A history of MaRLa

According to James Taylor Dunn, a longtime summer resident of Marine on St. Croix and an historian, the Marine Library Association was formed in 1878 as a membership organization. It lasted two years.

Fast forward 131 years to 2011, when the Marine Branch of the Washington County Library was in danger of closing. Citizens from Marine on St. Croix, Scandia and May Township joined together to figure out a way to keep the library open. They knew the library was not only a venue for discovering and reading books, but also a great place to connect with neighbors and fellow book lovers.

The Marine Library Association was reestablished as a Library Friends group. That group formally incorporated as the Marine Library Association and received its nonprofit designation from the IRS in 2011.

What MaRLa does

There are no employees of the library. Instead, staffing is provided entirely by volunteers. MarLA coordinates the volunteer shifts during open hours, as well as the volunteers needed for programs, special events, and library maintenance. In addition, MarLA maintains the Marine Community Library website and will be accepting book and media donations for a permanent collection and a paperback collection. Marla also sustains all operating expenses outside of the City and County contributions.

Mission statement

The Marine Library Association (the Association) is a
Minnesota nonprofit corporation. Its mission is to improve the education and literacy of Minnesota residents living in or near the communities of Marine on St Croix, Scandia and May Township; and by providing library and related services to those residents primarily through the Marine Library. All funds, whether income or principal, and whether acquired by gift, grant, contribution or otherwise, shall be devoted to these purposes.

Board Members

Mary Burke, President (also Volunteers/Operations committee)
Tammy Newcomb, VP (adult programming; art)
Cheryl Johnson, Secretary
Sue Logan, Treasurer (also Fundraising, children's programming, volunteers/operations)
Anne Reich (adult programming, communications)
Tom Omdahl (adult programming)
Ruth Willius (children's programming)
Molly Martin (collections)
Christine Maefsky (communications)
Tim Fleming (fundraising)
Loralee DiLorenzo (communications, volunteers/operations)

To email the board, click here: board@marinelibraryassociation.org