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Library Oasis: Home

Find updates and information on the Library Oasis project

The Library Oasis, at the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC), 1651 Jefferson Parkway, will occupy a frequently used link space that connects the main entrance to the youth wing. The space is currently used much in the way libraries are used by the communities they serve–by youth and adults to play, rest, work, read, and gather– when they are visiting one of the many service providers located there. These community partner organizations include Fifty North, Head Start, daycare, Northfield Community College Collaborative, Community Action Center, Healthy Community Initiative, and Rice County Social Services, among others. 

An oasis is something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast. Collocating library services with other human services reduces barriers and improves access to valuable community space, information, and resources which those who may benefit from the most may be less likely or unable to seek out due to limited time, means, awareness, or transportation. The Library Oasis will offer all who visit a space to reflect and rest, the opportunity to explore freely, play, read, and discover what is possible.

Pictured: The landscaping team with WildHeart Landscapes TC installing the new Oasis Patio. May 26th, 2023

Progress and timeline:


  • Spring-Summer:

    • Interior prepped and painted; patio installed

  • Fall:

    • Furnishings, technology and collection in place 

    • Data drops and wireless access point will be added to the space

    • Remote Locker installed for 24-hour holds pickup


  • Friends and Foundation of the Library purchased the book return located at NCRC 

  • Increased staff presence and adding bookmobile visits, storytime visits to Head Start, electronic resource clinics at Fifty North

  • Request to increase 3 part time positions to full time included in 2023 City budget 

  • $20k in ARPA funds committed to Oasis project

  • Friends and Foundation of the Library managing the Bettye Ruth Ronning Memorial Fund, started with the intention of raising funds for the Oasis

  • Patio space cleared by volunteers from Rebound on United Way’s Day of Caring


The Northfield Public Library Oasis will provide: 

  • 24-hour access to return books and pickup holds

  • access to comfortable and inviting indoor and outdoor space for public use

  • educational and engaging library programs and activities 

  • a collection of high interest materials and resources with self-checkout kiosk

  • staff expertise and support 

  • Access to computers and wifi

  • Ability to browse, borrow, and request materials from all over the state

  • Space and services in a location that is accessible and welcoming to area residents who live, attend school, work, and/or receive services on the south end of town

How will we pay for this? 

The City of Northfield owns and manages the NCRC building, which makes this a low cost but high impact opportunity for the City to extend library services to youth, families, and older adults beyond the downtown location into underserved areas, and by doing so, support the service providers in the building. 

City Council approved the Library's request for additional staffing so that visitors to the Oasis can expect the same high-level customer service we provide downtown.

The Friends and Foundation of the Library have initiated a capital campaign to outfit the space, including furnishings, collections, equipment, and shelving. The Library is seeking additional grants to fund technology and artwork.

Contribute to their fundraising efforts here.


100% of all donations are used to support library programs, services and resources. The Friends gladly accept donations in any amount from $1 to $1M.  Donations can be given in honor of someone's birthday or anniversary or in memory of a cherished person. Donations to the FFNPL make wonderful holiday gifts too, and they are tax deductible! 

Donate online, or mail your donation to:
Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library
210 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057