Library Corner-Cloquet Public Library celebrates
By: Mary Lukkarila, Pine Journal
The Cloquet Shaw Memorial Public Library Foundation invites you to a special concert by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, as we celebrate the library’s 25th anniversary in the current building. An open house with refreshments will immediately follow the concert with special recognition given to the Cloquet Friends of the Library.
Established in 1981, the Friends have raised over $10,000 for the library through their book sales. They were an essential part of campaigning for the bond referendum for the new library building and moving the collection from the old building to its present location. Currently a dozen members of the Friends actively volunteer their time to assist with fund-raising efforts that include the used book sales held every spring and fall and other volunteer activities such as shelving books. In 2012, volunteers donated over 900 hours of their time at our library.
The first meeting of the Friends of the Library was held on April 22, 1981. Alana Friedman was elected temporary chairperson and Vivian Bergquist agreed to serve as temporary secretary. Members discussed possible projects for fundraising, promotion of the library, collections of puppets, toys and dolls, book delivery to people who were unable to come to the library, handicapped accessibility, programs featuring authors and artists, and volunteers for shelving and exhibits.
The library is actively recruiting new members to join the Friends and help with their book sales and other volunteer activities. The next book sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. The Friends of the Library is under the wing of the Cloquet Shaw Memorial Public Library Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax exempt. Money raised from the book sales is used for library programming and supplies.
In 1983 the Cloquet Shaw Memorial Public Library Foundation was created to raise money for a new public library building. Its first president was Howard Ross and first secretary/treasurer was Arlene Wolner. Architectural Resources from Duluth was selected to design the new library. The projected cost of the new library was $1.2 million. The Cloquet School District offered to sell a lot (former tennis courts) on 14th Street to the city of Cloquet for $1 for the purpose of building a new library. A bond referendum in the amount of $800,000 was passed by the citizens of Cloquet on Nov. 5, 1985. Over $200,000 was raised by the Foundation to match a $200,000 Federal Library Services and Construction Act grant. Today the Foundation actively seeks donations to help update and improve library services. They recently funded improvements for services to teens and created a teen area. Look for a special opportunity to donate to the Foundation online as part of “Give to the Max Day” on Nov. 15.
Volunteers, including the Friends, Foundation, Library Board, Boy Scouts, members of Cloquet service organizations and the Cloquet Army National Guard moved everything from the building on Cloquet Avenue to its present location in September 1987. The library opened for business on Oct. 12, 1987, and held its grand opening Nov. 2.
Our library would be much poorer without the Friends. The funds they raise definitely put the icing on the cake. I think most people would be surprised to learn how many of the services and programs they enjoy are supported by the Friends. Please contact the library at 218-879-1531 to find out how to become a member of the Friends or to volunteer at the library.
Mary Lukkarila is the director of the Cloquet Public Library. She can be contacted at 218-879-1531.