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Eden Prairie Library Records

Identifier: HCL 038

Description of Contents

This collection contains fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence, plans, maps, and other administrative records documenting the history of Eden Prairie Library from 1971 to 2018. The collection is divided into three series corresponding to the three different library buildings. The bulk of the collection documents the 479 Prairie Center Drive location.


  • Creation: 1971 - 2018



The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


The Eden Prairie Library is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and is one of 41 libraries of the Hennepin County Library system. The 40,000 square foot building houses a collection of 150,000 items, an automated materials handling system (AMH) for check in and rough sortation of materials, 82 public computers, two meeting rooms, a reading lounge with fireplace, a teen area, a children's area with a Family Reading Lounge, and several installations of artwork. At the time of its opening in 2004, the Eden Prairie Library was the first public building in Minnesota to incorporate a hydrogen fuel cell to produce electricity. The Eden Prairie Library has the highest circulation of all the Hennepin County libraries; in 2012 the number of materials circulated amounted to over 1,165,000 items.

Eden Prairie’s first community library was located in the Eden Prairie Consolidated School, which opened in 1924. The school board contracted with Hennepin County Library to use the school library space, and the first librarians were responsible for managing both the school and county library collections. Eventually the school collection increased to the point that there was no space for the county collection and the partnership with the school library was dissolved in the 1950s. The Hennepin County Bookmobile then served the community until the 1970s. The first independent location of the community library opened in 1972 as the Eden Prairie Reading Center, a 1540 square foot double Quonset hut located at 7420 Eden Prairie Road, with a collection of 12,000 items. In 1986 a new 15,000 square foot building was completed on Prairie Center Drive at a cost of $1.58 million. This new location became known as the Eden Prairie Community Library, with an expanded collection of 47,000 items.

Eden Prairie experienced rapid growth during the next two decades, growing from a population of 16,000 in 1980 to a population of 54,000 in 2000. Hennepin County Library saw the need for a larger facility in the community, and a new location became available one block away in a former Lund’s grocery store space. Groundbreaking for the $17.6 million renovation project, designed by Minneapolis-based architects Bentz/Thompson/Rietow, took place in July 2002, but the project was put on hold in March 2003 when general contractor Oakwood Builders defaulted on construction work due to financial problems. The project suffered a six-month shut down until The Keystone Group was chosen to complete the construction. Water damage occurring during the shut down required remediation work, adding $1 million in cost to the county. After a delay of nearly a year the new Eden Prairie Library opened its doors to the public on August 12, 2004.


2.1 Linear Feet (5 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of Eden Prairie Library in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, from 1971 to 2018. Eden Prairie Library is part of the Hennepin County Library.

Custodial History

Portions of this collection (accession 2018.16) were previously managed by Hennepin County Library Officially Withdrawn, an organization for retired and former staff of Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection contains materials transferred to the archives by Hennepin County Library administration in 2017 as accession 2018.38 and in 2018 as accession 2018.16.

Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

This is one of many collections documenting Hennepin County Library locations. For photographs, see HCL 002 Hennepin County Library Photographs. See also Bloomington West Library Records.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by KP McClintock and Matt Berning, supervised by Jenna Jacobs, from September 2018 to April 2019.

Eden Prairie Library Records
KP McClintock, Matt Berning, and Jenna Jacobs
January 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.