Ramsey County Library will be closed on Sunday, April 20. 

New Brighton: The Future of Library Services

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New Brighton Grand Opening 

The Grand Opening Celebration of the new library in New Brighton was a great success, with more than 1,500 people checking out 2,500 items.

After opening speeches from Library Board Chair David Norrgard, Commissioner Jan Parker, New Brighton Mayor Dave Jacobsen and Friends Director Sue Gehrz (pictured right), community members and library supporters enjoyed refreshments from Perkins and the music of the Okee Dokee Brothers, David Malmberg and Salsabrosa.

 The new library, which is located in the New Brighton Community Center and boasts a popular collection and comfortable seating, was easily the most popular attraction of the day. Attendees made use of the Library’s 14 computers as well as the additional computers located in the Community Center lobby. Children enjoyed the new literacy equipment in the children’s reading area, while adults relaxed by the fireplace in the comfortable reading room.

 The new 6,515 square foot space also includes a drive-up materials return, Community Center program rooms that will allow the library to expand programming and an updated collection.

 Special thanks to the Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries, Perkins and the New Brighton Community Center for making the Grand Opening Celebration possible.

 

Grand Opening Celebration
Saturday, October 29, 2011
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

10 a.m. - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

11 - Okee Dokee Brothers

Noon - David Malmberg

2 p.m. - Salsabrosa

Join us as we celebrate our newest location.  Refreshments will be served.  There will be prize drawings for passes to Brightwood Hills Golf Course, Eagles Nest and the New Brighton Fitness Center, courtesy of  New Brighton Parks and Recreation. 

 

New Brighton Construction Update - September 2011

The project is moving along nicely. Carpeting, millwork, the fireplace, and most lighting have been installed. The rain garden and a Linden tree have been planted. The auxiliary parking lot is under construction. The Library is working with the Community Center on the development of a new monument sign.

The Library’s official occupancy permit was approved September 23. Existing shelving from the former library is on site and being installed. The current collection was delivered on Monday. New collection items should arrive next week. Library staff has begun unpacking and shelving.

The opening day festivities are planned for October 29. Watch for details next week. The Friends’ capital campaign is off to a good start with almost $50,000 in pledges and gifts.
 

New Brighton Construction Update - August 2011

Construction is on schedule.  Doors, hardware and the glass window walls have been installed.  The rain garden will be constructed when all the exterior building work is complete.

Work has begun on the design of the monument signs and the signs at the entrance and the service desk.  The entrance will feature a flat-screen monitor with updates on library events and services, similar to those in the lobbies of Maplewood and Roseville.

The Friends Capital Campaign is well underway.  Subcommittees have been meeting to finalize communication and event details.  The group has conducted a garage sale and were present at Stockyard Days. 

 

New Brighton Construction Update - June 2011

Ground Breaking
The groundbreaking ceremony for the library in New Brighton took placeon June 7. Library Board Chair David Norrgard, Ramsey County Commissioner Jan Parker, Mayor Dave Jacobson, City Manager Dean Lotter, and Friends Director Sue Gehrz spoke about the new partnership and the excitement and opportunities afforded by the new library. Hard hats were donned by members of the Library Board, County Board, City Council, capital campaign committee, and others involved in the planning of the new library.

Construction
The building permit was received and construction began on June 10. Construction bids came in significantly lower than expected, allowing some features to be added back to the project.

The furniture, fixtures, and equipment bid package was issued June 1. The collection for the New Brighton library is being selected with an emphasis on high-demand items and popular browsing collections. The opening day collection will be ready to shelve in September.

Capital Campaign
The Capital Campaign Committee for the New Brighton branch met on June 2 at the New Brighton Community Center to brainstorm fundraising ideas. A goal of $65,000 has been set to address the following enhancements for the New Brighton branch library:
Literacy-building equipment, literacy kiosk, fireplace, four custom window seats, decorative lighting, art, books.

The Campaign Committee includes the following individuals:

Dave Jacobsen Nancy Guerino Mary Burg Brandon Krosch John Marg-Patton
Marre Jo Sager Sue Gehrz Ruth Marg-Patton Dan Knuth Karen Malver
Jan Parker Susan Nemitz Lisa Herrald Joann Knuth Bob Benke
Char Samuelson Sandy Walsh Bev Aplikowski Sharon Borg  
Judy Benke Meg Robertson Jim Ostlund Barb Crassweller  
Yael Sivan Heather McNeff Cyndi Lesher James Alvey  
Paul Jacobsen Roger Williams Dan Hoverman David Phillips  
Rick Thomas Lynn Redlinger Paul Bjerke Grace McCarron  
Jane Fields Carol Dunn Kate Knuth Christine Catlin  
Eva Keiser Rick Dunn Bruce Howard Tina Karelson  

 

 


Arden Hills Relocation Update - May 2011

The design and approval process was completed in the spring of 2011. The County Board approved the project budget, schedule, financing plan and the change in name to Ramsey County Library in New Brighton. The Design Team is currently working on selecting finsihes,furniture and equiment. Construction will begin this summer with completion expected in the fall.

Design plans for the 6,795 square foot space create a warm, welcoming library with 21st century collections, services and public computing. Features include:

  •  An updated collection with an emphasis on high demand material.
  •  A drive-up materials return.
  •  Fourteen public Internet computers in the library, with six additional in the Community Center lobby.
  •  Comfortable seating for children and adults to enjoy while reading.
  •  Community Center program rooms that will allow the Library to expand literacy-based events and computer classes.
  •  The ability to partner with the Community Center and local organizations on a variety of activities. Watch for One Book/One Community this winter!

There are many ways you can help your community library:

  • Contact the Friends of the Library, 651-486-2213, to help with fundraising. Contributions will fund building enhancements and literacy initiatives.
  • The Mayor of New Brighton and Ramsey County Library welcome your participation in developing a One Book/One Community program in celebration of the new library. If you are interested in helping please call 651-638-2066.
  • Volunteers help keep our libraries running. There will be opportunities to volunteer at the library in New Brighton when it opens.

 


Arden Hills Update - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Arden Hills library collection has been boxed and is currently being stored. A few items of furniture, equipment and supplies that will be used in the new location are stored as well. All computer equipment has been removed and will be used at other library branches. Selected furniture and equipment items have been delivered to other branches for re-use.

Design: The Design Team met February 17 and March 3. The team is working on refining the floor and site plans.

Sale of the Arden Hills building: Ramsey County Property Management is in negotiations on the sale of the Arden Hills property.


Arden Hills Relocation Update - Wednesday, February 16

The library in Arden Hills closed its doors on December 31, 2010, with a farewell celebration attended by 768 visitors who listened to music, viewed scrapbooks and memorabilia, and shared their memories of the library in Arden Hills.

The next chapter begins with staff from the Library, the City of New Brighton and Ramsey County Property Management diving into the design process. A Request for Proposal for construction manager/design team services was released in November and 11 proposals were submitted. An Evaluation Team rated the proposals and interviewed finalists. The Team unanimously recommended the selection of Adolfson & Peterson Construction and HGA Architects. This recommendation was approved by the Library Board in January, and the County Board of Commissioners in February. A lease has been negotiated and approved by all parties.

Community input on the library design was gathered at a public meeting in February. In addition, anyone interested in contributing to the design process can respond to a survey featured on the Library's website.

Stay tuned as construction begins and the story unfolds.


Community Meeting: Your Input Wanted

  • Monday, February 7, 2011
  • 7 p.m.
  • New Brighton Family Service Center, room 124

Ramsey County Library is requesting information from the public to help in the New Brighton library design. In an effort to open the new library as soon as possible, the Library plans on a fast design process. Public input will be gathered at this community meeting. If you are unable to make the meeting, please submit your thoughts on the following questions via e-mail to ah@rclreads.org

Please provide feedback on the following questions:

1. What is one thing you really liked about the Ramsey County Library in Arden Hills?

2. If there were one thing you could have changed about the library in Arden Hills, what would it have been?

3. Please describe a library or other public space that you have enjoyed. What about it was appealing to you?

4. How do you usually use the library? Please check your top three uses.

  • Browse for something to check out
  • Look for specific item(s)
  • Use library computers
  • Attend a program
  • Ask for staff assistance finding materials
  • Use the library's wireless network
  • Use library space for leisure reading
  • Use library space for study
  • Other

5. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 indicating most important and 1 indicating least important, please rate the following services and amenities:

  • Computer classes
  • Library-sponsored book clubs or reading events
  • Rental books and DVDs
  • Video game collection
  • Drive-up materials return
  • Coffee cart or vending
  • Quiet study room

 


Farewell Celebration

  • Friday, December 31, 2010
  • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • RCL - Arden Hills

You are invited to celebrate with Ramsey County Library! Come and reminisce as we look back upon the fantastic years in the current building and look forward to the new location where our services to this area will continue.

