Civic beat // City, suburban library catalogs to merge

The Hennepin County library system’s two catalogs — one it has had for years, the other it inherited during the merger with the Minneapolis library system — are set to be consolidated in August.

When the project is complete, searching for titles and items should be easier for library users. Since the 2008 merger, people have had to look through two separate catalogs.

Currently, the suburban catalog has about 300,000 unique titles and 2 million other media items. Minneapolis’ catalog has about 1.3 million titles and 3 million other items.

The consolidation is expected to be complete by Aug. 27.


New websites track use of stimulus funds

Minneapolis and Hennepin County want citizens to know what they’re doing with money from the federal stimulus plan.
The city has launched, which provides an up-to-date list of stimulus grants that Minneapolis has received or has applied for.

The county, meanwhile, has a similar site at, which shows the progress and results from the stimulus funds. The site is broken down into five categories, including transportation and environment.


County reappoints VanBlarcom to library board

Therese VanBlarcom will serve another term on the Hennepin County Library Board, as the county Board of Commissioners approved her reappointment at their June 30 meeting.

“I am a voracious reader, and my ideal vacation is relaxing with books in a comfortable chair,” VanBlarcom said in a news release. “I believe the Hennepin County Library system is a community asset that should be used, promoted and protected.”

The library board is a citizen advisory group that reviews budgets and establishes governing policies for the countywide library system. VanBlarcom was first appointed in 2006. Her new term expires at the end of 2011.

She lives in Rogers.