Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Hunderd Years Ago- In Library History

Did you know that the former Library Building in Reedsburg, at 345 Vine Street, opened its doors one hundred years ago on January 1, 1912 with an informal reception? Hundreds of people visited the building and enjoyed the program that afternoon. Two years of planning for a new library were over, with help from Mrs. George Morse who donated the lot on the corner of South Locust and Vine Street and Andrew Carnegie, who donated $10,000. The library was a red brick and stucco building designed by Claude and Stark. Our library had a raised basement that housed a community room for public events and a main floor that contained the library. Patrons entered at mid-level, halfway between the basement and the first floor. The Library had a half hexagon circulation desk, a fireplace, and built in bookshelves and periodical racks. In 1922 kindergarten classes were held in the basement because South School was too crowded. By 1950 the children’s room was moved to the basement and an addition was built in 1970.

On January 26, 1998 the new library opened across the street from the Carnegie Building, at 370 Vine Street. When the Carnegie library officially opened on January 12, 1912 there were only 3,490 volumes (books), circulation was 14,180 and there were 1,668 borrowers. Hours of operation were Monday, Wednesday, Saturday 2:30-5:30 and 7-9 pm and Friday 7-9 pm. Today we have approximately 73,000 items, over 9,800 registered patrons and we are open 64.5 hours/week.

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