NORTH MANKATO — Blue Earth County Library Director Tim Hayes said the county gets a lot of mixed messages about the library building in Mankato.
“Some say it’s dark and dingy. Others say it’s the most beautiful library they’ve ever seen,” he said.
The county hopes a survey it’s preparing will help it figure out which is true.
The survey will be online, available in paper form and can be filled out over the phone. Hayes said the county considered having residents called randomly, but it’s more expensive to do that. The county is working with Bill Wagner from Minnesota State University to write, execute and analyze the survey.
Hayes acknowledged that someone could fill out a bunch of the surveys.
“If it’s all in the same handwriting, we’ll kinda catch that,” he said.
The survey will focus on three topics: the collection, customer service (including hours) and the quality of the building.
“We should get some information so we can make some good decisions about the library,” Hayes said.
The survey is slated to be released in late September or early October, with MSU’s analysis being completed by early December.
One of those decisions includes a renovation to the north side of the library, which faces the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The County Board got its first look at the proposal during a work session Tuesday.
It would expand the north entrance and add a glass ceiling to let in more natural light. There’s no cost estimate for this work. The County Board appeared to approve of the plan but didn’t give it the go-ahead without cost estimates.
That work could happen in 2014.
Renovations to the library’s bathrooms are more of a sure thing because they are not accessible by people with disabilities, Hayes said.