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The History of the Campbellsport Public Library

Information was provided by the Campbellsport Historical Society

In the early years the public library was located in the home of Mr. Johnstone Weld, 203 E. Main Street, A project of the Mother’s Club.   In 1922, January 19, the Campbellsport Community Center Public Library was established above the First State Bank, 101 W. Main St., by Albert Schwandt, high school director, and George R. McKenny, high school principal. In 1926 it was moved to the Campbellsport Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 146 E. Main St.  In 1931 the library was moved to the Campbellsport Village hall, 177 E. Main st, on the second floor of the building which was built late in the fall of 1904. This building was torn down and replaced by a new village hall in 1953. A Library room was included in the new building on the North East corner. In 1972 the library was moved to a room on the South West corner, formerly used by the village board as its meeting room.

Member of the Mothers’ Club took turns servicing the library especially Mrs. Charles (Dorothy) Van De Zande. There was no appropriation from the village but the library relied entirely on donations of used books and borrowing from the county system.  In early 1937 Mrs. Ed (Adela) Baumhardt was the librarian with a very meager salary paid by the Mothers Club.   At this time, Mrs. Art (Marge) Berge and Mrs. Harlow ( Mickey) Roate with the supervision of Mrs. C. Van De Zande, made some improvements in regard to service, cataloguing, etc.  The village board voted to pay $500 toward its expense per year.

In 1971 an official library board was appointed by the Woman’s Club and the village was asked for $1400 for operation. Mrs. Myrthle Spoerl was the librarian at a salary of $20 per month. Mrs.C. Van De Zande, Mrs. Mickey Roate, Meta Terlinden Marge Berge and Lorraine Danielson comprised the board. Mrs. John (Beulah) Collier replaced Mrs. Danielson in 1972. Lewis Smith began as the treasurer in 1973, replacing Meta Terlinden. Library hours were increased to 20 hours per week. Mrs. Roate served as served as president of the library board since 1971. Mrs. Spoerl who moved to Texas was replaced by Mrs. Lilly Braatz. In 1973 she resigned by request and was replaced by Vincve Holobwitz, a teacher at St. Matthew’s. Miss Virginia Trapp succeeded him in 1979. Upon her death Barb Witte was the librarian for 1 year when Mrs. Stan (Dorothea) Hodge was hired in the fall of 1981.

In 1974 for the first time, the public library received a donation of $1, 000 from the estate of Lucile Hilbert who had also donated many fiction books.   The money was used for a new catalogue cabinet. Money was also received from the estate of Robert Haushalter, which used for a set of career books. Universal Foods gave the sum of $600 in 1982 to purchase a TV and video disc. The American Legion Auxiliary and the Woman’s Club have donated books as memorial to departed members, as well as individuals for various reasons.  The Firemen’s Auxiliary purchased a stand for the TV in 1982.   In 1979 an air conditioner was installed.

In September 1996 a referendum for a new library was passed.   Ground was broken for a new library in April of 1997 at the new site on North Helena Street.  With the majority of the construction completed in September 1997, the Campbellsport Public Library ceased operations in the old building and moved into the new building.  The majority of the books were moved by the library users, as they participated in “Take Ten”, a program where the users checked out ten or more items at the old location and delivered them to the new Library after the move.  This enabled the “moving” volunteers to complete the remainder of the move in one Saturday.   The new library opened for business in November of 1997.  The lower level meeting rooms were built and ready for public use in the fall of 2003.

The Campbellsport Public Library is currently open 40 hours per week in the summer and 43 hours per week during the school year.  The Library owns more than 40,000 items for patrons to borrow.  As a member of the Winnefox Library System our users have access to well over a million items through inter-library loan.