Dua Thao: Transitions: University Ave

Dua Thao describes what she enjoys about the Rondo Library and the impact CCLRT construction has had on the building

Interviewed by: Jon Schuneman, Elena Turbenson
Edited/Directed by: Enmanuel
Photos by: Jordan, Deshaun


My name is Dua Thao.

So, what’s your favorite thing about working here?

I think the interaction with the customers, that probably makes it the most interesting. We get a lot of immigrants who are newcomers to the area and to the country and our state, and I enjoy helping them. You know, me being, myself being an immigrant and a refugee, I would say, you know, because my love for books but it has to for sure be interacting with the patrons and helping them.

Do you know how long this business has been here?

Well, this library on this corner here, we’ve been here for about 6 years, but prior to that it was just a farmer’s market for a while, and then before that, it was a movie theater.

Do you think business will change after the construction is completed?

We’re one of the busiest libraries in St. Paul but hoping that with the construction finished people have, you know, easier access to get here because now they can come by bus or the rail.

What was your opinion of the light rail when you first heard about it, versus today?

When we first heard about it our main concern was safety, because we have a lot of patrons who walk here and so we have a lot of children and youth. So, that was our main concern, was how are these patrons who walk and these young kids, how are they going to cross the street, you know, with the light rail coming? There were mixed, I think, emotions, ah, feelings. On one aspect, I think once it’s finished and it’s going, I think it will be great, a great asset. But at the same time, I worry about some of the, you do worry about some of the residents around the area. What’s going to happen- are their taxes going to go up and then they going to move out and all that?

Made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.