You can perform some maintenance on your bicycle with this bike repair stand on Division St. in front of the Northfield Public Library. There’s another one at 5th and Division. How did these come to be? See this Feb., 8, 2012 blog post.
I pretended to be a City of Northfield official this afternoon and attended a reception for Teresa Jensen, Northfield’s new Library/IT Director. Approval of her hiring is on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Council meeting.
I’m not exactly sure when current Library Director Lynne Young retires and when Teresa starts but I hope it’s not on April Fool’s Day. And hopefully, Pastor Will Healey will pay off his library fines before Teresa starts.
For more on Teresa’s hiring, see last week’s Northfield New article: City administrator appoints Northfield’s director of library, IT.
And if you know of a house for sale in Northfield that’s a comfortable walk/bike ride to the library, add a comment here and I’ll make sure Teresa sees it. She needs one.
I was surprised to read in the Dec. 25 Strib last week that Benilde-St. Margaret’s School has gotten rid of print books in its library and made it into a digital learning center: Stacks of books are history at Benilde library
Leaders at the school in St. Louis Park decided against trying to duplicate what area public libraries offer. Instead, they will emphasize teaching the school’s 1,200 students to find reliable information electronically.
It is among the first schools in the state to take out stacks and transform its library into a digital learning center.
This is relevant for Northfielders, since the Transformational Technology Project at the Northfield Public Schools is moving to the next stage.
Two days later this article appeared in the Dec. 27 NY Times: Libraries See Opening as Bookstores Close
Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology training centers. Faced with the need to compete for shrinking municipal finances, libraries are determined to prove they can respond as quickly to the needs of the taxpayers as the police and fire department can.
… many libraries are culling their collections and adapting floor plans to accommodate technology training programs, as well as mini-conference rooms that offer private, quiet spaces frequently requested by self-employed consultants meeting with clients, as well as teenagers needing space to huddle over group projects.
This is relevant for Northfielders since A) the City of Northfield has begun a search for a new library/IT director; and B) the proposed expansion of the Northfield Public Library is likely to soon be considered by the Northfield City Council.
That NY Times article prompted this Room for Debate feature: Do We Still Need Libraries?
- Failing to Close the ‘Digital Divide’ by Susan Crawford, visiting professor, Harvard Law School. The demand for libraries’ limited resources has outstripped the supply of both computers and bandwidth.
- More Relevant Than Ever by Luis Herrera, city librarian, San Francisco. Libraries are a place for personal growth and reinvention, a gathering place for civic engagement.
- It’s Not Just Story Time and Bookmobiles by Buffy Hamilton, school librarian, Canton, Ga. An old institution is incorporating new roles: as “makerspaces,” as centers of community publishing, and as digital learning labs.
- For Gathering and for Solitude by Matthew Battles, author, “Library: An Unquiet History.” We still need spaces for making knowledge and sharing change, and some of those, surely, we will continue to call “the library.”
Margit Johnson, Northfield Public Library Board member, stopped by my corner office at GBM today (without an appointment again, jeesh) to let me know about Monday’s meeting about The Future of Our Public Library, 7-8:30 p.m., in the NCRC, Room 103.
Futurists will be presenting.
Jane McWilliams over at Northfield.org has blogged the details.
Flashback: I moderated an online panel discussion on Library long-range planning back in 2002 (transcript). Panelists then included:
- Amy Gage, Library long-range planning committee
- Dana Graham, Northfield City Council
- Adam Gurno, Library long-range planning committee
- John Stull, Former Library board member
- Lynne Young, Library Director
Bonnie Jean Flom has a blog post on Northfield.org:
The Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield, in partnership with the Friends of the Northfield Public Library and the Northfield Public Library, has announced a Sidewalk Public Poetry competition to mark National Poetry Month in April.
All residents of Northfield, and all students enrolled in Northfield schools, are eligible and encouraged to submit short poems (10 lines, 240 characters maximum) that are appropriate for the public sphere.
Up to 10 winning poems will be stamped into Northfield sidewalk pavements and will be considered for other public purposes including publication and readings.
The Locally Grown Triumvirate has requested that one of the winning poems be used to replace the sidewalk graffiti that one of our fans scrawled into the cement in front of the HideAway Coffeehouse & Winebar last summer.
There were evidently some tense negotiations on Monday about the fee that the organization would have to pay for use of the library’s meeting room. With the library’s recent budget cutbacks, Director Lynne Young is on the lookout for additional sources of revenue and has reportedly become a tough negotiator over non-profit use of that space.
Friends president Bill North and treasurer Kathy Sommers ripped on Young during their presentations but she placed responsibility for the Library’s financial predicament on the City Council, as well as on library patrons like Will Healy who have hundreds of dollars of unpaid library fines for overdue books.
The rhetoric was getting pretty heated but thankfully, Northfield psychiatrist and author Dr. Henry Emmons was on hand to, um, calm things down. Henry was the featured presenter, speaking about his new book, The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety.
All went well until after Henry’s speech when Lynne Young noticed Monkey See Monkey Read bookstore proprietor Jerry Bilek selling copies of Henry’s book. She argued that the Library should get a commission on all books sold on the premises. Jerry told her to stick it in her bookdrop. Henry refused to moderate the dispute unless someone agree to pay him his usual counseling fee. The crowd was getting riled up, and when someone mentioned Zamboni tires, I decided it was time for me to leave.
The Northfield Carnegie Library turned 100 on Sunday. Schemers decided to have a little party and parade and team up with the Northfield Arts Guild which is in the middle of celebrating their 50th. Alas, I missed it, but others delivered: