Did You Know?

Friends Logo Landscape


  1. You can see a list of books that you have checked out over the last 12 months on line.
  2. You can set up a “Watch List” by author. An email will be sent to you when the book arrives.
  3. You can renew on-line.
  4. You can borrow e-books and e-audio from Overdrive/Library2Go on the library website. Streaming movies, e-magazines and other resources are also available.
  5. Our staff will find just about any book you want through “Inter-Library Loan.”
  6. There are many, many kids programs year round.
  7. Our first adult program, “Computer 101″ will be on April 14th at Alfred Dickey taught by Justin Batz, a computer whiz.
  8. The Bookmobile makes 23 stops each month checking out over 1,100 books. 14 of these stops are in Jamestown.
  9. 9,000 patrons visit the library every month.
  10. JRVLS checks out 10,000 traditional materials every month.
  11. JRVLS has Jamestown High School Yearbooks going back to 1946
  12. JRVLS has microfilm of Jamestown newspapers going back to 1878.

The New Library and Taxes

Jamestown Public School 1% Sales Tax to End December, 2014. 

One of the most frequently asked questions about the new library is whether it will raise property taxes. The answer is no. The new library will be paid for through a 1/4% county wide sales tax.

Today’s Jamestown Sun article announces the end of the 1% school sales tax and 21 mill property tax. This sales tax and property tax levy, have paid for the $25,000,000 in debt used to construct the new high school and remodel of the middle school.

The result of the school property tax being retired is a reduction of approximately $95 in property taxes for a $100,000 home in the school district according to the Sun article. The retirement of the sales tax will result in a saving of approximately $135 to the average family according to the state tax office.

The new library will add $33.75 a year in sales tax to the average county family.  This will pay for the estimated $9,000,000 renovation of Alfred Dickey and construction of the addition.

In 2015 the average Stutsman County family will see a net tax reduction.

School Sales Tax To End Ahead of Schedule

JLG Architect Interior Renderings

These are the interior design renderings from Architect JLG. North is left, East is on top.

Computers, Children’s Collections, Children’s Program Ares, Community Meeting Room, Bookmobile Garage


Enter the library off 1st Ave, on ground level, into the expanded Children’s Collection area and plenty of computers. (Tan) Step down into what is now the current lower level of Alfred Dickey (Grey), into the new Children’s Program Room, Stage, and plenty of computers. In the southwest corner is the new Community Meeting Room that will seat up to 70.  The New Bookmobile Garage is on the northeast side. 

Computers, Adult & Young Adult Collections, Study, Tech Classroom, Audio/Visual, Local History, Large Print, DVD’s.


The Third Level (Grey) which is the  current Alfred Dickey Adult collection,  houses the Adult Fiction Collection, Large Print Collection and Local History Collection in addition to the Drewello, in honor of Daphne, Reading Room. Step up to the Fourth Level (Tan) into the Adult Non-Fiction Collection, Periodicals and Reference area. There is a new Young Adult Collection with plenty of computers and an adjacent Tech Classroom. Other highlights in the Adult area include Archives for Stutsman County History, Study Rooms, Communication (Skype) Room,  lots of computers and plenty of comfortable places to read.

The Latest JLG Architect Rendering Is Now Our Header


Above is architect JLG’s rendering of the new James River Valley Library. The view is looking east across 1st Ave. at the corner of 3rd St.  The main entrance is on grade, no steps. Parking is on the north side of the addition.  

Comments are Encouraged

The new library combines an approximate 17,000 sf state of the art addition to the renovated 11,000 sf Alfred Dickey facility. It takes advantage of today’s electronic innovations while preserving the beauty and heritage of the 1919 design.

The estimated cost of the new facility is $9,000,000. An initiative for a ¼% sales tax will be on the November 4th, 2014 ballot for city and county approval.  The ¼% sales tax will cost the average Stutsman County family $33.75 a year according to the state tax office.

The target date for the grand opening is September 1, 2016.

The primary service that the public library provides is as the center of a community’s learning network, a learning network that serves pre-school through high school, college through seniors. The library provides the tools for every Stutsman County child, teen, adult and senior to acquire new skills. The library helps people connect to commerce, government and each other, with new devices and technologies while providing printed materials and access to research archives.

The key word is “ALL.” Not every child or adult has access to the internet, a smart phone or tablet. The library is crucial to those who do not have access to the latest electronic device. The library provides a balance of traditional materials, printed books, and internet access for learning.

