Building the Next Chapter

Construction continues!

November Update:  Holds are available for pickup at Bayport City Hall, 274 3rd St N, just a couple blocks away from the Library.  The service offered at City Hall will only be holds pick up, we will not have public computers, copying, scanning or faxing available.  Chromebooks and hotspots can be requested and checked out for use at home.  Weekly storytimes are held on Tuesdays at 10:30 am in the City Council Chambers.  We anticipate being back in the Library space in mid-February 2023.  Our Grand Opening Celebrations will take place in April 2023 to coincide with National Library Week.

Exterior repairs are completed!  You may notice new, energy efficient lighting on the outside of the building.  Brick has been repaired, and the remaining sections of the upper balustrade have been replaced.  The front pillars have been painted. The outside bookdrop has been removed, and the new one will be installed soon in it’s new location.

Interior changes are happening fast!  New walls have been built.  The entrances have both been opened up to make the space more welcoming.  A new study room and small conference room have been added to the main floor.  The center chimney has been removed, and it has really opened up the space!  The logs in the log room are being refinished.  New lighting is being installed, and painting has begun.

Look at the beautiful stone fireplace in the log room!






This is the new main entrance to the Library – no more windows and doors.  The new service desk will be located on the right as you walk into the Library space.  It also adds light to the front lobby area.





Project Background:  Key goals include updating restrooms to current accessibility standards, adding more private study and small conference space, and making the space more flexible for library programs.  We also want to keep the traditional library feeling in our space, and keep it warm and welcoming.

The Library Board issued a request for proposals in 2019 for a Facilities Master Plan, and chose to work with Bentz Thompson Rietow to evaluate the current condition of library space, and to create a plan to take the Library to 2045. Work proceeded on the plan throughout 2020, with a combination of online focus groups and staff and stakeholder interviews.

In addition to a remodel of the existing restrooms, repairs to the facade, and updates to the lighting systems in the Library, changes are planned for all levels of the Library.

On the Library’s main floor, key additions include a quiet room, three new study spaces, a larger children’s area, and a reconfigured service desk.  We will keep areas we know you love to use, like the Mary Stout Reading Room!  We plan to update the furniture, carpet, paint and lighting.  Both entrances will be made more open and welcoming to all who enter the Library.

This is what the expanded children’s area may look like – with more color on the walls and in the space!





In addition, some of the lesser used materials in the collection will be moved to the basement, in stacks that will be accessible to the public.  We will continue to have secure storage for the city and our community partners in the remainder of the basement space.


Most of the changes will happen on the main floor, as we have done some recent updates in our meeting spaces.  We will improve the space with the addition of a tech/wet lab space, and we will add more flexibility and technology to the spaces to make them more useful for our community.  This is what the updated large meeting room may look like!


Here are the floorplans for the main library and second level.







The Library Board wants to honor the amazing gift that this library was to our community by making needed improvements and reconfiguring the space to work for another 25 years.  The forward thinking of planners in the 1980s means that we have adequate space for our community.

We have reached our initial fundraising goal! We have raised a total of  $2,551,036 to complete our planned improvements. Thank you to all of our donors!  We are so grateful for everyone who has already contributed to Building the Next Chapter!

Do you have questions or feedback about our project?  Interested in contributing to our campaign?  Please get in touch with Library Director Jill Smith at [email protected] or 651-275-4416 or Sara Wagner, Chair of the Fundraising Committee at [email protected] or 651-303-0540.