This article is the fifth in a series of articles commemorating various anniversaries of the Clintonville Public Library. It is condensed from a more complete history of the Friends of the Clintonville Public Library written by Doris Abrahamson.
Many people found the crowded conditions in the Finney Public Library frustrating. A community meeting was called for Sept. 25, 1985. Two OWLS (Outagamie Waupaca Library System) staff members explained the formation and function of a Friends’ group. The Friends of the Clintonville Public Library was formed as a non-profit organization for the public library and pledged to support library objectives. The first officers were: President-Doris Abrahamson, Vice-President-Jeanne Klemp, Secretary-Gale Hoffmann, Treasurer-Chuck Gillette, and Directors-Pete Oberhauser, Carole Sabel, and Gail Stillings.
A public forum was requested for the October, 1989 annual Friends meeting. By this time, $13,000 had been added to the library building fund by the Friends organization. The Library Board provided a financial plan showing how a $921,000 library could be funded without adding to the tax base. Local funding to be raised was $125,000 and expected to be on hand by July, 1990. By the end of this fundraising effort the FOL had collected over $157,000. These monies were used to provide automation for the new library. Key fundraisers were Bob Seaman, Art Joerres, Margaret McCauley, George Zachow, and Beth Mack. Donations came from most of the fifty states and as far away as Ghana and Saudi Arabia.
For 24 years the Friends hosted the Clintonville Art Fair. The Friends saw the art fair as a cultural endeavor for the community without worry of financial gain. Jeanne Klemp, Carole Sabel, Eileen Gossens, Beth Mack, Judy Dorn, Barb Newton, Carol Johnson, and Tracy Yearwood were all instrumental in this venture.
One of the biggest fundraisers for the Friends is the used book sale. The Friends used to claim that all the “For Sale” buildings should be happy to let them use the space since it seemed to work like a charm to get the building sold. “Have Books, Will Travel” was their motto. When the present library was built, they now had a building with room to store the books and to sell the books inside. Doris Abrahamson, along with Chris Dittman and Pat Schley, organize the book sale. The very capable helpers from Beat the Heat move the books from the library basement to the meeting room for the sale.
Generally the profits from these sales have been used to finance children’s programs. The Friends also have funded reading program prizes, library event advertising, the scanner, the defibrillator, annual meeting programs, and many other related items. If you are asked to buy a ticket to a future Friends program, you will be benefitting some child or adult in the community. Better yet, support the library by becoming a Friend.
The Friends appreciate the support and cooperation of the library staff. Current FOL officers are: President-Sanny Oberhauser, Vice-President-Kathy Akey, Secretary-Steve Shelton, and Treasurer-Ann Klemp. Directors are Jeff Hoffman, Chris Dittman, Penny Kettenhoven, Carole DeWolf, and Deb Kamp-
Editor’s note: This article is the fifth in a series of articles commemorating various anniversaries of the Clintonville Public Library. Next week: The Celebration of the 25th Anniversary 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, O’Connor Sales and Reality (formerly the Carnegie-Finney Library) and Honey Creek (formerly Dr. Finney’s residence). The public is invited to attend.