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Library partners with children's museum

A new partnership between the Rochester Public Library and Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester will expand access to both organizations.

Under the agreement, the library and museum will trade exhibits and materials over the next year. Heather Acerro, head of youth services at the library, says the partnership will really benefit local kids.

"This partnership benefits both organizations," said Acerro. "It will provide a better reach to the community."

Both the Rochester Public Library and the Minnesota Children's Museum have been cooperating since the museum's addition to Rochester.

"We finally just decided to sit down and make a partnership," said Acerro.


The partnership started at the beginning of summer and has major plans for collaboration, including new interactive displays for the Rochester Public Library's science-themed Discovery Cart throughout the year.

In return, Acerro says the library will offer activities at the museum throughout the year and host multiple large-scale programs in the library's auditorium.

"Museums are hubs of experiential learning which help learners develop the core skills of critical thinking, synthesizing information, ability to innovate and think creatively, and collaboration." said Heidi Mestad, Director of Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester.

"This arrangement gives Rochester youth, and families, another way to access the playful learning that happens through museum programs and experiences." Mestad said.

"We are both really creative organizations," said Acerro. "This partnership will really help to reach the community and bring in new ideas."

The partnership highlights a creative solution to an on-going challenge for both organizations: a lack of space. Joining forces allows the organizations to expand their reach while they consider opportunities to grow on a more permanent basis.

The library is looking to add two new floors, while the Museum is conducting a strategic planning process that will include an evaluation on community needs for the future museum, and secure a permanent home.

The Museum is at 1643 N. Broadway St., Suite A River Center Plaza in Rochester and open Thursdays through Sundays during the summer months. The Rochester Public Library is located at 101 Second Street SE in Rochester, and open Mondays through Saturdays during the summer months.

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