To the editor,

The Cottage Grove Village Board recently formed a library planning committee. The purpose of this committee is to gather data and determine if there is support in the village for a library and what the operating and capital costs would be (including staffing, collection and furnishings). The committee will also conduct a service comparison study between the Dane County Bookmobile and a library. I am the chair of the library planning committee, and we are currently educating ourselves about how diverse libraries are and the many features, programs, events and benefits a library can provide to our community. The library planning committee is determining the best ways to reach out to our residents in order to understand the wants, needs and gaps in services in our community that a library could fill.

In the coming months, we will be meeting with local organizations, businesses, village departments and groups of residents to collect feedback about a permanent library in the village of Cottage Grove. Also, we want to hear people’s thoughts about what they value and desire in library services.

Once the library planning committee has collected the data, we will present a report to the village board with the results, which should be by late fall. The village board would then determine whether to send a letter to DPI – the Department of Public Instruction – to request the village be allowed to build a new library. If DPI approves, then the village board would form a library board whose purpose would be to plan and build a library, raise funds and continue collaborating with the village board, community residents, local organizations and businesses.

If you would like more information, please visit “Friends of the Cottage Grove, Library – Wisconsin” Facebook page or contact me at mratcliff@village.cottage-grove.wi.us.

Melissa Ratcliff

Cottage Grove

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