• Smokey Bear program Thursday July 31 at 1 p.m. at the Upsala Public Library has been cancelled.

Upsala Grand Opening Speakers Celebrate Partnership

Upsala Grand Opening Speakers Celebrate Partnership

Community leaders and library supporters met at the Upsala Public Library on Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, to celebrate the library’s Grand Opening in a new space.

The library remains in the same building on Main Street, but it is now in a larger room with more space for programming. It has also been reorganized and feels more welcoming. The circulation desk faces patrons instead of being behind them as they enter. The window onto the street is larger and lets in more light. Three new wing-backed easy chairs create a pleasant reading area.

There was no podium for speakers at the Grand Opening. Instead, people gathered around as individuals stepped forward with comments. Director Kirsty Smith thanked the library for being good partners in the collaborative arrangement that makes the library possible. Jon Benson, senior pastor at Word of Life Free Lutheran Church said that the library provides a blessing to the community when times are difficult and also when times are good. Tony Gebhard, CEO of Sytek, the communications company that owns the building and traded places with the library, said he was happy to have the library as a neighbor. Mayor Dan Cheney said that the library brings to the community a gathering place and a resource of good quality materials.

Branch Manager Wanda Erickson said she appreciates and needed the added space because the library has been very busy. Legacy programming funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund has been attracting increased numbers to the library, and and checkouts are on track to increase approximately 13 percent this year.

Photo:
Director Kirsty Smith (right) thanks the Grand Opening attendees for supporting the library. Branch Manager Wanda Erickson is at left. Standing at the back is former mayor Charlie Gunderson, who was still installing shelving just minutes before the photograph was taken. Also visible are three chairs purchased by the Upsala Friends.