February 17, 2018

Minneapolis PL To Close Three Branches Temporarily

By LJ Staff

As hinted, a one-year $1.2 million increase in the budget for the Minneapolis Public Library (MPL) won’t be enough for the library board to keep three of 15 branches open. The board wants to budget on a three-year basis, and without assurances of continued funds, will close the branches. However, the library will not sell the buildings, as once contemplated, since it will revisit the question after the next legislative session, in which the state may restore some Local Government Aid that has squeezed the city and thus the library.

"If they can reopen at any time next year given that they were under consideration for being closed permanently, then that will be remarkable," Board Member Laurie Savran told the Star-Tribune. "Unfortunately, I can’t predict that will happen. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there will be enough funds to accomplish that." In an op-ed, City Council Member Diane Hofstede wrote that many efforts are in process to boost the library budget. "It is our job as elected officials, and that of the broader community of citizens, to ensure that this basic city service is continued. Do we dare look into a future that has even one less library?"