State grant to help fund library plan

Planned library improvements will provide better accommodations for special programs. Best-selling author William Kent Krueger spoke at the library several years ago.

By Seth Schmidt

Thanks to the promise of a $67,000 state grant, the Tracy Public Library is planning a major improvement project.
The state grant will match a bequest from the Dr. O.E. and Marge Hyland estate to fund library remodeling totaling about $134,000.
The Tracy City Council Monday night passed a resolution agreeing to provide matching funds for the project, which are expected to be the Hyland estate funds.
The proposed project would remodel the library’s unfinished lower level.
The creation of a large meeting space for special library programs is the centerpiece of the remodeling. Handicapped accessible bathrooms, a spot for serving coffee and refreshments, and computer-accessible study nooks are also a part of the plans. The lower level is already fully accessible, because of stairway chair lifts installed several years ago.
Librarian Valerie Quist says the new space will make it possible to comfortably accommodate large programs. A recent performance by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, she noted, attracted about 20 people. But performers and spectators had to be squeezed in amongst bookshelves, tables and chairs on the library’s main floor. Meanwhile, the guitar performance conflicted with other library patrons who simply wanted to pick out a book.
The new space, Quist feels, will work well for many different programs and activities, both children and adult. A projector will be set up to accommodate Power Point and video presentations.
Other recent programs at the library include: knitting workshop, book signing and reading with Candace Simar, children’s robotics, Chamber of Commerce’s kids’ pictures with Santa.
The remodeled lower-level meeting space will be available for community groups to use as well.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.