While in Minneapolis last week for the Public Library Association conference, we were able to visit the new dowtown Minneapolis Central Library. It's a beautiful space with an interactive Children's area, cool Teen Zone, meeting space, and floors of lovely furniture and stacks literally hoppin' with people. The library serves as an anchor in the downtown and will be very close to the yet-to-be-built Twins baseball stadium. As both of these icons are family destinations the city is using an overage in ballpark revenue to open library doors on Sunday at 18 branches including the new Central Library.
We were also treated to the unveiling of the new master plan for New Orleans Public Library. Irvin Mayfield, Cultural Ambassador to the City of New Orleans, world renowned jazz musician, and president of the NOPL Library Board, talked about the themes of Jazz and how they relate to libraries, especially the NOPL. Jazz is all about trancendence and flexibility; it's about improvisatation (improve and create); it's about the Blues and American optimism; and it's about swing--"it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing." Libraries embody all of these Jazz themes, by transcending the buildings in which they are housed and becoming the true heart of the community.