Public input wanted for future of Washington County libraries

Washington County seeks the participation of residents at a third and final community forum as part of a strategic planning series focused on the future of Washington County libraries from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, July 30, at the Forest Lake Service Center.

The forum will be in Room 1203/1204.

“These forums are the best opportunity for the general public to come and voice their thoughts about the future of the county library system,” said Commissioner Gary Kriesel, District 3. “The idea of what a library is and the services it may provide is changing dramatically. The county wants to make sure it is designing its library system and services to best meet community needs, ensure everyone has access to the resources needed for early literacy, lifelong learning, civic engagement and workforce training, and remain attractive to newcomers.”

In 2014, the county board asked for a review of the county’s model for providing library services to assure it is effectively positioned for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

In December, a 17-member library strategic planning stakeholder committee representing library boards, cities, townships, schools and residents was established to guide the process.

“To assure optimal outcomes for this process, it is essential that we have broad citizen participation,” said Commissioner Fran Miron, District 1. “I know the community highly values its libraries as a resource important to the quality of life for its residents, so I hope people take the time to voice their ideas about what’s working and where they’d like to see it go in the future. The first two forums provided useful qualitative data pointing us to areas needing further review and consideration and giving voice to emerging new directions.”

The Forest Lake Headwaters Service Center is at19955 Forest Road N., Forest Lake.

The two prior forums were May 27 in Cottage Grove and June 4 at the Washington County Government Center.

To be added to the notification list for meeting announcements and progress related to the library strategic plan, interested parties can sign up on the county website’s home page by clicking on the “Notify Me” box.

Information can also be found by searching for “Library Strategic Planning Process” on the county’s website or by going to

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