Highland Park Library

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Located in the southwest quadrant of Saint Paul, this library serves a widely diverse clientele, in terms of culture, age, education, and income. It is one of only six libraries in the SPPL system that is open seven days a week, an indication of its high demand. Its users reflect every ethnic group living in Saint Paul, including a long-established Russian population and many newcomers from East African and Latin American countries. 

The library enjoys huge community support and also boasts the highest circulation of any branch in the SPPL system. Throngs of teens from Highland Park Senior High turn it into a lively place in the afternoons and evenings. Businesses and community residents of all ages use the branch for Wi-Fi connection or Internet access. Built in 1954 and modestly remodeled in 1995, this multi-level building is located in the heart of Highland Village and shares an entrance with the Hillcrest Recreation Center. However, its interior is inefficiently arranged, its computers always in demand, its teen space inadequate, and its group gathering spaces nearly non-existent. This library holds the promise of becoming a colorful, light-filled space that can morph into whatever the community needs through the use of modular, moveable furnishings, greater access to power sources for personal computer use, enhanced programming and meeting space, and a floor plan that allows for all kinds of learning.

Some highlights of the plans for Highland Park library include:

  • Upgrading exterior access and library identity for users
  • Creating an open floor plan and reorganizing collections to provide more space for people and less for booksSupport the Capital Campaign
  • Replacing large, fixed shelving and furnishings with modular, moveable ones
  • Adding windows to bring in more natural light
  • Creating an interactive, literacy-rich children’s area, using design elements from the Minnesota Children’s Museum
  • Creating a flexible, media and computer-rich Teen Zone
  • Creating a café environment for personal computer use, and upgrading Internet and data/communications systems
  • Providing infrastructure to receive future technology upgrades
  • Creating a technology-equipped, adaptable multi-purpose space for meetings and gatherings
  • Refurbishing staff areas and adding automated material handling systems
  • Installing self-check stations
  • Creating a beautiful outdoor reading and learning space
  • Enhancing signage, and relocating/improving book drop
  • Building and site security (cameras/alarms/access systems)