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Farmington library is looking for some good friends

Friends do a lot for one another. They help make tough decisions. They give support. They even help out with a few dollars, now and then.

It’s little wonder, then, that branch manager Barbara Svoboda would like to see a Friends of the Library group re-establish itself at the Dakota County Library in Farmington.

The local library had a Friends of the Library group for a number of years, and that group was particularly active through the library’s move from its space in the old city hall – now Rambling River Center – to its current location on Spruce and Third streets. Much of the artwork that hung in the library prior to its closing for renovation was provided through the Friends of the Library group.

For reasons Svoboda doesn’t really know, the Friends group just kind of dissolved five or six years ago.

Now, though, there is a movement to re-establish Farmington’s Friends of the Library group.

“We’re really in the very, very, very beginning stages of putting it back together,” Svoboda said.

An introductory meeting is planned from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 14 at the library’s temporary location on the second floor of Farmington City Hall. Farmington resident Pat Hanauer is helping to get the project up and going, Svoboda said.

Svoboda doesn’t know what the revived Friends of the Library group will do. It will depend, she said, on how many members come forward, and what the new board sets as its priorities.

“One of the things I would like to see them do is to help increase the awareness of the library in Farmington. To let folks in the community know we’re here. Our staff has done a lot of outreach, but it’s nice to have the community feel like they have a vested interest in the library,” she said. “That’s part of what a Friends group can do.”

Other libraries in the Dakota County system have Friends of the Library groups. The groups do projects to promote literacy community-wide. The Rosemount Friends of the Library group holds a big used book sales to help raise money to cover costs for extras for the libraries.

“We’re hoping for a group that’s excited and enthusiastic and willing to try new ideas,” Svoboda said.

At first, Svoboda said, the new Friends of the Library group will likely try to meet monthly. As the group establishes itself, members may decide they want to meet more or less frequently.

Anyone who is interested in helping to promote the Farmington library and its future — especially once it moves back into its renovated building across the street later this year — is encouraged to attend the April 14 informational meeting.

“If you love libraries, and you love the idea of helping to promote literacy in your community, then this if for you to check out,” Svoboda said.

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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