Brainerd library to install outdoor pickup lockers

The lockers will allow patrons to pick up library materials after hours.

Brainerd Public Library
Brainerd Public Library
Dispatch file photo

BRAINERD — Plans for outdoor lockers at the Brainerd Public Library would allow patrons to pick up requested materials outside of regular hours.

In a memo from Library Board President Karen Strobel, City Council members learned Monday, May 15, of the intent to purchase the lockers with funds from the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library.

Patrons would be able to scan their library card or the barcode on their Kitchigami library app and enter their PIN to open the correct locker, pick up and automatically check out their items. The systems are built to withstand the elements and protect library materials. There are several working units throughout Minnesota.

The 39-bin locker unit is priced at $19,628.11. The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library will cover that cost, along with $4,400 for shipping, $563.72 for a site survey and $918 for staff training. The Kitchigami Regional Library System will pay the yearly license fee of $288.30.

The operating, electricity and insurance costs — along with any repairs and maintenance that would have to be done — would come out of the library’s annual levy from the city. Operating costs for the lockers are not yet known.


“I think they’re ugly, and I hate them, but if the library thinks they can better serve their library members, I suppose it’s fine,” council member Gabe Johnson said during the City Council’s Personnel and Finance Committee Meeting May 15. “But if we make a motion to support it, I think we should clarify in the motion that future repairs, maintenance, replacement costs come out of the library levy, just like the memo said, and not ask for an increase in their levy because somebody vandalized their lockers. Because somebody’s going to vandalize their lockers. … It’s not a promise of an increased levy.”

With that caveat, council members unanimously consented to the project.

In other business May 15, the council:

Ratified the hiring of season employees: Riley Simmons, GIS/IT intern, $16 per hour; Rex Block, Brainerd Public Utilities summer maintenance, $15 per hour; Mark Schmutzer and Jon Hegre, parks seasonal maintenance, $15 per hour; Dennis Moore, adult softball umpire, $32 per game.

Accepted the resignation of Carrie LaRose, public works administrative specialist, effective May 19.

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Approved an event application for the annual Memorial Day parade and ceremonies from 9-11 a.m. Monday, May 29, on the Laurel Street Bridge and on B Street and Third Avenue Northeast.

Authorized staff to work with Brainerd Restoration to install outdoor sidewalk seating in downtown Brainerd.

Accepted a $5,000 grant from the League of Minnesota Cities Grant Navigator program for the Highway 210/Lum Park pedestrian bridge.


Awarded a contract for the Harrison Elementary Safe Routes to School project to DeChantal Excavating at a cost of $456,871.40. The city received $500,000 in grant funding for the project.

Scheduled a joint workshop with the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority for 5 p.m. May 30.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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