Hennepin County Library Headquarters at Minneapolis Public Library, 1960s
Founded in 1922 by MPL director Gratia Countryman, Hennepin County Library headquarters was housed at the Minneapolis Main/Central Library until it moved to the Southdale library in 1973. The move marked a divorce between Minneapolis Public Library and Hennepin County Library. They had been negotiating a merger but their differences on how a merger would take place were too many. The move marked a physical separation that was followed by a financial separation in 1974 when the city agreed there would no longer request an annual county payment for city library services to county residents and the county agreed to stop seeking a merger. The libraries finally merged in 2008 with great work done by both sides to pragmatically accomplish a merger.
The Hennepin County Library space in old Minneapolis Central (razed 2003) was later occupied by Special Collections when it was created in 1986.