Anna Zillinger shares update on East Lake Library

Posted on 21 August 2020 by Tesha Christensen

By Elena Vaughn

The East Lake Library was damaged and remains closed, but a majority of books can be recovered, according to East Lake librarian Anna Zillinger. A county insurance assessment is in progress, but she believes a majority of the books can be recovered.

While some books will have to be replaced due to fire damage, the building is sound. The building will undergo reconstruction which should take six months to a year. Zillinger is grateful for the “community members, our library regulars, that kept it safe. We thank the community and the organizations who helped protect and recover our space.”
Curbside services are unavailable until the building is opened, and all holds have been transferred to other libraries or put back on the hold list. If a book isn’t available at East Lake, it will be available by curbside at another library, such as the nearby Hosmer library.
Although the building may be out of commission, the library is still serving the community. Staff from the East Lake Library will be at the Midtown Farmers Market getting library cards throughout October. More information can be found at the Seward-Longfellow Library Community Facebook page, including information about virtual programs. There are lists of educational books at and unlimited e-resources. Zillinger particularly recommends “How to Be an Anti-Racist” and “White Fragility.” E-books are available on Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or the Overdrive app.
Zillinger believes in the East Lake Library. Working in libraries since 2001, she has always focused on “community outreach in urban libraries,” she observed. Growing up on the west side of Indianapolis in what she called a tough neighborhood, she said she loved the local library and wanted to bring that feeling to other cities.

Zillinger said, “Libraries were always my home, so we’ll rebuild our library home together.”
She continued, “We have so many ways of building community in the meanwhile.” More services will be added over time as safety allows.

Clean-up crews outside of East Lake library following damage in late May/early June 2020.

Anna Zillenger brings the Minneapolis Central Library bike along on an outreach trip to southern neighborhood residents.