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Library History - Part 1

Library History - Part 2 Library History Part 3  Library History - Part 4

Compiled and Edited by Michael R. Reilly

October 10, 2005, Last Revised 12/17/2014

Early Library History: Milwaukee County

    The first library was created in 1848 by the Young Men's (Literary) Association formed the preceding year. It was located in a single leased room on the second floor of a building standing on the northwest corner of Wisconsin and Main (now Broadway in 1881). The room was open on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday evening of each week. In November, 1851, the library began a move to the 1st floor of  a building owned by W. P. Young. The entire contents were nearly lost due to a fire that burned the entire city block.  In September, 1867, the library moved into apartments in what was then called the Academy of Music, the last of several moves all within Wisconsin and Main location. By April, 1872 there were 11,184 volumes on hand. On March 8, 1878, the association transferred its property to the City of Milwaukee, due to its inability to clear its debt. 

    The Public Library was established by Legislative act, Feb. 7, 1878, and was considered a branch of the educational department of the City of Milwaukee. The city retained the old rooms of the library until May, 1880, when the elegant building erected particularly for this purpose, by John Plankinton, was occupied. In 1881, the library has 17,000 volumes. Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Vol. 1, 1881, pgs. 560--565, and page 542.

Early Library History: Waukesha County

    As early as 1866, residents of Waukesha had perceived the contributions a library could make to the intellectual and the spiritual well-being of the citizenry, and formed the Young Men's Association with the hope of endowing their community with such an institution. Four years later, Oconomowoc residents formed a library association, somewhat ambitiously planning "a course of lectures, concerts, hops, oyster suppers, promenades, prayers, performances, Forest, Murdock, Booth (actors), a circus, a cockfight, for the perpetuation of the institution." However, neither of these earnest efforts in behalf of the popular enlightenment yielded lasting results. The library association subsided "after a few spasmodic gasps for life" in the spring of 1871, and the books that had been collected ended up in the firehouse, piled in a corner and forgotten. A post-mortem concluded with the observation, "that a library unsupported by a regular tax is usually a failure."

    Perhaps Waukesha's city Council heeded this lesson when it voted in 1900 to assume support of the small library which representatives of the city's women's clubs, called together by the Beacon Lights Reading Club, had begun in 1896. The growing collection and its librarian has been supported by annual dues and proceeds from various entertainments put on by the women, including a minstrel show at the Silurian Casino in which the ladies took all the parts. But by December 1899 only $5.31 remained in the treasury. Once it took control, the city government moved quickly to rescue its first investment in culture, by applying to Andrew Carnegie, the well-known industrialist and benefactor of libraries, for funds to construct a library building. In March, 1902 word was received from Carnegie's secretary that a gift of $15,000 would be forthcoming provided the city would furnish a site (Cutler Park was chosen) and an annual appropriation of $1,500 for the building maintenance. To augment funds, the library directors had memorial medals struck from the first sheet of steel rolled in Waukesha. The Waukesha Free Library was dedicated on January 6, 1904.

    About this same time, Oconomowoc had the beginnings of a library, and by 1907, Delafield, Hartland, and Pewaukee.

    In 1958 the County Board voted down a special committee's recommendation that the sixteen public libraries join together to form a federated system, supported by county and state taxes, under which a full range of library services would be available to every resident.  In 1975 the same recommendation was also voted down; not until 1980 was such a system, the Waukesha Co. Federated Library System, with headquarters at the Waukesha Public Library, finally established. All but Brookfield joined by the summer of 1981. Source: From Farmland to Freeways, A History of Waukesha County; chapter Culture and Recreation in Waukesha County, chapter written by Phillip M. Runkel with the assistance of Lydia R. Runkel, pages 447-448.


Early Library History: Lisbon-Sussex & Lannon

May, 1915 - Merton: The library has arrived and books may be borrowed any afternoon. Source: Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, May 6, 1915 [Editor's note - a mobile/traveling library sponsored by Waukesha Public Library (?). Did the "Library" visit the Sussex-Lisbon area?]

Jan 14, 1932 - People in this vicinity should be interested to learn that a consignment of fifty books from Madison have been placed in the Sussex school for the benefit of any who wish to read them. Mrs. Rienow will act as librarian, if people wish to take advantage of this opportunity to make use of a traveling library. More books will be added if occasion demands. Prof. Rienow was instrumental in getting this library here. (Rienon or Dienow). Source: Waukesha Freeman

During the 1933-34 Lannon school year, the PTA had the following committees: Program, Finance & Budget, Social, Welfare, Weighing & Measuring, Publicity & Library, Child Welfare, Red Cross (these last two were combined under one chairman), and Dramatic.

1939/Sept. - Mrs. William (Margaret) Miller, school librarian, announced that the library will soon open, and a new shipment of books is on the way.

Jan 29, 1941 - The Intermediate room of the Sussex school has received a group of rebound books, which were fixed up by the workers of the WPA book-binding project in Waukesha, The old books are now in excellent condition. Source: Waukesha Freeman.


