Front & center

COTTONWOOD – Lots of light and space with pleasing decor makes for an inviting place to browse for books – that was the goal and that was achieved at the Cottonwood Library which was recently expanded and renovated, said Char Rekedal, the Cottonwood community librarian.

“We wanted an attractive and inviting library, and we accomplished that,” Rekedal said.

On Monday afternoon Rekedal directed visitors to sign the guest book and have a piece of cake in celebration of the renovated Cottonwood Library during an open house reception.

The Cottonwood Library used to occupy the back part of Cottonwood city offices, and when the city moved two buildings down, plans were begun and funding was found for renovations.

“Part of the funding was from Lyon County, part from a Bremer grant, and the city has contributed,” Rekedal said. “It was a lengthy process, but it’s turned out so lovely.”

The walls and carpet are colored in calming and peaceful blues and grays.

“We had help from a young lady from Cottonwood, Denise Thomas Aamodt, who helped us choose the colors,” Rekedal said. “Everything is new except the computers.”

With the larger environs, a spacious and comfortable reading area was created near the entrance, which Rekedal said they weren’t able to have before. She appreciates the large front windows, too.

“I’ve worked in the library system for over 30 years and I’ve never had windows,” she said.

Another new feature is the ongoing book sale coordinated by the Friends of Library.

“It’s a nice addition,” Rekedal said. “Funds from the sales will remain in Cottonwood and will be used for DVDs, books on CD and we’ll acquire materials.”

Luann Anderson, the Marshall-Lyon County Library office manager, attended the reception and said, “It’s a great space. They did a wonderful job.”

Evie Smith, who just moved to Marshall from Cottonwood, was also pleased with the outcome of the renovations.

“I’ve been watching the process,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

“It’s a great addition to Main Street,” said June Schwartz of Cottonwood.

With the library moving to the front of the building and the remodeling, “people are more apt to stop in,” she said.