MARLA

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.

history

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 nine 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. Volunteers are asked to sign up for two shifts each month, but this is flexible. More information is available on the VOLUNTEER page.

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!

marla board

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.

marla committees

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 info@marinecommunitylibrary.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 a Contribution
All donations to the Marine Community Library must go through MarLA. MarLA is a Minnesota 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, so donations are tax deductible. Click below to make an online contribution.

MAKE A DONATION

You can also mail in a donation 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 info@marinecommunitylibrary.org.

Thank you for making a difference in our community!

board members

Jim Maher, President
Beth Honetschlager, Vice President
Christine Maefsky, Secretary
Lynn Bjorkman, Treasurer
Mary Burke
Janice Hunton
Juanita Ikuta
Elaine Larson
Annie Minich
Laurie Schmidt
Debra Smith
Max Smitten

Email the board at board@marinelibraryassociation.org

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 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.