Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 10.30.2014

October 30, 2014

Today: Sam Daly, Sniffing for Bombs in Afghanistan (Fossum)

Birthdays: Sue Boxrud (11/5) and David Brown (11/6)

Next Week: Jonathan Adams, RESTORE Project Director (V. Dilley)

Last Week:

The Northfield Public Library is poised for its first major expansion in 30 years, one that will position it to meet the evolving needs of the digital age.

Char Carlson, chair of the Northfield Library Board, said recent city council action will allow for the $2.1 million project to move forward on an aggressive schedule. The hope is the project will be completed next fall.

The project’s guiding principles are to make the library more functional, more flexible and more welcoming. A major feature of the expansion is a handsome, commons area on the library’s east side. Plans call for additional meeting space, improved flow of the building, better staff space and more community space. Other items high on the list for improvements include better children spaces, improved bathrooms, and ADA accessibility issues.

The project received a major boost last week when the city council agreed to fund “life and safety” code improvements estimated to cost $262,000 and to offer another $252,000 in bridge financing to allow the library to continue its private fundraising. All of that is in addition to a $1 million allocation from the city’s capital budget and $90,000 for a scheduled upgrade of the HVAC system.

That means the project will require $702,000 in private funds of which $450,000 is already in hand, Carlson said.

If you want to help with the project, she had several suggestions:

  • Be informed about the project and share your knowledge and excitement with others;
  • Thank members of the City Council for their support;
  • Support the private fundraising campaign with a check, stock gift or multi-year pledge.

“Every gift is important,” Char said.

The library was founded in 1910 with a grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. An expansion in 1985 tripled the space and moved the entrance from Third Street to Washington. There are currently 18,000 library card holders and 65,000 volumes in the collection.

Teresa Jensen, library director, said she doesn’t see the number of books in the collection increasing over time, but their digital and web presence will. For more on the campaign, go to:


Teresa Jensen has Iowa roots, a Southern California childhood, and Minnesota sensibilities. The executive director of Northfield Public Library spent most of her professional life working for Minneapolis branch libraries. She was lured to San Antonio, Texas for four years and then family, specifically a grandchild, persuaded her to move back to Minnesota, where she is happily overseeing a major expansion of our library.

Guests: Lydia, Giulia, Marcelo and Philipy (Rich)

Scholarship Enhancement: Linda Wilgohs

First Job: “Metal Manufacturing Trade Magazine. Is this the party to whom I am speaking?” This was Jan Stevens’ first job. At age 18, she spent the summer as the receptionist for an eight-person editorial office in Illinois. She said she enjoyed it, especially the editors’ antics, but college was awaitin’.


— New member orientation will be Monday, Nov. 10, noon at Community Resource Bank. Lunch will be provided and entertaining speakers are promised. This is open to all members. Consider it a Rotary refresher.

— Rob Bierman is looking for someone to refresh the Turkey Trot signs. The new route that will begin and end at the Carleton College Weitz Center requires new signage. There are many ways to help with this project: 1) sign up to run; 2) volunteer for a very time-limited role on Thanksgiving morning or 3) Back to refreshing signage. It will also, for the first time, be a vehicle for collecting non-perishable food items for the Northfield Food Shelf. Runners will be invited to bring an item to the race.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on Youtube: NorthfieldRotaryVideos

Coming Up:
Nov. 13 — Nick Frohner, Asian Carp (Anderson)

Nov. 20 — Stacey Zell, Northfield Hospital Sleep Center (Schlichting)


Dec. 4 — District Governor DG Karel (Cogan)