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Dakota County Library in Farmington will get an upgrade

Work will begin soon to identify needed upgrades at the Dakota County Farmington Library.

Like kids getting ready for Christmas, employees at the Dakota County Farmington Library are making up a wish list of improvements they'd like to see made at their facility.

In the next week or two staff at the Farmington Library and another Dakota County library in Inver Grove Heights will begin the process of figuring out what improvements they need. Construction on the improvements will take place in 2013 and 2014.

There is a lot of work to do between now and then, though. Library staff will work with an architect to figure out what needs exist at the Farmington library, and what can be done to address them. Staff members have already had a chance to identify their own priorities.

"I think it's hard, especially for the staff that have worked in this building," said library manager Mary Scheide. "This is the only way they've known it. It's hard to imagine changing things around and reconfiguring how we might have our different collections laid out. How our circulation functions might be handled."

Scheide identified a computer lab and individual study rooms as possible needs at the Farmington library. Those kinds of amenities exist at several other county libraries. Scheide said she'd also like to see a smaller meeting room to complement the large meeting room the library currently has.

"We have a very nice-sized meeting room, but we don't have a smaller room for, say, a group of 10 to 12 people," Scheide said. "That's certainly something that could be considered."

Part of the space in the library building is currently leased out to Intermediate School District 917 for a school. Dakota County facilities manager Ken Harrington expects the library to expand into that space.

Harrington expects construction in Farmington to start in August or September of 2013. It's likely the library will have to close for at least part of the time while the construction takes place.

Scheide is eager to get things going.

"I think we've waited a long time for it," Scheide said. "We're excited to get going."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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