Why Minnesota?

University of Northwestern Campus

On behalf of the staff of the Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, I am excited to invite you all to Minnesota this June for the 2024 Annual Conference! Experience a “taste of Minnesota” with a memorable blend of engaging content, fellowship, and fun!  

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, and a lakeside bonfire with friends is a quintessential summer activity! As the conference kicks off on Sunday evening, we will gather on picturesque Lake Johanna Island for a fun and welcoming bonfire with fellow attendees. There will be an opportunity to tour Northwestern’s Island Chapel with Art Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Baden, who will also lead devotions on Monday morning in the stunning Nazareth Chapel.  

What is an ACL conference without ice cream? Our Monday evening excursion will feature a walk along St. Paul’s historic Summit Avenue from Cathedral Hill to the Grand Ole Creamery! 

Theatre enthusiasts know that the Twin Cities has a vibrant and thriving theatre scene! Following the banquet on Tuesday evening, Minnesota’s own Theater for the Thirsty will perform their newest musical “This is My Story, This is My Song” featuring the stories behind some of the great hymns of the faith.  

Theater for the Thirsty

For those planning to extend their stay before or after the conference, the Twin Cities offers a variety of attractions including museums, zoos, parks, historic sites, and shopping. See our local LibGuide for a full list of suggestions. Here are some highlights: 

  • American Swedish Institute: Located in Minneapolis, this cultural center celebrates Swedish and Nordic heritage. Explore the historic Turnblad Mansion, art exhibits, and enjoy Swedish-inspired cuisine at the on-site restaurant, Fika. 
  • Mall of America: Located in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, the Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States. It features over 500 stores, numerous restaurants, and attractions like Nickelodeon Universe and SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium. 
  • Minnehaha Park: A beautiful urban park in Minneapolis, Minnehaha Park is known for its stunning waterfall, walking trails, and scenic views along the Mississippi River. Visitors can also explore the historic Minnehaha Depot and enjoy a meal at Sea Salt Eatery. 
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Located in St. Paul, Como Park offers a free zoo and conservatory. Explore a wide variety of animals and plant life or take a leisurely stroll through the Japanese Garden. 
  • Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden: For art enthusiasts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis showcases contemporary art, and the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features iconic sculptures like the Spoonbridge and Cherry. 
  • Historic Stillwater: Known as the “Birthplace of Minnesota”, Stillwater is a charming town on the banks of the St. Croix River known for its historic architecture, boutique shops, and scenic river views. Explore the town, take a boat tour, or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants. 
  • Mill City Museum: Situated in downtown Minneapolis, this museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. It provides insights into the history of milling in the region and offers panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. 
  • Minnesota History Center: Situated in St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center provides engaging exhibits on the state’s history, culture, and heritage. 
  • Guthrie Theater: Theater enthusiasts can visit the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, known for its innovative productions and modern architecture. The theater offers guided tours, and the Endless Bridge provides a stunning view of the Mississippi River and city skyline. 
  • Stone Arch Bridge and Nicollet Island: Take a stroll across the historic Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, which provides stunning views of the city skyline and the Mississippi River. Afterward, explore Nicollet Island, known for its charming Victorian homes and gardens. 
  • James J. Hill House: Visit the historic mansion of railroad magnate James J. Hill in St. Paul. The house, a National Historic Landmark, offers guided tours showcasing its impressive architecture and the lifestyle of a 19th-century tycoon. The museum also offers walking tours of historic Summit Avenue.  

We hope to see you in Minnesota this June! 

Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is the Research and Instruction Librarian and a full Professor at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and a member of the 2024 ACL Conference Hosting Team. Jessica has been a member of ACL since 2007, and served as the chair of ACL’s Liberal Arts Section in 2013-2015. Her professional interests include information literacy, instructional design, assessment, copyright, and open education. Jessica and her husband Brian live in the Twin Cities area.

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