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Why are libraries relevant today?

Libraries are democracy in action - all are welcome and everyone has access to free books, information and the Internet.

A library enhances the community's ability to shape and exchange information in ways that no other institution can. It's a connecting point available to each and every resident.

The St. Cloud Public Library offers special programs for:

Parents and young children
Teens
Non-native English speakers to learn English
People with special needs
Public schools by providing additional materials to enhance education

The library is one of the pillars of the community. The symbolism is rich as this spectacular new facility dedicated to ideas and information takes shape in the heart of downtown alongside other key community assets representing commerce, faith, recreation, government and education.

What is the relationship among the city of St. Cloud, St. Cloud Public Library and Great River Regional Library?

The city of St. Cloud provides the space for the St. Cloud Public Library (SCPL). SCPL is governed by a board of trustees and oversees the facilities. Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides for the staff, collections, and equipment in SCPL and the other libraries that are a part of the 32 community system covering six counties. GRRL is governed by a board of trustees with representatives from throughout this region.

I thought the regional sales tax was paying for the project. Why are additional funds needed?

The sales tax is paying for the new building. It will be an impressive presence in the heart of St. Cloud befitting a vibrant, regional center.

GRRL is charged with providing the expanded collections and upgraded equipment to furnish this new building so that it will be fully functional for users of all kinds. The new library is nearly twice as large as the present facility and will require significant enhancements in order for it to attain its full potential in serving the public.

I haven't been in a library in many years. Why should I support this campaign?

The St. Cloud area has been at the forefront of promoting increased social capital as a means of weaving the community together. A library, more than almost any other public institution, represents the heart and soul of a community because it is open and accessible to everyone. Additionally, a library contributes to an educated citizenry and provides the means for people to take an active part in civic activities. While many people may purchase reading materials or have Internet access at home, not everyone is so fortunate. The library is a place where anyone can come and connect to the world of information and ideas. An investment in the library is an investment in the community and enhanced social capital for all.

Why should I give money to an organization that receives tax dollars?

So that the library can better serve the community. Just as many colleges, universities, hospitals, historical societies, shelters, food shelves and other organizations receive public funding, they also are active in raising private dollars to enhance their programs. That's exactly what the library is attempting to accomplish - a public/private partnership to leverage resources for the benefit of all.

I've heard that the Minneapolis Public Library had to cut back hours at branches because they spent too much money on their new downtown library. Could something like that happen here?

No. The GRRL system is organized differently than the Minneapolis Public Library. The city owns the new building in St. Cloud and the sales tax is paying the costs of construction so this is not taking any funds from GRRL operations and will in no way negatively impact on the other branches in the system.

What are the real needs - has a dollar goal been established?

After extensive research, the boards of GRRL and SCPL have determined that the costs for the collections, equipment and other essential enhancements to fully equip the new library total $2.5 million. That is a solid figure based upon careful analysis. At the same time, any amount raised - more or less than $2.5 million - will help to make the new library even better for users. That's why we are moving ahead to secure gifts of all sizes as quickly as possible in order to have the best facility possible when it opens to the public.

What is the project time line?

Construction is obviously well underway, a campaign committee is actively raising funds and the Grand Opening of the new library with its enhanced features will occur in fall 2008.

What are the plans for the present facility once the new library opens?

The St. Cloud city council will ultimately make this decision.

Are you collaborating with the Lake George project?

It is hoped that easy access to the improved Lake George recreation area will be available. Discussions including the city and state are underway about specifically how this will be accomplished.

What is the status of the fundraising campaign?

Leaders have been recruited.
The fundraising plan is in place.
Materials describing the campaign have been developed.
Presentations for community groups are underway.
Call teams are organizing and visiting with prospective donors.
Events are set to go.
Core committee gifts and pledges total over $100,000.
Friends of the Library is enthusiastically assisting with the effort.
Reading Room Society is planning an author's dinner in support of the project.
Full speed ahead!

What type of donor recognition is available?

There are exciting recognition opportunities for donors at levels from $50 on up. These include buying a brick, sponsoring specific building features and naming entire areas of the new library. The Donor Acknowledgement page has a full list.

How can I make a donation?

You can make a donation at the Donate page, thank you for your support!.

Boy reading
Mother reading to child