Think about Louis L’Amour at the beginning of his life as a constant visitor to the Alfred Dickey Library. He credits AD in Education of a Wandering Man with giving him the learning tools he needed to become one of America’s greatest writers.

The next Louis L’Amour could be the first person to walk into the new James River Valley Library.

The new library will act as a catalyst for revitalizing downtown Jamestown. Studies show that whenever a new library is opened, patronage goes up, circulation goes up and the rest of the neighborhood and the community become more attractive to new talent and investment dollars.

The Latest Library Information

Preliminary Plan New James River Valley Library

During our blog hiatus, we have been working diligently on the new plans to renovate Alfred Dickey and build an addition on the current Maple Mall and Maranatha properties. The addition will reflect the beauty of the stone and brick Alfred Dickey exterior. Those renderings will be available shortly. The new design will honor the past by keeping the integrity of the current Alfred Dickey building and embrace the future with a state of the art addition.

It has been proven over and over that when a new library is built, or an old one renovated, the neighborhood and often the entire community benefits. Once the new library is completed, wouldn’t it be great if an entrepreneur stepped in and turned the Masonic Temple into a downtown attraction.

In the meantime we are gathering signatures to put the 1/4% county wide sales tax on the ballot.We have gathered over a thousand signatures as I write this blog. Our goal is 1,700. They need to be turned into the county auditor by Wednesday, September 3.

If you would like to help gather signatures, or, if you want to sign a petition, give me a call at 252-2217, or email me at billkennedy0@gmail.com.





Downtown James River Valley Library


The JRVLS Board has approved options to purchase two properties adjacent to the Alfred Dickey Library. The two properties, directly north of AD will allow for the construction of a new two level 16,000 sf state of the art addition to the 11,200 sf Alfred Dickey facility. AD will be renovated to take advantage or today’s electronic innovations while preserving the beauty and heritage of the 1919 design. Bringing the classic and the contemporary together allows the board to honor the past and recognize a constantly changing learning environment.

The new facility will bring the Stutsman County Library, the bookmobile and the Alfred Dickey Library under one roof. The estimated cost of the new facility is $9,000,000. Net cost after donations is conservatively estimated at $7,750,000. An initiative for a ¼% sales tax will be on the November 4th, 2014 ballot for city and county approval.  The ¼% sales tax will cost the average Stutsman County family $33.75 a year according to the state tax office.

The option agreements, included in the $9,000,000, are for the property owned by Satrom Rentals, immediately adjacent to AD, and the Maple Mall owned by Helen Ashwell.  The Satrom property purchase price is $375,000. The Ashwell purchase price is $399,000. The option is good untill Feb. 15, 2014.

Volunteers will soon start collecting signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. 1,452 signatures from qualified voters in Stutsman County (15% of the voters in the 2013 general election) are required to get the initiative on the ballot. If you would like to help collect signatures, contact Bill Kennedy at 701 252-2217 or by email, billkennedy0@gmail.com


New Research Shows that Comprehension is Better with Text than Screen

Readers and writers are discovering that comprehension suffers when reading on line, on screens. Comprehension is better when reading printed material.  There is still a lot to learn from on-line reading, but experience is showing that something is lost with speed and distraction. The role of the library is to provide a balance of printed material and on-line access.

Check this article from today’s Washington Post.  Reading Comprehension

FAQ’s or What Do We Want To Know About A New Library?

These are the questions that arise most often about the need for a new library, and the answers to those questions.

If your question is not on the list, please send it to us as a comment. 

Q. How much will the new library cost?

A. The new library is currently projected to cost $8,250,000. We have raised $1,025,000 in donations. More donations through foundation grants and personal gifts are expected following the November 4th election. It will cost the average Stutsman County family$33.75 a year in sales tax to pay for the new library.  Property owners in Stutsman County now pay 3.5% of their property tax for the library. This will not change.

Q. How big will the new library be?

A. The new library will be 28,000 sq. ft. The current Alfred Dickey and Stutsman County buildings are a combined 14,000 sq. ft. The State Library’s standard for populations over 25,000 requires a minimum of 25,000 sq. ft. for new construction. Jamestown and Stutsman County are projected to reach that population figure by 2025.

Q. Why do we even need a library? Doesn’t everyone have a tablet, a pad or a smartphone that gives them access to whatever they want or need?

