Weather Forecast


Farmington library, Gateway Academy team up

A student from Gateway Academy takes a few minutes to look through a book she's just checked out from the Dakota County Library in Farmington.

The Dakota County Library in Farmington gets to be pretty busy on Thursday mornings these days.

Every Thursday morning, the students from Farmington’s new Gateway Academy visit the library. It’s a collaboration to bring students into a public library and teach them how to use it.

“They’re trying to create a real-world experience for students,” library manager Barbara Svoboda said. “They come to visit us, and we’re slowly getting them to figure out how to use the library without our help. It’s good for both of us.”

Students come over in three groups. They walk from the school, book bags and library cards in tow. Once they arrive, students can visit the shelves, pick out books and even check the books out on their own.

Library staff also visit the school to teach the students how to use things like the online book catalog. Kids are also learning about research materials available to them at the library.

It’s working out well, Gateway Academy learning advisor Kari Stenger said.

“We have a small library and some donated books, but the kids are definitely more intrigued about coming (to the library) and getting their books here,” she said. “If we could have more time here, we would.”

Svoboda likes to have the students around the building, too. There are lots of books available to students, and she’s happy those books are going off the shelf more often now.

“Why have all these books on the shelves and not have kids come in and use them?” Svoboda said. “So much of their school projects are Internet-based and they all have iPads. They don’t come in to use the library for school quite as much as they used to, but there’s nothing better than putting up your feet and reading a good book. And we have plenty of regular, old-fashioned library books flying off the shelves.”

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. 

(651) 702-0974