Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries

Mission Statement

To strengthen, support, and advocate for the Ramsey County Library system in order to enrich the lives of our library users, to promote literacy and education, and to foster community.

Contact Information

4570 N. Victoria Street
Shoreview, MN 55126
651 486 2213

General Information

Alternative Name
Friends of RCL
Principal Staff
Sue Gehrz
Number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE)
Number of Clients


Board Chair
Frank Harris
Number of Board Members
Board Meetings with Quorum
Average Member Attendance

Impact and Programs

The mission of the Ramsey County Library is to provide free access for all to the knowledge and ideas that transform lives. The vision is to create extraordinary learning environments and experiences. The Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries provides financial and human resources that support that mission and vision. With the help of the public and the Friends, Ramsey County Library was able to provide free access to the following resources in 2013: • Access to millions of ideas and resources. o 16,978 new patrons registered for library cards o 4,596,085 items checked out o 278,694 reference questions answered o E-books and e-magazines are available • Early literacy resources and storytimes to help get children “school-ready.” o 1,760,216 children’s items were checked out o Children’s Librarians provided 567 storytime sessions with 29,047 attending • Educational programs to help children succeed in school. o 1,146 children’s programs attended by 60,584 o 6,461children and teens participated in the Summer Reading Program o More than 1,000 people participated in the Kindergarten Library Card Sign Up Celebration • After school hours provide a constructive place for teens to study, read, and learn. o 3,530 students received free, online tutoring through Homework Rescue by using their library card o 678 teen programs with an attendance of 10,263 • Programs and educational events that bring families and communities together. o 1,706,338 visits to the Ramsey County libraries o Library meeting rooms used by 1,848 external groups o 727 programs attended by 7,271 adults • Computer classes that teach people new skills. o 207 free technology classes for 1,588 attendees o 232 one-on-one help labs for 1,116 participants • Free Internet access offers equal opportunity to the economically disadvantaged, seniors, and people with disabilities. o Library computers were used for Internet access for 322,445 hours. o The Library’s web site was visited 2,015.851 times. • Employment resources that help people find jobs. o 6,508 online employment coaching sessions through JobNow. o 32 workforce development classes attended by 211 job seekers o 24 business start-up counseling sessions for 61 entrepreneurs • Language learning resources that help new Americans to assimilate. o Conversation Circles in which people can practice their English are held at the libraries in Mounds View and Shoreview. o Libraries offer free online ESL and foreign language instruction and translation resources.
Current Goals
Goal#1: Build Financial and Organizational Security Strategy: Diversify & Increase Revenue Sources Strategy: Develop Organizational Structure (board, staff & volunteers) Goal #2: Advocate for Library Support Strategy: Work with County Commissioners and Library Board Members Strategy: Provide Leadership for Capital Campaigns Strategy: Translate Library Goals into Community Impact Goal #3 Expand Friends Community Engagement Strategy: Increase Visibility of the Friends’ Mission and Brand Recognition Strategy: Create Effective Communications in Libraries and the Community Strategy: Partner with Other Organizations to Provide Resources for the Library Strategy: Maintain Minimum Membership of 500 Households Goal #4: Support Library Programs for Lifelong Learning in Diverse Communities Strategy: Support Library Programs for All Ages Strategy: Support Library Technology Programs for Adults and Teens Strategy: Support Library Programs for Underserved Populations
Community or Constituency Served
People of all ages living or working in suburban Ramsey County, portions of Saint Paul, and portions of Anoka, Washington, Hennepin, and Dakota Counties.
Geographic Area Served
Suburban Ramsey County, portions of Saint Paul, and portions of Anoka, Washington, Hennepin, and Dakota Counties.


3 Year Average Expenses
Program Services $180,575 77.1%
Management $20,971 9%
Fundraising $32,521 13.9%
Unrestricted Net Assets
2013 2012 2011
End of Year: $242,509 $224,229 $191,399
Beginning of Year: $224,229 $191,399 $167,446
Difference: $18,280 $32,830 $23,953

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