BEST LIBRARY - 2000
For researchers (especially procrastinating ones), we must recommend the Wilson Library on the West Bank of the University, as it's open until midnight on Sundays. Problem is, if you're not a student or faculty member you'll have to shell out $60 a year for a borrowing card. So Minneapolis Central it is, especially given some recent improvements: Last year the catalog underwent a major overhaul, making materials even easier to find and connecting the system with databases for more detailed searches. Hours have also been extended slightly--the building is now open until 6:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (closing time remains 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday). Fancy new self-checkout machines offer antisocial bookworms access to materials without requiring any human contact, and for the rest of us it's kind of neat to watch our book requests placed in a canister and sucked down a tube to the mysterious underground home of some 2.5 million items. Still, a bigger building--with lots more shelf space for browsing--is way overdue: Where's that state budget surplus when you need it?