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Library topic at Rotary

Rotary President Carrie Orn administers the oath of office to Nick Schmidt, the new president for the club. Submitted photo1 / 2
Tom Boerger, center, receives his Paul Harris Fellow Pin from Rotary President Carrie Orn, left, and Dave Smette, right. A Paul Harris Fellow pin is given to a person who doantes $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Submitted photo2 / 2

Joe Rector, director of the James River Library System, Dale Marks, library board chairman, and Bill Kennedy, development director, provided Rotary members at their recent meeting with the latest information on the library.

Marks said the library not only provides books, magazines, newspapers, periodicals and research materials, but also the ability to use e-books, computers and tablets. Marks said the library board felt a downtown location is still the best for Jamestown and Stutsman County. He discussed the history and reasons for consolidating Stutsman County Library and Alfred Dickey Public Library.

In 2013, the library had 90,000 visits which is an increase from 2012 and prior years. Studies show that when a new library is built entire neighborhoods are revitalized, Marks said. New businesses are shown that the city believes in the importance of learning for all its citizens. The library can become a selling point for recruiting the best and brightest talent, Marks said.

Rector discussed the design of a new and remodeled library. The old Straus building and the Maple Mall are under a sales agreement with the Jamestown Foundation on behalf of the library. If the initiative for a county-wide quarter-percent sales tax were to be approved on the November ballot, and a go-ahead for a general obligation bond is approved, the library will proceed with the purchase of these two buildings. The goal is to remodel the current library space and then build new where the Maple Mall and Straus are located with floors that are on the same level as the current library. There will also be a few more off- street parking spaces added to the project and a garage for the bookmobile. A new entrance off of 1st Avenue would bring the patrons into the remodeled and new building, Rector said.

Kennedy reviewed the process for getting these initiatives on a ballot and the dates when the 1,452 minimum signatures need to be gathered and to the county by Aug. 1, so this can be voted on by the public. Kennedy and Rector said anyone who is interested in helping get signatures should contact them.

President Carrie Orn presided over her last meeting as the club’s president. She thanked everyone and noted she appreciated the encouragement she received from the members. Vince Gregor gave the table blessing, Gail Martin and Jackie Tewes led the group in singing, and Dave Smette collected “Happy Dollars” for Rotary projects. Orn reminded members there will be no noon meeting at the Quality Inn & Suites today, but there will be Vespers at 5 p.m. at Casey Stoudt’s cabin.

The guest at the meeting was Jacqualine Pfeiffer, wife of Rotarian Rick Pfeiffer.

Orn gave the oath of the office of president to Nick Schmidt and new and existing board members took their oath. New board members are Katie Andersen, Erin Paulson and Evan Workin. Those remaining on the board are Mark Sherfy, Quincy Backen, Jason Connolly and Mary Jensen (president-elect), and Orn will serve as past president. Orn and Smette presented Tom Boerger with his Paul Harris Fellow pin and Orn presented Smette with his eighth Paul Harris Fellow pin. To receive a Paul Harris Fellow pin, a person gives $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.