The Great River Regional Public Library of St Cloud was built in 2008 on the old site of Miller Pontiac in downtown St Cloud MN. This impressive building is highly visible and lends great visual style to the downtown area and is one more wonderful reason to love St Cloud MN. The location is very accessible from Highway 23 or St Germain Street, the building is centrally located on the west side of the central business district and is walking distance from all the government buildings and St Cloud Technical High School.
The St Cloud Public Library building itself is an attractive amalgam of glass, granite, and metal with eye-catching design features. My favorite feature is the covered entry area on the north west side of the library with bike racks and elongated granite benches directly adjacent to the metro bus shelter. This is a cool spot to hang out where the free high-speed WiFi works fine (it also works in the parking lot and inside the library, but this spot is more fun).
The St Cloud Public Library is a part of a system called The Great River Regional Library, and is one of 32 libraries in the system, which means if you can't find a book in the St Cloud Library chances are good that they still have it in the system in another Great River Regional location.
The website is great for searching and ordering any and all media, from books to DVDs, tapes, magazines and more. The St Cloud Library even has computers for public use, during busy times it is advisable to sign up for use of one of the many desk tops. Be sure to check out the new and best list as there are titles you might not expect to find, the new release catalog is AMAZING. Best of all, it is all free to use.
One feature of the new library in St Cloud are the community rooms, lots of potential here for meetings and club gatherings. If you want to hold a business meeting (1st time buyer seminar) or a hobby group, or even a political gathering you can reserve a room.
The first step to use this wonderful resource in St Cloud is to get your library card. It looks like a credit card and allows you to scan and check out on your own. There is a drive through drop off if you need to return your borrowed media in a hurry (no magazines in the drop box, please).
The St Cloud Public Library staff is very pleasant and helpful; making every visit a positive experience. The interior is full of light, exciting and enjoyable, the children's area is a feast for the eyes promoting an enjoyable experience to encourage reading.
The design of the library building was very well thought out, as a matter of fact the only thing that I would have done a little differently is change the direction of the entrance a few degrees. The main enterance is on the NW side which may pose problems with St Cloud Minnesota winters, and little glass on the south side lessens the passive solar capabilities.
All in all it is a great place to visit online or in person, offering boundless possibilities. Bored in St Cloud? NEVER! There is always the wonderful Great River Regional Library of St Cloud MN where an adventure awaits on every shelf.
Special thank you to Michelle for permission to take interior photos!