Library Expansion Brainstorming – First in a Series, Tonight!

The Northfield Public Library is holding a series of “informational and brainstorming events to explore the challenges and possibilities for a library expansion at the current location.”

The first meeting is tonight, from 7:00-9:00p at St. John’s Lutheran Church (500 Third St. W.), and will focus on “Dreams and visions for the library and community.” The next one is Tuesday, May 27th, same time and place. “Ideas for ways to expand the library on its current location.” The last scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, June 10th, same time and place, will focus on concepts and options.

They’ve put up a good website/blog for this process, which I also included in a comment on our previous post in which Margit Johnson, Library board member, was a guest on our podcast.

I hope to hear comments from those who attend – I’ll be at the Planning Commission meeting tonight, so am not able to be there.


  1. Anne Bretts said:

    It would be very helpful if the blog site — and the meetings ahead — would include information about what the library does now, what space each activity/service has and how that compares to national averages. How big should a children’s section be? How much of that space should be bookshelves and how much whould be open space and how much storytelling/activity space?
    Dreaming is nice, but if the goal is to determine whether the current site can be used, some real numbers need to be included. The last planning series earlier this year was hampered, with volunteers trying to plan without any concrete information.
    It also would be helpful to have links or short summaries describing how other libraries have addressed the problem, including both new and expanded facilities.
    Yes, preserving a building is a worthy goal, but this discussion should be about the best possible library.
    If by some chance, the current building isn’t the best choice, it doesn’t have to be blown up or burned down. It can serve any number of tremendously valuable purposes and still serve as a draw to downtown.
    Yes, let’s really dream of all the possibilities. This is a wonderful opportunity for downtown and the entire community, no matter what the outcome.

    May 13, 2008
  2. Anne Bretts said:

    Great, Tracy. Perhaps then, they can link or copy that information into the blog so people don’t have to hunt for it. An option for comments and questions would be good as well.

    May 13, 2008
  3. Tracy Davis said:

    I’m not sure which Library staffer does the blog and updates, but I’ll drop them a note.

    May 13, 2008
  4. Laurie Kodet said:

    Northfield Public Library
    Picture the Possibilities: Site Feasibility Study
    Public Meeting #2
    St. John’s Fellowship Hall
    Tuesday, May 27, 2008
    7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    1. What is this meeting about? (Library Board and Jack Poling, MS&R) (7:00 – 7:15)
    Quick review of May 13 meeting
    Overview of tonight’s meeting and goals

    2. Presentation of some successful historical renovation projects (Jack Poling) (7:15 – 7:45)

    3. Discussion of possible options for expansion. Time to brainstorm and explore ideas (Jack Poling) (7:45 – 8:45)

    4. When can I express my concerns and ideas? Set stage for 3rd and final public meeting (Library Board and Jack Poling) 8:45 – 9:00

    website address:, “Picture the Possibilities”

    May 23, 2008

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