Library to get quiet reading, meeting space

NEW ULM – The Library Board approved Thursday improvements in the building’s redesigned Public Seating Area on second floor. The area is located in the former Young Adult section, which is being converted into a quiet reading and meeting space.

The board previously approved using up to $15,000 from the fund balance for furniture and carpet. A bid from New Ulm Furniture was received to provide carpeting with border edges, 16 chairs, three benches, three coffee tables and two end tables for $12,250. The bid includes removal and installation costs.

Wanda Gag Statue

Director Kris Wiley updated the board on the efforts of the Wanda Gag Statue Committee. An artist rendering of the proposed statue was presented. The statue depicts Gag in the process of sketching. Gag would be looking at the New Ulm Library sign that would feature cat sculptures, referencing her most famous book, “Millions of Cats.”

Before work continues on the statue, additional fund raising will be necessary. Wiley clarified that the library is not paying for the statue, but will likely need to cover its maintenance in terms of lighting and electricity. Currently the Statue Committee is looking into grants. One idea is to create limited edition scale models and sell them.


The transfer of Joan Baeza’s donation of Fred Johnson’s cane and chair to the Brown County Historical Society received approval. The cane and chair were originally donated to the Library, but Baeza has since indicated she would prefer the ownership go to the Brown County Historical Society because she plans to donate other items belonging to her grandfather to the museum.

The Fred Johnson committee met and agreed the library should focus on finding alternative options for honoring Johnson and this transfer would be in the best interest of everyone.

The Library Board approved a donation of Hermann artwork from the Hermann Monument Society. The donation is an iron wall hanging that features Hermann the German. The artwork includes a description in German and English.

The Board approved an $1,800 expenditure of a Lions Club donation for large print books. These purchases will contain bookplates identifying the donor.

“The Lions have been great friends over the years,” said Wiley. The large print collection is popular with all age groups. Large print editions are generally more expensive than regular fiction. Wiley anticipated these funds being used by December.


The heavy rains last month caused roof leaking issues in the Children’s Room. Maintenance tech Gene Byer caulked a seam on the roof to prevent future water problems. During the leak computers in that section of the library were removed as a precaution, but Wiley stated everything is up and running again.

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