Friends of Hennepin County Library

Transforming Futures By Providing Essential Technology Skills

Friends of the Hennepin County Library


Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Olseth Family Foundation has supported several strategic library initiatives, including Homework Help and Teen Tech Squad.


We are proud to ensure Homework Help, a free afterschool tutoring program is able to continue offering an array of virtual and individual one-to-one tutoring for students experiencing academic challenges due to distance learning.  In spite of the ever-changing pandemic protocols, lead tutors work with students and parents to create a schedule that meets their needs – from daily check-ins, to weekly sessions, or simply help on request.


In addition, throughout the pandemic we have continued with a long-term commitment to the Teen Tech Squad and Best Buy Teen Tech Center.  These two programs provide access to cutting edge technology to young people, ages 13 to 19, but more importantly the participants find companionship, mentorship, and opportunities for learning and self-expression. COVID-19 has not deterred engagement, rather it has allowed pivoting to new areas, such as the creation of social media videos, virtual online STEM workshops and socially-distanced outdoor courses which explored the physics of successful kite and bridge building, building juice pouch rockets or lessons in chemistry, fluid dynamics and math.

Teen Tech Center at the Hennepin County Central Library


Every day after school, dozens of Minneapolis teens ages 12-19 come to a library in the heart of the city to record music, produce digital videos, design and print 3-D projects, develop video games, even build their own computers—all in a room built just for them.  Located inside Hennepin County Central Library in downtown Minneapolis, the Best Buy Teen Tech Center is an interactive resource center where teens can access the tools they need to be technology creators instead of passive consumers.


The Teen Tech Center offers free access to a music recording studio, green screen for video productions, digital photography equipment, and dozens of creative software programs like Photoshop, Premiere, and ProTools. Resources range from the latest 3-D printers to sewing machines, knitting looms, and soldering irons. Working with two full-time coordinators and volunteer mentors representing a wide range of expertise, teens are encouraged to follow their passions and interests through creative work and project-based learning.


The Olseth Family Foundation is proud to share in the excitement of the Teen Tech Center as Minneapolis youth are transforming their futures by learning essential technology skills. For information on how best to support the Hennepin County Library go to: