• All branches closing at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Eve, November 26

Great River Regional Library Celebrates 40Years of Service

Great River Regional Library Celebrates 40Years of Service

Forty years ago, on Sept. 25, 1969, a group of individuals representing the interests of counties and libraries met in St. Cloud to finalize the agreement that created Great River Regional Library (GRRL). Benton, Morrison, Stearns and Wright Counties joined with the city of St. Cloud to create the kind of multi-county regional system that library experts within the state believed promised benefits for the future of library service.

Since then, the library system has grown steadily and carefully, expanding its services, adapting to new technologies, adding branch libraries, meeting the information needs of Central Minnesota’s expanding population.

What began as a grouping of 14 libraries with independent collections of books, vinyl records and 16 mm films is now a system of 32 libraries with a single collection of nearly 1 million items, all accessible via a computerized catalog. Over the years, some technologies, such as microfiche and videocassette, have emerged, had their day in the sun and fallen away. Now, books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks and magazines are the primary formats checked out by approximately 125,000 library cardholders. Computerized technologies have brought an entire range of information services to people and people to libraries.

Celebrating This Milestone
The library system is celebrating its forty years of service throughout the month with a variety of promotional activities.
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Each branch library will have a drawing for a commemorative 40th anniversary bookbag.
New patrons will receive a commemorative cardholder.
Branches will conduct birthday item food drives for area food shelves.
A $40 donation opportunity is available in honor or memory of your favorite librarian.
And don’t be surprised to see staff wearing tie-dye on Tie-Dye Fridays.
Some branches will celebrate in their own, special way. Visit your local library to find out what’s planned.

The Originals
For the record, here’s the listing of the original GRRL members:
Albany, Annandale, Belgrade, Buffalo, Cold Spring, Delano, Howard Lake, Kimball, Melrose, Richmond, Royalton, St. Cloud, Swanville, Waite Park.
Sherburne County joined the system in 1971, and Todd County in 1973.