Penn Lake Library

Bloomington yesterday: Turning a page of history

Even a quiet neighborhood library deserves to make a little noise about turning 50. The Penn Lake Library is a Bloomington landmark at 8800 Penn Ave. S. Since the 1970s, generations of residents have gathered here to find books and attend community events. (Current CDC guidelines for COVID may change library practices.)

The Bloomington Library Study Committee suggested the Penn Lake name, and in May 1968, it was adopted by the City Council. In March 1969, Mayor John Thomasberg, library commission members and other local dignitaries broke ground for the site. The library opened 10 months later.

Amenities fit the times. Remember when libraries had card catalogs, community phone books, phonograph records and motion picture projectors.

The Penn Lake Library operates as part of the Hennepin County Library System. For more information visit or call 612-543-5800.