About Us

who we are

Marine Community Library is a unique collaboration between the City of Marine on St. Croix, Washington County Library, and the Marine Library Association (MarLA). It serves the St. Croix River Valley communities of Marine on St. Croix, Scandia, and May Township and surrounding areas.

The library has become the “community living room,” where people gather and learn, volunteer and participate, and build friendships and community.

Marine Community Library provides the communities it serves with:

  • A current and comprehensive collection of books, CDs, DVDs, audio books and other items for adults and children, including a select collection on Minnesota history.
  • Adult programs, including author talks, educational speakers, music performance, a documentary film series in collaboration with the Marine Film Society, and River Radio.
  • Children’s programs, including storytime, summer reading program, summer art and science camp, and special events.
  • Art exhibits of St. Croix Valley and regional artists’ work.
  • Opportunities to learn, connect, and contribute to strengthening our communities.

Visit the USING THE LIBRARY page to learn more about borrowing materials and other policies.

our partnerships

Marine Community Library is a collaboration between the City of Marine on St. Croix, Washington County Library, and the non-profit Marine Library Association (MarLA).

What is the role of the city?
The City of Marine on St. Croix provides space in the Village Hall, public programming space for library programs, and property oversight.

What is the role of the county?
Washington County Library provides Marine Community Library patrons with access to the county library and interlibrary loan systems via online ordering and delivery to the Marine Community Library. The county also supplements our collection periodically.

What is the role of MarLA?
Marine Library Association (MarLA) is the non-profit that manages library operations and finances.

Marine Community Library has no employees. Instead, all library functions are provided entirely by volunteers. MarLA coordinates volunteers who staff shifts during open hours and assist with collections, programs, special events, website, publicity, maintenance, and more. MarLA generates funds to sustain all operating expenses outside of the city and county commitments.

What’s happening with the Jordan Bequest?
The Jordan Bequest was left to Washington County by Elizabeth Jordan in 2001 for the benefit of the Marine Branch Library. In 2024, the balance of the Jordan Bequest was moved to the St. Croix Valley Foundation. The Jordan Bequest is held in an endowed fund through a Fund Agreement between the St. Croix Valley Foundation and Washington County, for the benefit of the Marine Community Library. Going forward, annual earnings may be withdrawn and paid to the Marine Community Library to support its operating budget, or reinvested. This initiative optimizes the value of the Jordan Bequest to preserve capital and assure a long-term source of financial support for the Marine Library, consistent with the intentions of the donor. Washington County Board of Commissioners request ongoing annual library activity reports from MarLa.

our story

Although the Marine Library Association was established in 1878, there was no public library in Marine on St. Croix until July 1968, when the Washington County Library opened the Marine Branch Library, located in the library’s present location in the Marine Village Hall. The Marine Branch Library’s first librarian, Grace Grady (pictured at left), had advocated with a group of residents to create this local library. She continued as the librarian until October 1985.

Grace was an avid reader who knew her audience, often recommending mysteries, novels, children’s books, and non-fiction to library patrons. True to the sign on her desk – Absolutely No Silence – Grace encouraged visitors to discuss books and village life.

In 2011, when it appeared likely that Washington County would close the Marine Branch Library due to financial constraints, the Marine Library Association was reestablished by community members as a non-profit Library Friends group. The Marine Community Library is the collaborative result of the efforts of area residents, the city, and the county to keep a vibrant library in our midst to serve as a hub for educational opportunities and community activities for readers of all ages.

How long will there continue to be a library in Marine?
The answer depends greatly on the volunteers who are donating their time and skills, as well as financial support from the community.

We welcome your help and support! To find out about volunteer opportunities, please visit the VOLUNTEER page.  Click here for information on how you can support the library financially.

book donation policy

We currently accept donations of materials published or reprinted in the last three years including:

  • Books for adults, teens and children
  • Audio Books on CD for all ages (unabridged only please)
  • DVDs for all ages

Special Requests
We are hoping to increase our selection of:

  • Unabridged recorded books on CD
  • DVDs for all ages
  • Current bestsellers for adults
  • Current bestsellers for teens

All materials must be in excellent condition. Please note that we are unable to accept materials withdrawn from other libraries, or books that have inscriptions, torn pages or mildew. Sometimes donations meet our guidelines, but we are unable to use them due to duplication or space concerns.  In this situation, items will be given to either Books for Africa or Goodwill.

Thank you for your cooperation with our policies. All donations are tax deductible. If you have questions please email donations@marinecommunitylibrary.org.

We are grateful for current material that you are able to donate!