Minnesota Children’s Museum and Northside Achievement Zone partner to create new children’s space at North Regional Library


North Regional Library is working with the Northside Achievement Zone and the Minnesota Children’s Museum to create a dedicated space for children and their families at the Hennepin County Library on Lowry Avenue between the front windows and the Discovery Zone room.

Patterned somewhat after a Children’s Museum installation at the Hopkins library, it may feature a public space like a post office, a food oriented space like a home kitchen or restaurant, a farmer’s market and garden, and a business space; all flexible to be changed for different activities.

Every toy, every activity, every sign in the space “will review how children learn through play. We’ll be reinforcing what parents just do, and expanding on it,” said Librarian Barb Senevisai at a community meeting to get feedback on current plans. For example, kids like to group and sort things; with adult guidance they learn counting and math.

“Will the parent messages be in multiple languages?” one asked, and those present listed off the four most common languages. It was also agreed this is a way to introduce vegetables from other cultures, whether in the plastic or wooden playthings, or real items brought in for special program times.

Planning and fundraising continues, and if all goes as projected, the installation will be complete in September 2012.