History of Roosevelt Library Part II

Roosevelt Library has served a population of over 50,000 in its community. The photo above is the library in 1936. During World War II the library was essential, “Of vast importance in wartime is the library work with children,” wrote Roosevelt Librarian Gertrude Loehl.  “With the mother a defense worker out of the home, more and more children look to the library as a place of warmth and amusement.”

The library in 1962 decided to experiment with purchasing paperback books for teens.  Roosevelt was selected as the pilot location for the paperback project because of its proximity to a high school.

In 1973 the library building was modernized and a parking lot and air conditioning were added.

The library was designated a historic landmark in 1997.

In 2002  a new mixed used library at 38th Street and 23rd Avenue was endorsed by the neighborhood advisory team but uncertain economic conditions shelved that project.    More plans for renovations were made in 2005 but those were also shelved and the Minneapolis Public Library Board voted to shutter the library in 2007 for budgetary reasons.

With the 2008 merger between Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library, Roosevelt was reopened.  It closed for renovation in 2012.

Roosevelt Library will have a grand reopening at 9:30 a.m. on June 1st. Start your morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring elected officials and other speakers. Doors open at 10 a.m. Check out books, embark on a scavenger hunt, and explore your new library!