Ahead of its planned summer opening, Hastings' Pleasant Hill Library has a new manager.

Julia Carlis, a Dakota County library employee since 2014, was recently named the library's manager. She took on the role after Mary Scheide - the library manager since 2013 and the Farmington Library manager prior to that - retired.

"I'm really looking forward to being able to shepherd the library into the new building," Carlis said. "The staff here is really great and they are super connected to the community."

Carlis was formally introduced to the county at a committee meeting Feb. 5.

Before taking on her role as branch manager, Carlis was a youth programming and outreach librarian for the Dakota County Library system. As branch manager she'll have some say in helping lay out minor details in the new library space - which will include new meeting space, children's areas and other improvements.

"The architects have planned a lot of that already, but you always discover some new things," Carlis said.

The new library will feature an "iLab" space, Carlis said. The labs offer up what is usually price-prohibitive technology for the public to use. Eagan's Wescott Library has an iLab and it features 3-D printing, sewing machines and video production tools in that space, among others.

"I hope the public will enjoy the new technology," she said.

Carlis is a Twin Cities native and went to the University of Minnesota for a degree in theatre and finished a graduate degree in library science through the University of North Texas.

She said that she faced difficulties finding consistent work in theatre and moved to library work at her mother's recommendation.

"A lot of the skills I used in theatre are applicable in the library as well," she said.