Our celebration will include:
10:30 a.m. - James Wedgewood, family-friendly ventriloquist
Noon - George Maurer, the Midwest's most accomplished jazz pianist
3 p.m. - Salsabrosa, the energetic and authentic Latin/salsa band

Refreshments will be provided. A memory book will be available for those inspired to share.


Arden Hills Relocation:Your Questions Answered

December 1,2010

The library in Arden Hills will close after regular business hours on December 31, 2010, to prepare for relocation. Programs and services are being rescheduled at other Ramsey County Library locations during this transitio "Ask a Librarian."

When will the library in Arden Hills close?
The current library in Arden Hills will close at the end of regular business hours on December 31, 2010.

When will the new library open?
The new library site at the New Brighton Family Service Center is expected to open in December 2011.

Where is the new location?
The new 6,175 square foot library will be located in the New Brighton Family Service Center, less than two miles away from the current library.

Where should I return my books when the Library is closed?
After December 31, 2010, the bookdrop at the library in Arden Hills will be closed. You can return your materials to any Twin Cities public library. The three closest Libraries are in Mounds View, Roseville and shoreview.

Where will my requests go during the closure?
You can designate any Ramsey County Library as a request pick-up location while the library in Arden Hills is closed. All non-designated requests will be sent to the library in Roseville. Please ask a librarian if you need help making this change.

What will happen to Storytimes?
The Arden Hills Children's Librarian will hold storytimes on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. at the library in Mounds View.

What about the Book Club?
The Book Club will continue to meet on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m., but will be moved to the library in Shoreview.

To stay updated on the library in Arden Hills, please sign up for our e-mail list by clicking this link: Subscribe to receive updates


October 12, 2010

Arden Hills Library Relocation Approved

At their meeting on October 12, 2010, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved the relocation of library services in the Arden Hills/New Brighton area.

Ramsey County Library will open a new 6,175 square feet library in the New Brighton Family Service Center next summer to better serve residents. The County's innovative plan to partner with the community center will reduce annual operating costs by $150,000.

"Over the next 10 years, our partnership with New Brighton will save more than $1.8 million in reduced operating costs and deferred maintenance required by the existing library," says Commissioner Parker. "The new site is very accessible to students who attend nearby schools, it is on a public transportation route, and it will be ADA compliant unlike the existing library."

The relocation will improve patrons' experience with a drive-thru materials return, comfortable seating and a popular collection. Computing will also be improved as the number of available computers inside the Library increases to 14. Additional computers will be placed outside the library in the community center space and will be available 100 hours a week, versus the 35 hours the Library is open.

The Ramsey County Library in Arden Hills is a vibrant and popular community destination. In 2009, the library circulated 311,687 items and received 111,941 visits; 2010 statistics are on track to surpass those figures. Over the past 10 years, overall circulation has increased 77 percent and visits have increased 59 percent. Despite the robust and growing use, the Ramsey County Library budget cannot support the higher costs of operation for this aging, inadequate facility.

Ramsey County Library solicited many ideas over the last year: staff began to meet with community leaders in September 2009; a community meeting was held at the library in Arden Hills on November 2009 with over seventy residents attending; a Task Force comprised of twenty residents from Arden Hills and New Brighton was formed and has met monthly since January; potential partners and local developers were contacted. The Library Board unanimously voted for the New Brighton Family Service Center as the best opportunity for future services at their September meeting.

Commissioner Reinhardt supports the Library Board recommendation to relocate, and stated, "This location provides opportunities to improve programs and services for our citizens by partnering with the community center and area organizations that use it. This collaborative model has been proven successful in North St. Paul."

The Library believes the project could be funded through the sale of the current facility and the use of fund balances in the Library's capital account. Property taxes would not need to be increased to support this project.


September 23, 2010

Library Board Recommendation

Thank you to almost 400 residents who gave feedback about the future of library services in the Arden Hills/New Brighton area.

Your comments helped the Library Board make a unanimous recommendation at their meeting on Wednesday, September 15, to move forward with arrangements for the New Brighton Family Service Center option.

In October, Library Director Susan Nemitz will take this recommendation to Ramsey County Commissioners for their approval.


September 1, 2010

Two Partnership Opportunities

Which site location best meets your needs?
Ramsey County Library is unable to continue to provide library service to the Arden Hills/New Brighton area through its aging, stand-alone Arden Hills building. Two potential sites for partnerships that would allow the Library to continue to have a presence in the area have emerged.

Option 1 - New Brighton Family Service Center
Option 2 - Presbyterian Homes of Arden Hills

For details on both options, click here. Updated 9/23/10 (PDF Document*)

To share your thoughts email ah@rclreads.org

 Note: In order to view documents in PDF format you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader loaded on your computer. Acrobat Reader is free and can be downloaded by following the link below:


June 23, 2010

The library is in the process of evaluating two plans for partnerships that would allow for continued Ramsey County Library service to the Arden Hills/New Brighton area.

An architectural firm is evaluating the New Brighton Family Service Center to see if it could accommodate the Arden Hills library's stacks.
Presbyterian Homes, a senior residential community on Lake Johanna Boulevard, is another possibility that has emerged recently.

Members of the task force will be looking at the two current plans in detail during their next meeting on Monday, June 28.


May 6, 2010

Progress is being made toward finding a solution to continuing Ramsey County Library services to the Arden Hills/New Brighton area. At the library board meeting on April 21, board members approved the hiring of HGA, a local architecture firm, to do a fit study and cost estimate as a start to exploring the possibility of a library partnership with the New Brighton Family Service Center. Use data for both the Service Center and the Arden Hills Branch is being compiled and Ramsey County Public Works is looking at road usage studies and GIS density studies. Working with the New Brighton Family Service Center as a potential solution to maintaining excellent service to this area is a plan that is gaining momentum at this time, but it remains one of several other options which are:

  • Build with a partner such as the Baptist Conference/Bethel on the current site
  • Work with Presbyterian Homes as a partner on a different Arden Hills site
  • Close the Current Arden Hills library and reallocate resources

Advocacy letters that the public has written in support of the library have been distributed to the library director, library board chair and local politicians. The task force continues to meet monthly and members have been a crucial presence at Arden Hills and New Brighton City Council meetings. The last meeting of the task force was on April 26 and included County Commissioners Tony Bennett and Jan Parker, Arden Hills City Councilmember Brenda Holden, and Library Board members Lori-Anne Williams and Paula Mielke. The next task force meeting will be on May 24th.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.


Change in Arden Hills Task Force meeting date

The Arden Hills Task Force will meet on Monday, March 22 at 6 pm in the upstairs meeting room at the Shoreview branch library. This will replace the meeting originally scheduled for Monday, March 29.


Express Your Concerns

Many Library patrons have expressed concern over the future of the Arden Hills branch and asked what can be done to support the branch. Indeed, this Web page was created in order to address those concerns by providing you with updates about the progress toward a solution.

A public library by definition does not exist without the support of the public and the political bodies that frame the community structures. In order for library representatives to best understand and communicate to political bodies what the library means to the public, we need to hear from you directly.

If you would like to share written reflections on your experiences at the library in Arden Hills and on the role this branch plays in your life, please send your letter to Meg Robertson, manager of the Ramsey County Library in Arden Hills at the e-mail address or regular mail address below (or hand-deliver it, we'd love to see you). Please include written permission to use your words in public presentations, in library publicity, or in meetings with potential library partners if you are willing to grant that permission.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Meg Robertson
mroberts@rclreads.org
1941 W. County Rd. E-2
Arden Hills, MN 55112


Community Task Force Members

Brandon Krosch
Leslie Goldsmith
Barb Crassweller
Sushila Shah
Arnold and Mary Anne Lindberg
Grace Peck
Peter Breuch
Paddy Satzer
Paul Bjerke
James Alvey
Christine Catlin
Paulette Fleming
Cynthia Boyd Buoen
Sharon Borg
Joann Usher


Arden Hills Task Force Meeting

February 22, 2010

Five citizen members of the Arden Hills task force travelled to the North St. Paul library and met with Meg Robertson, Arden Hills branch manager, Sandy Walsh, RCL deputy director, and Paula Mielke, Library Board member. Carol Jackson, North St. Paul branch manager, gave us a tour of the North St. Paul library and answered questions about the operations at the library and the cooperative relationship with the community center and the City of North St. Paul. Sandy provided updates from Susan Nemitz, library director.

Budget info-
The Governor has announced a plan to cut state payments to local governments by $250 million. Ramsey County receives about $18 million in County Program Aid; the library has a line item for $400,000 in CPA in its budget. Our budget has already been reduced by $350,000 this year. The $400,000 would come on top of that.

Obviously we face a very unstable financial future. We intend to keep moving forward with our plans in order to have options to offer the County, no matter what the budget situation.

Task force members (absent and present) were provided with copies of a PowerPoint presentation given to the Arden Hills City Council by Susan Nemitz on February 22, specifications of Gateway Library desired characteristics, a summary of the task force members' community connections and the request for advocacy letters sent out to the public via the Future of Arden Hills Library web link. The meeting concluded with a discussion of the role of the task force member and an exploration of the relationship of this citizen group to the elected officials that represent the Arden Hills/New Brighton taxpayers. The importance of clear communications about what defines a 21st century library and about the RCL system building decisions was discussed.

