The South Minneapolis Society Library (SMSL) exists as much as a space to enjoy books and the moments they can generate as it does a tool to consider the landscape and actions which often materialize within the space between books, readers, and the publics which are spawned by their convergence. Printed matter, often more visibly than other forms of media, serves as the fill – the rock and soil – of our shared lived experience, and inasmuch, creates a potent and shifting space to critically engage our experiences of living within a shared space and time.
With these considerations in mind The South Minneapolis Society Library is housed in two distinct yet interconnected branches, each serving a unique function.
The Chicago branch of the SMSL, housed within the lobby of Pillsbury House + Theater, is our circulating branch. The books within the Chicago branch are all printed and bound on site. The collection is produced seasonally, each season devoted to a new theoretical and conceptual terrain developed by library volunteers.
The Elliot branch of the SMSL serves as our reference branch. Open two days per week the Elliot branch is housed within The House to be Named in the Future, a private home open to social inquiry. The reference branch contains well over one thousand titles common and rare with a significant focus on fiction, poetry, theory, art, and social, political, and radical histories. It also contains a sizable collection of vinyl and digital music and lectures. Neighborhood residents are invited to make appointments and are welcome to request specific titles prior to arrival.
An autonomous library system, the SMSL, apart from creating a space to access and produce books, aims at creating a lively dialogue surrounding the social life of the book and the possibilities inherent within an expanded view of publication as an act of public-making. Inasmuch the two branches of the SMSL host talks, film screenings, a listening series, as well as a “reader-in-residence” program, set to begin in July 2014 with writer / critic Eric Asboe.
* To become a member of the The South Minneapolis Society Library visit either branch during open hours to receive a library card. You will need some proof that you live within the neighborhood (Powderhorn / Central / West Phillips) which contains your address of residence. You will also be asked to provide a current contact number.
SMSL – Chicago Branch
3501 Chicago Ave S
Monday – Thursday
8.00 am – 6 pm
Saturday – Sunday
8.00 am – 2.00pm
(Additional evening and weekend hours vary)
SMSL – Elliot Branch
3121 Elliot Ave S
Tuesday – Wednesday
2.30 pm – 6.00 pm