Library reopens on Fridays

Published 10:26 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

On Friday the Albert Lea Public Library reopened for limited hours on Fridays. The library has not been open on Fridays for five years due to the 2010 budget cuts. 

During the last six months the community has voiced their desire to have their library open on Fridays by emailing their councilmen, talking to city officials and presenting a petition to the City Council.

During her budget presentation to the Freeborn County commissioners in September, Library Director Peggy Havener requested additional funds from the county for the specific purpose of reinstating limited Friday hours.

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The county commissioners voted unanimously to provide their fair share of the additional funds if the Albert Lea City Council did so as well.

In December the Albert Lea City Council voted unanimously to expand the library’s budget to open the library for limited hours on Fridays to show their commitment to meeting the community’s needs by providing customer service.

At 1 p.m. Friday the library reopened to the public. The Friends of the Albert Lea Public Library provided lots of balloons and Hy-Vee donated eight dozen cookies to celebrate the occasion.

In the five-hour period the library had over 430 patrons come through the doors circulated for 700 items. There were lots of smiling faces and again and again the staff heard “we are so glad you are open on Fridays!”

The new library hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The library staff thanks the Freeborn County commissioners and the Albert Lea City Council for listening and responding to their citizens’ request for expanded library services.