Public Library Services for the Lisbon - Sussex Community

1976 thru 1980

Note: Where the word Picture appears in bold type indicates a photo appeared with source.

Nancy Kolesari informed (Sussex) Village Board that "Information has just been brought to our attention by an old project report found by our president (Sussex-Lisbon Jaycettes), that in 1968 the Jaycettes were contacted by the then Library Board to phone Sussex residents as to their feelings of having a library in Sussex. the survey results were as follows: 580 calls, 338 yes, 35 no, 191 no answer, 9 indifferent, and 7 out-of-service". Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 21, 1978, page 1-2.

March 10, 1976 - Jo Hewitt, who spent many hours researching the feasibility of contracting with surrounding communities for their library services, will present her findings to the May 10th Town of Lisbon Board meeting. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, March 2, 1976, page 6.

"Lisbon to Have Library Service" - Cost undetermined. Library service to be included in 1976-77 Lisbon Town budget for the first time. Mrs. Glen Janssen, of the library committee, spoke to town board on March 22. Will be voted on by the Town's electorate at the April 14th Annual Meeting at 8 pm. Would pay as a percentage basis; based on books checked out. Main libraries interested: Menomonee Falls, Hartland, North Lake, and Pewaukee. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, March 30 1976, page 3.

Mrs. Jo Hewitt determined $20,000 would cover contractual agreements for the four libraries under a 1-year contract; most going to Menomonee Falls Maude Shunk because of the large amount of services they can provide. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, April 6, 1976, page 1.

Voters at Town of Lisbon Annual Meeting vote in favor of pursuing contractual agreements, vote 140 to 80. Money to come from the unexpended surplus. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, April 20, 1976, page 5.

Sussex board heard recommendation of the library board for alternative library services for Sussex residents. Sussex should participate in sharing Menomonee falls facilities for cost of $720 for the summer program. Trustee Gloria Mutchler asked if there was money (in the budget); Trustee Ron Duffe of the finance committee, "It may be difficult to get through the year.". Possibility of a Sussex library to be considered in next year's budget. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, May 18, 1976, page 15.

"Sussex Looks to Library Service" - Sussex with a population of 3,762 does not have a library or even library services, except for a six week summer program for Sussex elementary school children at Maple Avenue school. At the May 11th Sussex Village Board meeting, Joanne Smith, secretary of the Sussex library committee presented alternatives. Also on committee were, Carol Darrow, Doyle Alexander (principal of Maple Avenue school), and Lois Wandschneider. The Village Board did approve $720 for continuing the summer reading program at Maple Avenue school that uses library cards at no cost for elementary school children; to run this year from June 22 thru July 29.

    It is interesting to note in this Sussex Sun article, that the Sussex Lions' Club considered setting up a library, but lighting the ball diamond at Sussex Village Park won out. Also, another alternative was to use the Hamilton High School library, but was dependent on a government program to cover some costs. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, June 8, 1976, page 6.

Menomonee Falls library board accused of dragging its feet on library services contract. Hartland won't sign if any of the other three don't, and they insist on renegotiating the contract with town of Lisbon. contract now on Menomonee Falls board agenda for July 13, 1976. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, June 22, 1976, page 5.

Sussex summer librarian is Mrs. Ann Anderson; announced story time books to be read. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, June 29, 1976, page 8. Also see August 10, 1976 edition page 11 for more information.

Mrs. Jo Hewitt, chairman of the Lisbon town Library Board announced hours of operation for the four libraries services have been contracted for. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, August 3, 1976, page 1.

Last year (1976) the town of Lisbon began contracting with three libraries for services. Residents can take out books at Menomonee Falls, Hartland, and Pewaukee. Residents pressured the board for library services. Editor Question - What happened to the contract with North Lake library ? Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 15, 1977, page 1. Answer: In the Sussex Sun, November 8, 1977, page 8, indicates Lisbon has contracts with all four libraries; the article from Feb. 15. was wrong.

"Library on wheels visits in the area" - The Maude Shunk Public Library in Menomonee Falls is on the move in a bright yellow van dubbed the "Library-Go-Round". Visits 20 neighborhood stops in Menomonee Falls and the town of Lisbon. Residents are able to check out books and other material; if a book isn't in the van, it can be ordered and picked up the next planned stop. Article has list of stops for February and March. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 22, 1977, page 2. 

Lisbon budget for 1977-78 to include $20,000 for library services; 1976-1977 actual expense was $20,300 versus $20,000 budgeted. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, April 19, 1977, page 2. 

Lisbon residents manage to keep library services, $20,000 worth, by closing down the town dump, and borrowing for needed items such as road equipment.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 31, 1977, page 9. Note: The June 28, 1977 issue, page 1 describes town dump operation, annual cost was $35,000.

"Library Notes" - Hartland Public Library: New Books, Oct. 7, 1977. Listing of new book arrivals at library. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 20, 1977, page 5. 

