Who needs a library anymore besides Margit?

Margit Johnson, Library Board member

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


  1. Margit Johnson said:

    Thanks, Grif, for the plug and the flashback from March 2002.

    I didn’t join the Library Board until 2006, but I had read about the earlier community conversations anticipating an expansion of the library. I am awed that some of the questions and concerns remain just the same – programs, services and space for children, outreach efforts, the feasibility/affordability of a branch library, a community gathering place, etc.

    Other questions and daydreams didn’t exist or have moved on – no new safety center even on the radar screen in 2002, Petricka’s Supermarket (now Village on the Cannon) and the old Middle School (now the Weitz Center for Creativity) as alternative exisiting sites for a larger public library, no eBooks or social networking, etc.

    I am looking forward to the March 12 community conversation that will be enhanced by the research of two younger professional librarians who have been looking into trends in MN libraries and the experience of an architect who did our 2008 site feasibility study (can the library be adequately expanded on its current site, a question much discussed in 2002; his response can be found on the library’s website, http://www.ci.northfield.mn.us/library/longrangeplanning) and whose architectural firm MS&R redesigned the Roseville Library, which we will tour on April 14 as part of a follow-up bus tour open to all.

    March 9, 2012
  2. kiffi summa said:

    ONE answer to the headline is ; ME !

    Because I have been on ‘enforced inactivity’ since early December because of a stress fracture that affected my knee… I can honestly say that the Library has made this time bearable.

    I like reading real books; I like the physicality , the paper , the many beautiful type faces, both newly designed and historic. The totally free access, as long as I could browse and request on line, and have my household slave/helper constantly (2-3 times a week) run down to pick them up for me.

    There is no substitute for browsing the new books sections to see what you might like to read, and in doing so often find the surprise that you would never have thought of without picking it up.

    Electronic book readers are wonderful tools with many helpful uses, but for many people who have always loved libraries, there is no substitute for the real thing.

    And as far as the economics of our library go…. I think it can be proven that our library, as embodied by its marvelous staff, is the most productive department of the city as far as Return on Investment.

    Not just Margit, but I need our library, and I doubt that I am in the minority on this one…

    March 9, 2012
  3. ME too. I visit the library almost once a week. I love walking through the aisles looking at actual book spines. I also peruse the titles in the New Books section. I have found biographies, adventure stories, and all sorts of other books I’d never have found elsewhere. My kids love the library and we have had many family movie nights from movies the kids have picked out there.

    March 11, 2012
  4. Jane Moline said:

    I love the library and I am in there at least twice a week–and I own a Kindle–so I use the e-book checkout, too. I think the library should keep the same hours as Target!

    March 11, 2012

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