A. The Pew Institute conducts extensive surveys on our use of the internet. In a recent survey of young adults, 18-29, 35% do not own a smartphone, 66% do not own a tablet, 72% do not own an e-reader. 76% of these young adults say that it is “Very Important” for libraries to offer free access to computers and the internet.

The role of the library is changing. It is a place where people go to learn. It is a place where people who do not have access to the latest electronic devices go to do research on jobs, health, education. It is a place where people go to share ideas and learn.

The advent of e-publication has opened another avenue for reading and learning. However, not everyone has access to or can afford a laptop, tablet or smart-phone. A book feels better to many people than an electronic device. The key is to have a balance of traditional materials with e-materials and be able to adapt quickly.

Q. Why not remodel the current building, buy the building next door, and expand?

A.  JRVL’s architect Joel Davy says, “The Current Alfred Dickey Library has inadequate space, even with the building next door, for the 28,000 sq. ft. that are needed to fulfill the role of the library today.  Even if there were space, three problems remain unsolved.

1. Garage for the bookmobile

2. Parking for patrons

3. The library would be closed for a year during construction.”

Q. What will happen to the 1919 Alfred Dickey building?

A. The library board is committed to finding an appropriate use for the building in the tradition of re-use for the old Trinity Hospital, Post Office, and Jamestown Hospital.

Q. Do people actually use the library? What will happen when the new library opens?

A. In 2013, 90,000 patron visits were made to the two facilities. Circulation was 180,000.

The 2017 forecast is for145,000 visits. Total circulation will be 250,000.

Q. How important is a new library to Jamestown and Stutsman County?

A.  A modern, efficient, flexible, library, is as important to the community as a modern, efficient, flexible, sewer system. Studies show that when a new library is opened, entire neighborhoods are revitalized. The new library would be a catalyst to keep current businesses alive and draw new businesses to downtown.

Q. Why now?

A. Alfred Dickey Free Library was opened in 1919 with 7,000 books for a population of 6,627 in a 13,000 sq. ft. building. The Stutsman County Library moved into its current 7.000 sq. ft. in 1973 with an inventory of 25,000 books. In 2008 voters said to combine the two libraries into one system

Today, the two libraries house 70,000 books for 20,934 people. They are one system, but under two roofs. The buildings, especially Alfred Dickey (AD) are overcrowded and inefficient offering no flexibility for staff or collections. AD cannot be retrofitted to meet the challenges that libraries face today. The library of tomorrow must offer the appropriate space for traditional collections and the flexibility to react to changes in the e-universe.

Q. Why are more public spaces necessary?

A. There is growing demand for community gathering places where ideas can be shared between individuals and within small groups. Some are quiet spaces, others are appropriate for group discussion. Patrons use the library to pay bills, write resumes, get health care information, read, and meet with other people to share ideas. The key is flexibility to meet the needs of the community.

These spaces are free and do not compete with commercial enterprises. They give every resident a chance to meet, share, and learn.

Q. Do we still need a Bookmobile?

A. Yes. The Bookmobile is more important than ever. It is an essential part of the library service to the community. On the 9 days a month that the bookmobile travels to 23 county and city locations, it accounts for almost 40% of the total circulation.  The bookmobile is an efficient, flexible branch of the library that caters to individual requests and needs.


March Update

The library board and administration have been very busy since the original site for the new library, the old Essentia location, was sold to a developer for senior housing. New locations are being researched with Mike Schwarz of Dardis Realty providing assistance. The goal is to have the new site finalized by the end of March. The next step is to circulate a petition authorizing a 1/4% county wide sales tax to be placed on the November ballot.

Listed below is the timing and action calendar for key events and dates.

1) Board finalizes the proposed location:   March 31, 2014

2) Submit Petition to put a 1/4% Sales Tax Initiative on the November 4th general election ballot for review:  April 4, 2014

3) Start collecting petition signatures: April 30, 2014

4) Submit a minimum of 1,452 signatures (15% of voters in the 2012 general election)  for review:  August 1, 2014.

5) General Election: November 4, 2014.

6) With approval by voters, close on property:  November 30, 2014.

7) Groundbreaking: August 1, 2015

8) Grand Opening: September 1, 2016

These are the key steps necessary to bring a new library to Jamestown and Stutsman County.

Next week we will post  “Frequently Asked Questions”  with answers that highlight the reasons that the new library is essential for Jamestown and Stutsman County.

If you have any questions, post them in the comment section this week. Chances are the FAQ posting will give you an answer. If it is a new question, we will provide an answer.