MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A library that’s taken years of planning opens its doors Saturday in Uptown Minneapolis.

The first thing you notice inside the new Walker Library is it’s a lot more colorful than the one you grew up with. And, it’s more than just paint, according to librarian Lois Lenroot-Ernt.

“As the sun travels across the sky, [the skylights] are going to change colors. If you come the morning they’re kind of blue, and then as the light changes … they’re going to be different colors,” Lenroot-Ernt said.

The library definitely has a more contemporary feel. To go with it, they’ve added modern touches.

“We’ve put a lot more power, recognizing we have mobile technology,” she said. “Everybody has an iPad or a phone.”

There are also more computers to meet the increasing demand for internet access. To address this issue, they’ve supplemented with a kind of iPad vending machine.

“We could fill the library with computers and we might not have enough,” she said.

The new Walker also has the amenities you’d expect in a library, including quiet. This is thanks in part to extensive sound-proofing on one of Minneapolis’ busiest streets.

“People do like to come to a library and read still, and if you stand here you realize you really aren’t hearing that much of Hennepin Avenue,” Lenroot-Ernt said.

The children’s section even brings the books down the kids’ level.

“A 3-year-old might not be able to read the word ‘dinosaurs,’ but they know what it is, you know, and they can pick that book out on their own,” she said.

There’s also touches of history throughout, including the old library letters which are now located out back, and a familiar view from the front.

“We didn’t forget the about the old. The very old library is right across the street. It’s the original Walker Library, and it’s great because it’s sort of framed in these windows here,” she said. “So, trying to connect the neighborhood was really important to us.”

There’s live music and kid-friendly activities as part of the Grand Opening celebration on Saturday.


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