As I walked into the building this morning a guy facetiously said to me, “gee, I thought I was in the wrong place.” Well, the address hasn’t changed, so I assume that he meant that the Cambridge library looks really different these days since Isanti County crews have undertaken a cleanup and redo project on the building exterior. For the last couple weeks visitors to the library have been greeted by chainsaws, backhoes, and trucks hauling away the overgrowth. Lots of days pedestrians and cars have been directed away from the front of the library in the interest of safety. Even the interior of the library is affected since the shrubs that covered the large windows are gone and light streams in. No longer is there a hiding place for all sorts of who-knows-what potentially threatening public safety.
While standing on the sidewalk conferring with the crews, I’ve talked to lots of people who are thrilled with the work on their library home. I’ve had the opportunity to provide information (that’s what librarians do best, you know) about the system. In Cambridge, Isanti County owns the building, which is the home of Cambridge library (upstairs) and East Central Regional Library headquarters(basement). The city partners with the utility costs. In all of ECRL, the branch facilities are owned by the cities and/or counties. ECRL provides staff and materials to operate the branches. It’s a good system and cost-efficient by partnering multiple funding sources.
All the ECRL branches have unique looks that fit their communities. Marketing begins at home, and attractive, well-kept libraries project the pride of their communities. Expectation of quality is greatly influenced by visual perception and atmosphere. Our libraries are attractive and welcoming community centers to residents and readers for all sorts of educational and recreational retreats.
Barbara Misselt, Director