In January 1913, we find an ordinance
passed by the Village Council authorizing the establishment
of a public library and reading rooms, to be maintained by
the Village. The President of the Village Council was to
appoint nine directors, and the directors were to set the
rules for the safekeeping and handling of all library
materials. The first directors were appointed on January 10,
Louis M. Larson
George F. Mosely
In August 1913, more than 2,000 people attended a
village-wide carnival where almost $400 was raised to buy
books. At first the library was located in the
In 1914 the library merged with the high school library,
located on the second floor of the new high school, which
was built that year on Walker Street. That year, Mrs. T.B.
Walker donated funds to purchase 450 volumes for the new
library. She had made a similar donation previously.
The Village Council generally gave the library an
appropriation of $100-$300 every year.
Ethel Baston joined the Library Board in 1918.
Alice Johnson, a member of one of the first graduating
classes from the Park, was the Village librarian for over 20
years until she retired in 1947. She died on August 6,
In 1950, librarian Esther Johnson and the Library Club
started a system of checking out books, at the behest of the
student council. Before that, students were on the
honor system, and books were flying out the door but not
finding their way back in. Books on auto mechanics
were the most popular.
In 1952, the library in 1914 Central
building was moved into the new east addition.
In 1956 the library had 2,800 books, half new that year.
The library remained in the high school until 1960, when the
school told the city that it needed the space. At the time
the library was only open to students.
On November 17, 1960, the library – newly designated as a
branch of the Hennepin County Library System - moved back to
the Brick Block, this time to the east wing of the Masonic
building at 6509 Walker Street. Helen Young was the
director, replacing Dena L. Liljenfors, who retired. Agnes
Schepper was librarian. The new space allowed all 12,000
books to be available, as opposed to the 4,000 at the
Central site. Rent was $705/month for a 10 year lease. Ms.
Young came before the City Council in February 1960 to lobby
for a municipal library building, supported by the Women's
The current library was dedicated on Sunday, April 21, 1968.
Participants at the ceremony included the Park High band and
Senator Walter Mondale. Miss Helen McNulty was listed as St.
Louis Park Librarian in the program. The building’s original
address was 3240 Louisiana Ave. So., later to be
redesignated as 3240 Library Lane. The architecture company
was G.C. Smiley and Associates, and the architects were Mas
Matsumato (on the Planning Commission in 1967) and Wayne
Norgren. The General Contractor was Lund-Martin Co. and the
(proposed) price was $172,885.
In 1968, the building was sold to Hennepin County.