Last week I chaired a meeting of the Dakota County Library Advisory Committee. Since joining the committee in 2019, we’ve had exactly one member of the public attend our meetings and no one has ever spoken during the public comments.
Last week an estimated 150 people attended our meeting, with more waiting outside, and 37 people spoke (including half a dozen teens) before we cut off the comment period. Local news was filming as well (though I haven’t seen a story run yet).
Running that kind of meeting is daunting.
It’s hard to explain what it meant to have a few familiar faces in the crowd.
All things considered, I think the meeting went very well. Our committee listened with politeness and respect. I’m grateful and honored to served with such an amazing group of book lovers.
We finally installed our new Little Free Library. We commissioned Lori Greene of Mosaic on a Stick to create the mosaic and we’re really proud of it (Psst… you can support Lori through Patreon). So reminiscent of Alma Thomas. Love it.
We have a huge stack of books to keep it stocked (plus some stickers and other goodies). I’ve heard from other locals with Little Free Libraries, so I’m curious to see how this little adventure goes.
Library fines may seem like a minor annoyance, but when those fines add up you can be blocked from using the library. The blocking threshold is $25 for adults and $10 for kids. That can lock people out of vital resources. And the people with the greatest difficulty paying fines are the ones most in need of the library’s free resources.
23,000 people are currently blocked in the Dakota County Library system.
That’s a lot of people shut out of books, resources, and internet access.
This week’s West St. Paul City Council meeting didn’t seem to have any major items on the agenda, but there were still several noteworthy items. So let’s do a quick recap of the Feb. 25, 2019 meeting.
Food Drive: South Side vs. West Side
In a bit of friendly competition, the West St. Paul city council has challenged the South St. Paul city council to see who can bring in more food and donations in support of the Neighbors Inc. food shelf. The losing city council will wear the hockey jersey of the winning city’s team at a meeting. So it’s South St. Paul High School Packers vs. Henry Sibley High School Warriors. You can find more details including a list of places to bring food or donations online.