The library became a member of the Outagamie Waupaca Library System (OWLS) in 1976. That same year Outagamie and Waupaca counties began reimbursing the city for library services given to county residents. At the Library Board’s request, the Common Council put a portion of this money in a building fund account beginning in April of that year. Once again, the library was outgrowing its space.
In April, 1985, land was purchased at the corner of Eighth and Hemlock streets, the buildings on it were razed, and a sign was erected stating it was the “Future Site of the Clintonville Public Library”. Also, in 1985 the Friends of the Library (FOL) was formed. The group promoted the library through various programs. In 1989, the Friends held a public forum to discuss the proposed new library. At the meeting, the Board provided a plan for the new building that would not add to the city’s tax burden. The Council approved plans for a new library to be built in 1991, provided the community could raise $100,000 and the library could get a LSCA Title II grant.
The Friends, with assistance from the Library Board, organized a successful fund raising campaign. $157,000 was raised. This funding, along with the LSCA Title II grant of $125,000, enabled the new library to be fully automated.
The new 13,422 square foot library opened its doors to the public January 6, 1992. It was built at a cost of $966,649.30 which included all the furnishings, landscaping, and the parking lot. The cornerstone laying, dedication, and open house were held June 21, 1992. In 1999 the entrance was enclosed for safety purposes to correct an ice problem which existed during the winter months. The final debt payment was made in 2001.
For the year 2009 the library’s 6960 registered borrowers had access to 74,942 items owned by the library. Many more items were made available through interlibrary loan. Over 7,000 adults and children attended the 330 library programs. The library offers much technological advancement-five public access computers, wireless connection to the internet, a self-checkout system, and a new microform system. The library has a website, www.clintonvillelibrary.org, and a Facebook page. Home delivery is available for the homebound and those unable to come to the library.
Editor’s note: This article is the fourth in a series of articles commemorating various anniversaries of the Clintonville Public Library. Next week: the history of the Friends of the Library.
The Friends of the Library will mark their 25th anniversary with a celebration on Sept. 25. There will be open houses at the Library, at O’Connor Sales and Realty (formerly the Carnegie Finney Library) and Honey Creek (formerly DR. Finney’s residence). The public is invited to attend.