Celebrate National Library Week at One of Our Top Libraries

We have a huge literary culture in Minnesota. We’re home to many well-known authors and even more libraries and independent bookstores. Once again, Connecticut State University listed Minneapolis (No. 3) and St. Paul (No. 12) on its list of America’s Most Literate Cities in 2011. And it makes sense!

It all starts with our libraries. Just for example, the Hennepin County Library system (which encompasses the Minneapolis Central Library, our awesome 350,000-square-foot Cesar Pelli-designed beauty; take a tour) had nearly 6 million visits to its libraries in 2011. Those visitors attended more than 3,000 story times and checked out or downloaded more than 17 million items. (The recent ability to “check out” library books on my Kindle was one of the best things to happen to me in 2011, no joke.)

Well, it’s National Library Week (April 8-14), so that’s only another reason to get out and visit. If you’re visiting, you don’t have to miss out on celebrating books and libraries; our sites have events and resources for everyone. The happenings go on year round, but there are several you can catch this week, and throughout the month.

Baseball: America’s Game: View photos, videos, and artifacts that explore the history of American baseball. On Tuesday, April 10, attend a panel discussion with local authors and baseball historians who talk about why baseball is so important to our culture. Through June 15 at Minneapolis Central.

Saturday Live: Head to the St. Paul Central Library for youth events featuring puppets, animals, live music, and more. This Saturday, April 14, kids can enjoy the folk music of Ten Penney Tunes.

Snow White: Old & New: Kids can enjoy a theatrical retelling of Snow White and then create their own fairy tale book. April 14 at Minneapolis Central.

Drake University String Ensemble: Making its Minnesota debut, this ensemble will play Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. April 15 at the St. Paul Central Library.

Pen Pals: Dr. Brian Greene: One of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and authors makes the complex world of science accessible and enjoyable to the general public. April 19 at Hopkins Center for the Arts. The Pen Pals series is the longest-running literary series in the Twin Cities; proceeds benefit the Hennepin County Library.

Real-Phonic Radio Hour with Charlie Parr: Have a cocktail, chat about poetry, music, and the arts, and listen to American roots music. April 26 at James J. Hill Reference Library in downtown St. Paul.

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