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Silver Bay Public Library Groundbreaking

Construction began June 24th on the Silver Bay Public Library’s renovation and expan­sion project. At 10:30 a.m. On Monday, li­brary staff, city work­ers, and library patrons gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of this long-awaited proj­ect. Chairs were set up in the parking lot, and adults and children alike found seats or stood, looking at the shovels in the ground and the construction equipment behind. Even a dog came to watch the ground­breaking.

Mayor Wade LeB­lanc spoke first, thank­ing library staff past and present , City Ad­ministrator Lana Fra­lich, city council, and library board members for their participation and enthusiasm in making the renovation and expansion project a reality. He then intro­duced the Silver Bay Library Board Chair, Deb Wesenberg.

Deb Wesenberg thanked Mayor LeB­lanc, and spoke about the library’s legacy spanning over half a century since the cur­rent building was built in 1967. “For over 50 years, the Silver Bay Library has been a place where people can be, come and con­nect and learn and find entertainment. This project is positioning the library to meet the needs of a growing and changing community for the next 50 years.” Wesenberg then invit­ed the Library Direc­tor, Shannon Walz, to speak.

“I feel like the last two years this has been always simmer­ing,” Walz said. “It’s an amazing moment for our community. We had over 3,000 people participate in programs last year, and we’re already on track to hit that for this year.” She related an anecdote that occurred two years ago at Bay Days. “We had peo­ple come in and they were like, ‘Wow, this is amazing, this looks like it did when I was a kid!’. It was really fun to see the love peo­ple have for the library over time, and it will be really fun to update it, as Deb said, for the next 50 years.”

Shannon Walz thanked the donors who provided finances for the renovation and expansion project: the Minnesota Department of Education, IRRRB, Blandin Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust, Cliffs Foundation, MN Power Foundation, the Victory Fund, Amer­ican Library Associ­ation, Lloyd K. John­son Foundation, the Friends of the Library, and the community.

The Friends of the Silver Bay Public Li­brary have been think­ing about an expan­sion for the library for the past 30 years, and through their efforts in fundraising over the years, were able to present a check to go towards the project.

Dave Linder, Deb Wesenberg, Shannon Walz, Mayor LeB­lanc, Lana Fralich, and Stacy Harder then gathered at the orange shovels stuck into the ground to ceremonial­ly break the ground on the project. Laughter was heard as the shov­elers donned hard hats and safety vests.

After the ground­breaking ceremony, attendees enjoyed cake while chatting about the library’s his­tory and its future.

During construc­tion, the library will remain open, and can be accessed from the sidewalk on Banks Boulevard. Parking is available on Banks and Davis Boulevards.

Thank you to library staff past and present for tirelessly serving the community, the patrons, whose circu­lation shows the value of the library to this community, and the donors who helped make this renovation and expansion project a reality.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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