The next meeting of the task force is on Monday, March 29 at 6 pm at the Arden Hills City Hall.


Arden Hills Task Force Meeting

January 11, 2010

Fourteen task force volunteers from the Arden Hills and New Brighton communities attended this first meeting held at the library in Arden Hills. The charge of the Arden Hills Task Force was identified as the following: Find financially and politically feasible solutions to providing library service in the Arden Hills/New Brighton area.

Library Director Susan Nemitz presented background information about why the Arden Hills branch is vulnerable to budget cuts. Deputy Director Sandy Walsh supplied supporting statistics and information, including information from the Facilities Master Plan (link to plan located below).

Task force members asked for explanation on funding details and political situations. They expressed concerns about the reduction in quality of life if this branch is not sustained in some form in the Arden Hills/New Brighton area. Task force members responded to a brainstorming question asking for ideas for potential partners. Their written responses will be consolidated and presented to the group with the possibility of forming subgroups to pursue various ideas.

Some early conversations have taken place with potential partners. Presbyterian Homes has been contacted and expressed interest in working with the Library although they have concerns over the Library's short timeline. A preliminary discussion with the Mounds View School District may lead to further exploration of collaboration.

The Library Director, Arden Hills Branch Manager and two residents will speak to the Arden Hills City Council on January 19 and 25 on the status of the Ramsey County Library in Arden Hills. A meeting with the New Brighton City Council is scheduled for February 8, with two New Brighton residents volunteering to speak at that presentation.

Task force meetings are scheduled for the fourth Monday of every month. Meetings will be at 6 p.m. and will alternate locations between Arden Hills and New Brighton. The next meeting is on Monday, February 22 at the Ramsey County Library in North St. Paul. Task force members will tour this shared facility to get an understanding of one representation of the Facilities Master Plan portal model.


Arden Hills: The Future of Library Services

November 2009

The Ramsey County Library in Arden Hills is a vibrant and popular library serving the communities of Arden Hills and New Brighton. In 2008, it circulated 267,823 items and had 98,969 visits. Over the last ten years, circulation has increased 53 percent and library visits have increased 34 percent.

Despite the robust and growing use, the Ramsey County Library budget cannot support the higher costs of operation for this aging, inadequate facility. The Arden Hills building has maintenance requirements and infrastructure challenges that increase its operating cost. The 40-year-old 8,172 square foot building needs an immediate investment of at least $300,000 for major repairs to the air handler, electrical systems, soffit and roof. The building is not ADA compliant and has no fire sprinklers. The construction of the building makes technology improvements difficult and costly.

Because of the financial burdens created by the Arden Hills library facility and the current economic conditions, on September 8, 2009, the County Manager recommended funding the library in Arden Hills through December 31, 2010. The County Manager posed a challenge to the Library Board: find a cost effective solution for providing service in this area or close the library.

Ramsey County Library's Facilities Master Plan (2008-2018) recommends that the Library develop and maintain a mix of regional and portal libraries. This plan envisions a community library within a multi-use facility shared with a complementary partner (public or private) that offers the following services:

  • Targeted collections for adults, teens and children
  • Full-service computing
  • Children's programming
  • Information assistance
  • After-hours materials return
  • Programming space

While the Arden Hills library is situated in an area of natural beauty, the current building does not incorporate the outdoor setting in any way. The site lacks population and commercial density, has no access to public transportation and has little visibility. The possible sale of the Arden Hills building could finance an improved facility on an alternative site.

We have 14 months to find a solution. There are many options to explore as we move forward. The Library is reaching out to the communities of Arden Hills and New Brighton to help find a solution.

To share your thoughts and concerns, send an email to The project is moving along nicely. Carpeting, millwork, the fireplace, and most lighting have been installed. The rain garden and a Linden tree have been planted. The auxiliary parking lot is under construction. The Library is working with the Community Center on the development of a new monument sign.

The Library’s official occupancy permit was approved September 23. Existing shelving from the former library is on site and being installed. The current collection was delivered on Monday. New collection items should arrive next week. Library staff has begun unpacking and shelving.

The opening day festivities are planned for October 29. Watch for details next week. The Friends’ capital campaign is off to a good start with almost $50,000 in pledges and gifts.
ah@rclreads.org or call the Library at 651-628-6831.