marine library association
The Marine Library Association (MarLA) is a nonprofit all-volunteer organization that manages the Marine Community Library in partnership with the City of Marine on St. Croix and the Washington County Library.
MarLA secures and coordinates volunteers, hosts programs and events, selects new books and media, handles communications, and raises funds for the library.
More information about the partnerships and the roles of MarLA, the City of Marine on St. Croix and the Washington County Library can be found at Our Partnerships.
View the MarLA 2022 Annual Report.
According to James Taylor Dunn, who was a longtime summer resident of Marine on St. Croix and an historian, the Marine Library Association was formed in 1878 as a membership organization. It lasted two years.
Fast forward 131 years to 2011, when the Marine Branch of the Washington County Library was in danger of closing. Residents from Marine on St. Croix, Scandia and May Township joined together to figure out a way to keep the library open. They knew the library was not only a venue for discovering and reading books, but also a great place to connect with neighbors and fellow book lovers.
The residents decided to reestablish the Marine Library Association as a Library Friends group. The Library Friends group formally incorporated as the Marine Library Association and received its nonprofit designation from the IRS in 2011.
powered by our volunteers
MarLA and the Marine Community Library are run ENTIRELY by volunteers. There is no paid staff. All libraries rely on volunteers and “Friends” groups, but we are uniquely self-driven. Currently over 60 volunteers are doing their part to keep the library doors open and the many library programs running smoothly. This model has worked resoundingly well for ten years and counting.
MarLA consists of a board and several committees, offering a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. More information on the board and the committees is available below.
A large number of volunteers staff the Marine Community Library. Two volunteers staff the library during each three hour shift. A lead volunteer is responsible for opening and closing and serves as a liaison when technical problems arise. Other tasks are shared between the two volunteers.
Volunteer responsibilities include: checking in and shelving returned items, checking out materials, light cleaning at the end of the shift, answering questions, and providing help with software and the catalog.
Each volunteer attends an initial training session, and all volunteers are encouraged to take part in periodic update training. Volunteers are asked to sign up for two shifts each month, but this is flexible. Volunteer shifts are coordinated through signupgenius.com.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Other opportunities include assisting with adult or children’s programs and events, fundraising, serving on the board, community education, storytimes, book clubs, and more.
Volunteering at the library is a great way to give back to the community and a wonderful way to meet people. Please consider volunteering at the Marine Community Library! If interested, please contact us at email@example.com
A volunteer board manages library operations and finances, and oversees the work of various committees who execute the functions of the library. Currently, the board is self-nominating. Anyone who lives in Marine on Saint Croix, Scandia, May Township or the area, and who has a passion for Marine Community Library’s work, may apply to the board through a current board member. Each candidate will be vetted by a board member and nominated to be approved by the entire board. Members serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. After a minimum of a one-year break in service, a candidate may reapply to the board. Many board member candidates come through serving on a committee.
The Library Board is always looking for members who live throughout the community, of varying ages and interests, to ensure diversity.
Collections – Maintain quality, contemporary collection. Cull books periodically to manage shelf space. Includes books sales and disposal of books.
Adult Programming – Offer engaging community-building programs to educate adult patrons and event attendees. Specifically, the committee will generate a list of possible speakers and events and evaluate based on criteria including: calendar, timing/pacing, seasonality, topic variety.
Children’s Programming – Offer creative and quality programs for children of all ages which enhance learning and usage of the library, including reading hours and summer camp.
Communications – Manage the library’s communications through its website, email mailings, event posters, local newspaper and other event listings; assist with all communications coming from the library, any committee.
Operations – Oversee the library shift volunteers, provide training, scheduling, recruitment. Maintain the facility space. Currently, provide technology support.
Fundraising – Raise funds for library through annual giving campaign and fundraising event(s), as well as pursue other fundraising opportunities such as grants and awards.
YOU can join any of these committees! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you about the next committee meeting.
fundraising and donations
Although the Marine Community Library is a collaborative effort that includes MarLA, the city of Marine on St. Croix, and Washington County, MarLA sustains all operating expenses outside of the City and County contributions.
Operating expenses include:
- Permanent book collection
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
- Programming and events
- Marine Community Library collection software
- Volunteer scheduling website
- Furnishings and paint
- Cleaning services
- Various administrative materials
Make an Annual Contribution
All donations to the Marine Community Library must go through MarLA. MarLA is a Minnesota 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and all donations are tax deductible.
Click HERE to donate online with a credit or debit card, or via PayPal.
Or, Donate by Mail
Please make your check payable to Marine Library Association and mail it to:
Marine Library Association
PO Box 85
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
We will send you a receipt of your donation. Please note if you want your contribution to be anonymous. You can request a budget by emailing email@example.com.
Consider an Endowment Gift
The Marine Community Library Endowment Fund of the St. Croix Valley Foundation can accept a wide range of gifts, including cash, stock, real estate and other non-cash gifts. Are you finding that you don’t need your retirement savings as much as you once thought? If you are 70 ½ or older, you can make a tax-free qualified charitable distribution from your IRA to our fund.
However you choose to give, your support will help ensure that the Marine Community Library is here for our community for generations to come. For more information, contact Heather Logelin, President & CEO of the St. Croix Valley Foundation at 716-386-9490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for making a difference in our community!
Lynn Bjorkman, President
Laurie Schmidt, Vice President
Janice Hunton, Secretary
Kathy Trombly-Ferrin, Treasurer
Deb Yanker Black
Debra Mitts Smith
Sophia Spisak, Student Rep
Email the board at email@example.com
All board meetings are open to the public. They are typically held the third Monday evening of every other month.
board meeting minutes
Minutes of October 16, 2023
Minutes of August 21, 2023
Minutes of June 26, 2023
Minutes of April 17, 2023
Minutes of February 20, 2023
Minutes of December 19, 2022
Minutes of October 17, 2022
Minutes of August 15, 2022
Minutes of June 20, 2022
Minutes of April 18, 2022
Minutes of February 21, 2022
Minutes of December 13, 2021
Minutes of October 18, 2021
Minutes of August 16, 2021
Minutes of June 21, 2021
Minutes of March 15, 2021
Minutes of February 15, 2021
Minutes of December 21 2020
Minutes of October 19 2020
Minutes of August 17 2020
Minutes of June 15 2020
Minutes of May 11 2020
Minutes of April 20 2020
Minutes of February 10 2020
Minutes of December 9 2019
our mission statement
The mission of the Marine Library Association is to improve the education and literacy of Minnesota residents living in or near the communities of Marine on St Croix, Scandia and May Township; and by providing library and related services to those residents primarily through the Marine Library. All funds, whether income or principal, and whether acquired by gift, grant, contribution or otherwise, shall be devoted to these purposes.