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Renovation of Adrian Branch Library to begin this fall

ADRIAN -- As books are being carried out by the boxful from the Adrian branch of the Nobles County Library, Branch Librarian Meredith Vaselaar is looking ahead to the renovation of the building's interior.

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ADRIAN -- As books are being carried out by the boxful from the Adrian branch of the Nobles County Library, Branch Librarian Meredith Vaselaar is looking ahead to the renovation of the building’s interior.

Someday soon, people will no longer look at the missing ceiling tiles due to past water damage. Instead, they’ll be able to peruse book titles under new lighting in a refreshed space.

“They are going to gut the place,” Vaselaar said as she looked about her surroundings recently.

A conceptual plan for the renovated interior shows story time risers in the children’s section, designated areas for children, juvenile, teen, adult and newly-released books, a public computer area, service desk at the front and a Keurig coffee station.

The plans also include installation of an ADA-compliant entry and restroom, carpeting, a locked storage room that may be reinforced for use as a storm shelter and improvements to the HVAC system.

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Nobles County Library Director Clint Wolthuizen said the library board of directors is currently working with two architects on the renovation plans. The board was to meet Monday to choose the architect and develop a project timeline. The board’s selection will ultimately be presented to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners as a recommendation.

Wolthuizen said he hopes the renovation can begin either late fall or winter, and anticipates the work will take four to six weeks. During the renovation, the library will open with a limited collection inside the New Vision building, 100 First St., Adrian.

Meanwhile, Vaselaar is spearheading a fundraising campaign to raise $80,000 to furnish the renovated library. Her plans include purchasing new shelving units, chairs, computer stations, checkout desks and the special seating in the children’s area.

“We will have comfortable seating,” she said. “It’s not a lot of space, but the space will be utilized, I think, much more efficiently. Plus, it will be easier to move around.”

Now that a fiscal agent has been secured to allow people to make tax-deductible donations, Vaselaar hopes fundraising will begin soon. Her goal is to raise the money by Sept. 1, however, because a date isn’t set yet for the renovation to begin, that deadline may be extended.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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