Note: May 4, 2022 a version of the following was printed in the Courier Sentinel, formally announcing the plans to build a new community library. More information is forth coming. We encourage the community to check the building page regularly. We also encourage Facebook users to follow our new page, specific to the project. Information about upcoming meetings are posted to both of those locations instead of via blog post from this date forward. Thank you for your support!
In July of 1956, the Cadott Community Library loaned out its first book. The Cadott Women’s Club collected private donations of materials and purchased other necessities, such as shelving and equipment. In its 66 years of existence, the library has been housed in a few locations in the community. In 1967, it moved to its current home in the former Citizens Bank building, built in 1927. At the time, the new space allowed for more services, a larger collection, and reading areas.
Today, the library provides a carefully curated collection of over 13,400 items including books, DVDs, music, magazines, card games, various kits, and more. The library offers free WiFi, accessible 24/7 from a range around the building, 4 in-library computers, an adult book club, events for all ages, and many other services.
What the library can’t provide is barrier free access to everyone, due to stairs at both of its entrances. It can’t provide comfortable meeting spaces for area clubs, groups, or individuals. It can’t provide quiet study areas for students. The library has a difficult time hosting groups larger than a half-dozen; a problem made so much more obvious during the pandemic.
The new library building will be built on the corner of Highway 27 and Mills Street. There are many perks to this location. The lot is 1 acre, which will allow for expansion in the future. It has great proximity to the Historical Society, Riverview Park, and both school buildings. Its visibility on the highway will make it easy to find for visitors, as well as new additions to the community. It will provide not just a home for our current materials and services, but additional room for more, plus library and community events, study areas, meeting rooms, and outdoor green space. The future library will be somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet. This size estimate comes from the recommendation from the Wisconsin Library Standards.
The library board and building committee are aware of the feelings surrounding moving the library off Main Street. This is not a decision that was taken lightly, but it is the only option to keep this project moving forward. Discussions around the renovation and relocation of the library have been happening prior to 2010. More recently, a community survey was conducted, as well as open discussions held in 2019. An ALA Grant funded discussion, “Building an Accessible Community”, was held in October of 2021. More information about the progress so far is available on the library website: www.cadottlibrary.org
The Library Board is also excited to announce that we have our first donor to the project, pledging $100,000. This is sure to mark the beginning of a successful capital campaign. A full project goal, as well as concept art is forthcoming and should be expected sometime in the fall of this year.
Members of the community who would like to participate in the project are encouraged to contact the library director or board. You can do this by calling: 715-289-4950 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Library Board meetings are held the 2nd Monday of the month, at 4:30 PM at the library. Building Committee Meetings are currently being held the 2nd Thursday of the month; the next being held May 12th at 4:30, at Cadott Elementary in the library. The public is welcome to attend these meetings, and virtual options are available for those who cannot attend in-person.