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Rochester Public Library is looking for room to grow

New strategic plan authorized by Library Board.

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 5:53 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A new strategic plan and building program is in the works for the Rochester Public Library.

Board members voted Wednesday to team up with Wilder Research on the project.

“The last building program document was finalized years ago and is now out of date,” says Library Director Audrey Betcher. “We know our current building does not adequately meet the needs of our community.”

Efforts to fund a two-story library expansion fell apart in 2016. Officials say this new push will include “extensive community engagement work.”

“Hearing directly from community members who live and work in Rochester is critical to determining a strategic direction that responds to community needs,” says Antinea Ascione, Committee Chair for the Library’s Board’s Planning Committee. “Wilder Research brings the expertise and experience needed to bring more voices to the table, which creates a more comprehensive strategic plan.”

Work with Wilder Research is expected to start this month and conclude in early 2020.

“We have a lot of work to do before making any decisions on how to address space needs,” says Library Board President Stephanie Saathoff. “Having a new strategic plan and building program are two important first steps in the decision-making process.”

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