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Farmington library renovation work continues

The Dakota County Library in Farmington is getting exterior renovation work to make it look more like the county’s other branches. The current schedule calls for the building to reopen in August.

The Dakota County Library in Farmington is usually a pretty busy place during the summer, and that likely won’t change this year, even though the library building itself is still under construction.

The library has been set up on the second floor of Farmington City Hall since the beginning of the year, while construction crews work on a renovation to the library building across the street.

Renovation work is expected to continue through June and July, said Dakota County Library senior cluster manager Lee Schubert. Library staff hopes to be back in the building sometime in August.

“We’re not quite ready to put a star on the calendar,” Schubert said, “but the construction is going well. It’s going smoothly.”

Farmington’s project is one of two library renovations in Dakota County’s system this summer. Like Farmington’s building, the Inver Glen Library in Inver Grove Heights is having interior and exterior work done, Schubert said.

The local library building was a grocery store 20 years ago, back when the library was still located in a section of the former Farmington City Hall building. Part of the exterior work, Schubert said, aims to make the library look more like other library buildings in the county.

“We were pleased when we got the approval from the county to upgrade the outside. We’re getting away from the grocery store look and getting more toward the look that we enjoy with most of our county libraries,” she said.

When the building opens later this summer, visitors will see décor that very much connects to the community’s farming heritage, right down to the two silos that have been built in the children’s reading area. The silos are positioned next to windows so the grain elevators across the street can be seen in the background, Schubert said.

Across the street

Being temporarily displaced at Farmington City Hall hasn’t been so bad, Farmington library branch manager Barbara Svoboda said. In fact, it’s been a pretty good arrangement.

“The city has been so wonderful. They’ve been such gracious hosts. It’s been the most convenient of temporary spaces we would have ever wished for,” Svoboda said.

With summer break just days away for Farmington students, the local library staff is gearing up for the many young readers who participate in the library’s summer reading programs. Even though there are fewer books on the shelves right now, Svoboda expects that to change. Once students start checking out books that are on the shelves, library staff will be able to take more books out of storage and get them back into the summer reading inventory.

“We will be running a mostly full slate of summer reading programs,” Svoboda said. “We’re trying to provide as much normal service as we possibly can.”

The Dakota County Library at Farmington will host several activities during the upcoming Dew Days celebration, she added.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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