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Hennepin County Library Permanently Closes the Franklin Learning Center

By LINDSEY FENNER

First shuttered due to the Franklin Library remodel project in 2019 and then COVID-19 in 2020/21, Hennepin County Library (HCL) has decided to permanently close the Franklin Learning Center (FLC), the adult education service at Franklin Library. Hennepin County Library has made no public announcement about ending this valued community resource as of July 13, when the alley contacted them for comment.

The Franklin Learning Center ca 2012

Josh Yetman, HCL spokesperson, declined to answer questions about why the decision was made to permanently close the Franklin Learning Center, who made the decision, and if any community members and stakeholders were involved in the decision-making process. The Hennepin County Library system is governed by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners with an advisory Library Board of county residents appointed by the County Board. Angela Conley is the County Commissioner representing the Phillips neighborhood. Chad Helton is the Library Director, who was appointed in August 2020.

The Franklin Learning Center was founded in 1988, and provided one-on-one citizenship test, GED, and adult basic education tutoring. Although most information about the FLC was removed from the HCL website, the most recently available 2018 HCL Annual Report highlighted the achievements of the Franklin Learning Center. It noted that 74 FLC learners had become American citizens and that there were 20,650 study hours at the FLC during the report year.

See the alleyā€¯™s Library News on page 2 for other adult education resources.

Lindsey is an employee of Hennepin County Library and a former FLC volunteer.

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