News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: May 8, 2020

Great River Regional Library Offering Curbside Service for Members

The Great River Regional Library is opening its branch offices to curbside service. Mike Potter, who represents Wright County on the GRRL Board of Directors, said that the process had started at some branches, but has now been expanded to all branches systemwide.

Potter explained the process, which began this week, saying, “You order them online and get a time when you can come and pick them up. We’re being told that it will be done at all branches. People will have to call or go online to see what the open hours for a specific branch are because they have been cut way back due to COVID-19, but we were told all branches will have he curbside service available to some extent.”

GRRL has 33 branch libraries in six counties (Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright), including nine branches in Wright County (Annandale, Buffalo, Clearwater, Cokato, Delano, Howard Lake, Monticello, Rockford and St. Michael).

Like many businesses, the library system has been forced to adapt to the new reality of the pandemic and Potter believes it has changed GRRL’s view of looking long term for evolving the role libraries play in a growingly paperless world moving toward technology options.

“COVID-19 has forced the library to change how it operates,” Potter said. “Changes are coming faster than they would have otherwise. Before, they could have said they were going to get something done in 10 years. Now, those numbers have been dropped down to five. It’s made them look at things a different way.”

Potter added that the combination of 2020 budgets not being fully utilized and an eight-month fund reserve balance, what was planned to be a request for a 1.7 percent increase for 2021 to cover union contracts is going to be a flat budget proposal.

“The potential for a 1.7 percent budget increase is probably closer to a zero increase for 2021,” Potter said. “We have a healthy fund reserve and it was the consensus of the board that, given the circumstances we’re in now, to make it so the increase won’t be felt – what we paid last year, we’ll pay this year. We’re looking to have zero (budget) impact. I believe we have more than enough money to pull it off. I think the smaller counties in the organization really appreciated that because it will be a tough budget to do next year.”

For more information about a library branch near you, go to the following link: The open hours won’t be the same as the ones listed on the website, but it includes the phone numbers for each that will either be answered or have a voicemail message detailing the open hours for that branch.

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