To the Editor,

I am the chair of the Viking Library System Board of Directors and also serve on the Pelican Rapids Public Library Board. VLS is one of Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems. 

VLS serves the six member counties of Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens and Traverse and 11 member libraries within those counties.

The VLS Governing Board and I strongly support SF1131/HF1710, which fixes an underlying problem with how state public library funding is divided. Representatives Jordan Rasmusson (district 08A) and Jeff Backer (district 12A) are among the bill’s co-authors and the bill has bipartisan support. The League of Minnesota Cities Fiscal Futures Committee also supports this proposal. 

Public libraries provide access to vital technology and broadband, supporting students, families and lifelong learners of all ages. In 2020, VLS began circulating Wi-Fi hotspots, a service which one library patron called “a lifesaver for seniors and the homebound.” Stories like this one happen in all 365 Minnesota communities with a public library. Every Minnesotan benefits from our libraries.

I encourage everyone to use our great libraries!


Wayne Runningen,

Chair of the Viking Library System Board of Directors