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Roosevelt Library Records

Identifier: HCL 055

Description of Contents

This collection contains fact sheets, brochures, building information, contracts, newspaper clippings, correspondence, plans, maps, and other administrative records documenting the history of Roosevelt Library from 1926 to 2012. Monthly reports are a good entry point to the collection. The collection also contains a 50-yard ribbon on which community members wrote their reasons for wanting Roosevelt Library reopened, presumably when the library was closed from December 2006 to 2008.


  • Creation: 1926 - 2013



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


Roosevelt Library was originally built inside and named for Roosevelt High School (named after Theodore Roosevelt) in Minneapolis's Standish neighborhood in 1922. It not only served the high school students, but also the adults of the neighborhood. However, Roosevelt soon outgrew the high school as the neighborhood flourished, so in 1926 the Minneapolis Public Library purchased a package of land directly west of Roosevelt High School for $28,000. They hired Klarquist, S.M. and Son to design the new library building. The architectural firm did so, designing a brick and wood building in the Tudor Revival style. The building was modeled after the original East Lake Community Library, also a Minneapolis library, although Roosevelt had a small amount of front yard space where East Lake did not.

On February 15, 1927, Roosevelt opened to the community at 4026 28th Avenue South.Upon opening the library's hours were 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday–Friday and 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The opening day staff were: Ada N. Whiting, Librarian; Eleanor Heimark, First Assistant; Volborg Sobba, Assistant; Lessley Chilson, Assistant; Wallace Petri, Page; Mina Jacobsen, Janitress.

In 1997 the building was recognized as a local historic landmark and on 26 May 2000 Roosevelt was added to the National Register of Historic Places which meaning it could not be destroyed or greatly altered using federal aid without a public hearing. 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 due to economics.

Due to funding cuts in the early 2000s, Roosevelt closed on all but three days per week. This continued until 2006 when funding cuts became even more drastic. On 29 December 2006, Roosevelt and two other Minneapolis libraries closed amid outcry from patrons and neighbors. During 2007, Minneapolis Public Library drew nearer to the merger with Hennepin County Library, who promised to reopen Roosevelt when and if the merger was approved. It was, and on 3 January 2008 Roosevelt was reopened (three days per week), now as part of the Hennepin County Library System. It closed for renovation in 2012. Roosevelt Library reopened on June 1, 2013 with a new meeting room and completely revitalized interior and mechanical systems. The new library featured more public computers, including iPads for patron use within the building, a refreshed collection, a new multi-purpose room, and increased operational efficiencies with one customer service point.


1.17 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Fact sheets, brochures, building information, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other administrative records documenting the history and operations of Roosevelt Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1926 to 2012. Roosevelt Library was part of the Minneapolis Public Library. The Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library merged in 2008. Roosevelt Library is now part of the Hennepin County Library.

Custodial History

Materials from before 2008 were included in the Minneapolis Public Library archives (accession 2019.25). Portions of the 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 accession 2019.25. Additional materials transferred 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 Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library locations. For photographs, see HCL 002 Hennepin County Library Photographs.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jenna Jacobs May to June to 2021.

Roosevelt Library Records
June 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

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