Community News: Northfield Public Library Secures Renovation Funding, Seeks Private Donations


As regular readers of this blog might remember, my very first post (November 10, 2011) was titled “On the Thrill of Libraries”. That piece detailed the excitement I felt on knowing that my first book was part of the Northfield Public Library’s collection.

Today, I am still thrilled by the Library, but even more I am thrilled for the Library — and for all of us who love and depend upon it — because of some very good news about its future. Indeed, when I visited the Library the same day that the news reached me, I thought the fallen leaves looked like confetti.



The news? That by this time next year our Library will be even better than it is today.

Here is an excerpt from an email by Bill North, President of the Friends and Foundation:

Hurray! City Council Votes Unanimously to Approve Library Project!

“I write with wonderful news. The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously last night to approve the Library Project recommended by the Director and Library Board. But they did more! They also voted to pay for $352,000 of essential infrastructure and code compliance matters from other city funds, allowing the city funds and our private fundraising dollars to go entirely to pay for improvements to the Library. Finally, the City has created a “float” of $252,000 with which the City will cover construction costs while the Friends continue their fundraising efforts. This is great news because it will allow the Friends to accept multi-year pledges and apply for grants.”


I want to thank our far-sighted–and hard-working–City officials, staff, and volunteers for supporting this plan. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for all of us who love the Library to support it with a capital gift. Our own gift is the satisfaction of knowing we’re helping to create a stronger foundation for a fine and essential public treasure. Gifts of every size count! Below are materials I collected last week in the Library entryway. For anyone who has not yet seen the plans, or who is planning a gift, I encourage you to pick up your own copies.

 Northfield Public Library 3
Northfield Public Library 2

It is not news that the Northfield Public Library is a flag ship institution of education and culture, or that having it firmly anchored on that wedge of land between Washington and Division Streets enhances the economic and civic liveliness of our downtown. It is also not news that Northfield citizens have been working for some years to expand the Library’s physical plant in order to keep pace with the leaps and bounds of demands for service since the last major renovation was completed thirty years ago in 1984.

So it is definitely a cause for celebration that the Library renovation project has a green light! The Library has given so much to our family–truly an incalculable amount.  Tim, Julia, and I are glad to be able to participate in this capital campaign, just as we do as patrons, as annual fund donors, and as volunteers. I would like to encourage everyone to join in–it is a mighty and joyous endeavor that requires us all.

NPL 10

In other Library-related news, the TRIVIA BEE returns on November 14, 20014 from 7-9 p.m. at the Grand Event Center. This event, run by the Friends, is a wonderfully educational and entertaining one. Do consider putting together a team or just come to cheer on your friends and neighbors!


Until another Wednesday, wishing you well, Signature Maple Leaves

2 thoughts on “Community News: Northfield Public Library Secures Renovation Funding, Seeks Private Donations

  1. How interesting, Beth. I wonder if other Carleton and/or St. Olaf students find the same haven? I never considered that before. Thanks for your response! Leslie

  2. This IS great news so thank you for sharing it Leslie. This beautiful library was a special place for me while at Carleton. I rarely could get any studying done at the college library but at the Public Library good things happened. So this exciting evolution for a wonderful building and space makes my day!

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