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Saturday June 24th 2017

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Franklin Library 100 Years

At 1314 East Franklin Avenue

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This issue of The Alley Newspaper begins a series about a library–our Library. Albert Einstein tells us that “the only thing that you absolutely need to know, is the location of the library.” Well then, that’s easy; our Library is at 1314 East Franklin Avenue since 1914. Yes, 100 years of support by the community and of it supporting the community.

Franklin Community Library has been a gathering place for new immigrants and lifelong learners since 1914 at 1314 East Franklin Avenue and before that at a rented space nearby. In its early years it featured a large Scandinavian collection, as the community was heavily populated with newcomers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Today, the surrounding neighborhoods are home to people from all ethnicities and walks of life, including many who are learning English as a second language. To meet the needs of its diverse users, Franklin Library’s World Language collection focuses on materials in Somali and Spanish. Adult Learning materials and a large American Indian collection are also featured at Franklin. The library complex includes the Phillips Technology Center and the Franklin Learning Center, and a popular after-school homework help program.

The Franklin renovation combines preservation of historic features with updated technology to create a library learning environment for people of all ages. New elements include a children’s pavilion and storybook room to welcome young visitors, an area designed especially for teens, comfortable seating in front of the two historic fireplaces, and a community meeting room. In addition to a collection of books, media, and magazines for children, teens, and adults, more than thirty new computers are available for public use. 

Franklin Library Building Facts:

  • The oldest of three existing Andrew Carnegie funded Libraries in Minneapolis and one of 66 in Minnesota.
  • Is on the National Registry of Historic Places and has Minneapolis Historic Preservation Commission status.
  • Was closed in 2004 for renovation designed by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle Architects but maintained reduced operation next door on Franklin Avenue.
  • Had a Grand Reopening May 7, 2005.
  • Library Collection is on the main level; multipurpose room, computer lab, and literacy center on lower level; 13,000 sq. ft.

Special Features

  • Children’s pavilion
  • Franklin Learning Center est.1988.
  • Phillips Technology Center est. 1997
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