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Library has become central part of community

The Robert Trail Library opened its doors to the public five years ago this month. Since that day, the library has become a pillar in the community.

Branch manager Frances Veit said visitors comment daily on how grateful they are to have a library in their community. The Robert Trail Library is part of the Dakota County Library System. The branch opened Feb. 9, 2009.

“It’s new enough still that people don’t take us for granted,” said Veit.

Annually, 190,000 people walk through the doors of the library. In 2013, Veit said, 196,575 people visited.

The library started with a collection of 48,000 items. Over the five year span that collection has grown to include more than 82,000 items including books, CDs, movies, newspapers, magazines and more.

As the library has grown into itself so have some of its patrons. Children’s librarian Kathy Kleckner said it’s been fun to watch kids who first came into the library five years ago grow up before her eyes. Kleckner has worked at the library since its opening.

She said many young families come in for storytime and then go on to participate with other library programming.

“It’s fun and exciting to see them grow up,” said Kleckner.

One of the big draws to the library is its programming. Programs range from weekly story times to the summer reading program to WorkForce Center classes to monthly meet-the-author events. In 2013 the library hosted 233 programs.

Kleckner has watched as children have discovered themselves and their interests through the library’s programming. She said the library offers a diverse set of programs that includes music, arts, poetry and more.

“It’s a rewarding, rich part of what the library offers,” said Kleckner.

One of the most popular programs is the One Book One Rosemount campaign. The library partners with other organizations including the Rosemount Area Arts Council and the Rosemount Area Historical Society to put on the month-long reading event.

The community-wide reading campaign was last held in 2012. One Book One Rosemount is held every other year, meaning another event will be held in October 2014. This year’s book is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.

Another popular program is the children’s summer reading program. Kleckner said the summer reading program offers kids the opportunity to fall in love with reading.

Going forward, Kleckner said she’d like to see the program reach kids who don’t read a lot or who think they don’t like to read.

The library provides a free place for every member of the community. Young and old alike can find something in the library and many do said Kleckner.

“It’s a wonderful place. We offer something that no other place in the community does. You can come here and there’s peace. It’s free. I think everyone can benefit from having a quiet place to sit,” said Kleckner.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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