Review of the Northeast Library in Minneapolis Minnesota
All categories get a score! They are out of 100, with usual school grading applying wherein 75 is a straight up "C" and everything under 50 is just there to express various levels of pique.
For first impressions and all that:
81 out of 100
As to public art I didn't see anything of any note, which seems especially sad considering its culturally rich neighborhood. This had a surprising impact to me because it really made the building feel uninvolved in the community.
72 out of 100
One wanders into the only thing that could slightly be called a "wing", sort of in the back right of the library, to easily find the bathrooms. From the security guard and the feel of the library I'd think they'd be combating junkies shooting up in there and that the bathrooms would thus be pretty rough, but no! These were individual use bathrooms in super nice condition. I was inspired to even use the bathroom! My only small complaint is that the Hennepin Library System apparently uses the cheapest, most flimsy paper towels ever made and their dispenser jammed after some strange partial piece of towel dissolved on my wet fingers. Ah well, it is more ecologically friendly to dry my hands on my pants anyway.
92 out of 100
I got the exact same answer here as at the Pierre Bottineau branch, leave it with them and they'll check with, I don't know, their executive director of sign posting, who tours the branches to determine what signs can go up. I'd be happy to bump the score up a little if someone comments that they found this blog from the posting that was hung up at the Northeast Library, but for now
62 out of 100
5 blocks south is a place called Diamonds which I am actually curious to try, but have not yet had the opportunity. For now this seems good enough. You can probably get fairly good coffee at the nearish co-op too.
83 out of 100
Do they have The King of the Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill. First, I should say the librarian desk person was oddly at the side of said desk, like the desks were something to be avoided. She was working on a small laptop perched on a partition. To help me she moved back to the computer on the desk. I had to spell "Schnorrers", though I recognize this is not unreasonable. They didn't have it. I was offered no further options. Interest, Interlibrary loan options, and or commiseration all would have done much to improve the score here.
Score for library collection (and I realize this is a small fit of pique as the book has horrifically fallen into obscurity, but as we'll see they have over a million books!):
35 out of 100
Score for Librarian
60 out of 100
How many books are there in the entire collection? She sort of laughed and said "No." (I can't remember, was my question "Do you know how many..."?). Then, in that 'oh yeah, I'm supposed to be a librarian' way that was starting to become familiar, she added "There's over a million in Central." So, a lot, but not King of the Schnorrers.
62 out of 100
What does she think of the Pierre Bottineau Library? She did pretty well here. She said it was quiet and quaint. We chatted briefly about its circulation, which was low. She had an opinion and shared it. I didn't get any inside scoops though.
84 out of 100
Sadly Dave did not try again for a card and I didn't do anything at Circ either, so I am cautious about judging too hard. What I took to be the Circ Man was standing a fair bit back and sideways to the desk, in conversation with someone for what seemed to be the whole time we were there. Oddly the staff struck me as treating the desks, which seemed nice enough and well enough situated, as faintly contaminated. Circ may have been great if we engaged him, who knows. So keep in mind we go on very little here.
73 out of 100
Okay, once again I'm going to get way too emotional here. I looked for Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan. This is arguably the greatest album by, again, arguably, but it's a good argument, the single most important artist of any kind of his generation, who, it is important to note, actually recorded this album in Minneapolis, with local musicians. In Minneapolis! And they have like 3 or 4 copies total in the collection. Of course they are all checked out! Yes I am giving into a fit of pique once more, but geez, it's like if the Stratford upon Avon Library system didn't have Hamlet. "Yeah, but it's in a book of his collected plays, we've got a couple of those. But, hmm, looks like they're checked out." Actually, I wrote this, then went to the Stratford upon Avon website and checked, and I'm really not sure this isn't sort of the case. I can't quite tell, but if it is they get the same score here as below!
11 out of 100
The Northeast Library in Minneapolis is a new, modern, clean building in an interesting and diverse urban area of Northeast Minneapolis. Its static and prepared for the worst qualities are a little hard to judge without knowing just what issues they contend with. But the building did feel safe and clean if a little bland, which could conceivably be because of all their preparation. The library is a place you could hang out in, but with few extra incentives to do so. Casually, and possibly a little unfairly, the staff seemed at least somewhat disengaged, and fairly speaking this time, that was actually borne out in what interactions we did have. To my mind the library is haunted by collection issues that make me wonder exactly what librarians are up to. I find it hard, with all its moderate plusses and minuses here to venture anywhere away from a dead average score. But I am suspecting that is a bit high and reflects on my standard getting slowly crushed down, alas.
75 out of 100