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Minneapolis Central Library turns five this weekend

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If there was ever an appropriate time to be louder than a whisper in a library, it would be this Saturday at the Minneapolis Central Library. Why? Because on May 21 this stellar piece of modern architecture will turn five years old.


In 2006, construction on Cesar Pelli's plans for the library were completed. Pelli had previously designed a dozen or so structures throughout the world, including the complex of buildings known as the World Financial Center in New York City, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and Minneapolis's Wells Fargo Financial Center. Clearly this is an architect who likes extremely tall, soaring structures. The downtown library is no exception. While it may not be the tallest building, but it is an impressive structure regardless. This Saturday's birthday activities will provide many fun opportunities to learn even more about the space.

[jump] The celebration officially begins at 10:30 a.m. with the Childish Films Series' season finale. Also during this time, folk humorist and clarinetist Mary Mack, writer/performer Stephanie Ash, and accordion player Karen Townsend will demonstrate polka music to children and adults. This concert will also serve as a tribute to the late Ruth Adams, local accordion player and leader of Nye's Polonaise Room's famous World's Most Dangerous Polka Band (Adams was originally scheduled to perform). There will also be screenings of Polish animation from the '60s and '70s, which will surely be a wild way to start the day.

Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. guests can partake in tours, or even a scavenger hunt. There will also be special guest appearances by the Minnesota Twins' T.C. Bear, who will help with storytime. Celebrity poetry readings will begin at 2 p.m. and include Minnesota RollerGirls' Sintripetal Force, State Senator Linda Higgins, Vincent Francoual (winner of this year's Minnesota Monthly local chef challenge), and Amber Damm, former Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Additionally, throughout the day there will be surprise giveaways, a kids' books sale, teen tech squad music creation stations, and light painting. That's quite a party for a five-year-old. Libraries just grow up so fast.

The Hennepin Country Library, the Library Foundation, and the newly-formed Minneapolis Central Friends group invites everyone to celebrate the Minneapolis Central Library's fifth birthday this Saturday, May 21, from 10:30 a.m to 3 p.m. The library is located at 300 Nicollet Mall.