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Residents hope to form a 'Friends of Library' group

While the Lake Elmo City Council and the Washington County Library Board work towards finding a new location for the Lake Elmo Branch Library, a group of concerned citizens are looking for innovative ways to help out.

The Lake Elmo Library ad-hoc committee is trying to establish a non-profit group that could undertake some fund raising efforts to help out with some of the extra costs that might not be included in the basic budget.

The committee discussed forming the non-profit group at their May 9 meeting, which was called after the library board voted to terminate the library's lease at its current location due to recent flooding problems.

Committee members hope to call the non-profit "Friends of the Lake Elmo Library" and are currently working though state channels to gain the non-profit status.

Getting the non-profit status means that individuals and groups who wish to donate to the organization can deduct the contribution as a charitable gift on their taxes.

Chair of the ad-hoc committee, Wyn John said it's important to recognize that the ad-hoc committee doesn't want to step on the toes of the library board and just hopes to contribute in any way they can.

Once the friends of the library group is established, they will have to adopt by-laws and ad-hoc committee members are working with the Minnesota Association of Library Friends to follow the right format.

Anyone interested in helping out should contact John at (651) 770-5960 or e-mail him at

At the June 3 city council meeting, a representative from the ad-hoc committee told council members that the library board is currently looking at where to store the library's things until a new location can be found.

He also suggested that the library could rent a modular building to house the library until a permanent building can be built or found. Cost of renting the modular building would be about $700 a month, but the city would need to supply sewer and water service.

Council members said they were favorable to the idea of using a modular building as a temporary building.