resource to help understand a life-defining moment.

The library has countless books, both fact and fiction, detailing the moment a character or person came out to their family.

“I’m just a person who does a lot of reading, and it was nice to encounter stories that have the depth and dimension to them,” Scattergood said.

While the space may be tailored to the LGBTQ community, this is a library that’s open to all.

“We really wish we were better known because we have a lot of interesting stuff,” Scattergood said. “I would like people to know it’s here and come in and feel comfortable.”

There are membership requirements to borrow books from the library. Click here for more information.

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