"Falls library service at $21,0000" - A Sussex contract with Menomonee Falls for library services would cost Residents $21,000 per year. Figure presented at a meeting of Sussex and Menomonee Falls library boards on Tuesday, , November 1. Presently, Sussex residents must pay a non-resident fee to use outside library services. Sussex has no library of its own. Joann Smith, Sussex library board chairperson said village board had been asked several times for money (to get a library or library services started) but none included in budget.

    Menomonee Falls library director, Richard Crane, said he was surprised that Sussex has a library board but no library. A library board (under Wisconsin state law) is a corporate body, and as such, a library  board could enter into a contract (for library services or start their own library), not needing (Sussex) village board approval. 

    Town of Lisbon contracts with Menomonee Falls, North Lake, Pewaukee, and Hartland; Menomonee Falls costs $13,000 annually. According to Crane, Lisbon gets one weekly and two bi-weekly library bookmobile stops. Also, one half of Lisbon's usage is through the bookmobile. On Monday, October 31, the Sussex-Lisbon Plan Commission met; one topic was to discuss starting a combined library (nothing resolved). Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 8, 1977, page 1 and 8.  Next meeting of the Sussex-Lisbon Plan Commission is January 30, 1978. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 8, 1977, page 16.

    "A library...for Sussex-Lisbon?" - Both library boards met January 31, 1978, and a decision was made to go ahead with the planning and construction of a village-town library. Exact location unknown, but both sides agreed it should be in the Village. The Sussex library board was formed 3 years ago with Joanne Smith its current chairman. When asked about location, she opted for the Weaver Drive entrance to the Village Park. Another person suggested remodeling the upstairs of the Village Hall. Sussex budgeted $15,000 in 1878 for library services with Menomonee Falls, but it wasn't sufficient to cover the cost. According to officials, the combined $35,000 ($20,000 from Lisbon budget) could be used to operate a new library without substantial tax increase. Smith said that the Town of Lisbon has 60% of households participating in its program. Another joint meeting will be February 23, 1978. Smith envisions a small scale library at the offset. A joint library board and a taxing district have to be approved by the Sussex and Lisbon boards. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 7, 1978, page 2. 

    "Propose library district for Sussex-Lisbon" - A joint Sussex-Lisbon library board and district was approved in concept by the Lisbon Town Board at its meeting, Monday, February 27. The Sussex-Lisbon Jaycees asked the Village to build a concession building at Village Park, and they suggest that the spare room could be used as a starter library. . First a joint library board must be organized. A library board has (according to Wisconsin Statutes) exclusive control over its funds, but the library board must still submit its total budget to a municipality board for approval. Sussex has a library board, BUT Lisbon has a library committee. Town Attorney Clayton Cramer suggested representatives for both Sussex and Lisbon continue meeting to discuss a proposal. Town Chairman Richard Jung wants to present the proposal the the Town's Annual Meeting on April 12. Some supervisors said the proposed concession building was not a good location or building for a library (the proposed building would be metal). Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 7, 1978, page 2. 

    "Sussex-Lisbon meet on library Mar. 30" - Sussex library board and the Lisbon library committee will meet March 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Sussex Village Hall. Joanne Smith hoping to get a temporary building organized to a point now. She said a woman who has been involved with the Friends of Libraries in other communities hopefully will get a group going here to sort books and type cards. Will also discuss plans for a permanent library, land, and an architect to design it. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 28, 1978, page 5. 

    "Library site in Sussex or Lisbon" - Legal work and costs being worked on by respective attorneys. Village Administrator William Ross wants the area across from Sussex-On-The-Main shopping center for the library location while Trustee Robert Stier doesn't think the library should be as big and should be in Lisbon, and save space for future Village projects. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, April 11, 1978, page 2. 

    "Lisbonites agree to library" - Town of Lisbon residents voted 81 to 74 in favor of having the Town Board drawing up an agreement for a Sussex-Lisbon joint library at the Annual Meeting, Wednesday, April 12, 1978. Denise Wenger, a Lisbon library committee member, told residents that contracts for library services expected to rise 48% or $30,000 in the future. There are Lisbon 2,034 library cardholders for the four libraries. 30,000 items are expected to be checked out by year's end; 19,000 of that from Menomonee Falls, the most used. The present contract with Menomonee Falls doesn't cover costs. For every item checked out, Maude Shunk pays $1.21, while Lisbon pays only $0.71 each. Much of the Town's usage comes from students. The contract with Menomonee Falls ends July 23, while others end late summer or early fall. Supervisor Gus Sandroni explained that Menomonee Falls' contract was for only 10 months at a time to keep total cost under the $20,000 limit. Menomonee Falls charges, their own residents, $21 for a family library card, which will be rising to $45. Some Town residents voiced their only wanted the library van service, wouldn't travel to library. Some suggested using Hamilton High School's library, but most books are purchased with the students in mind, not for the general public. An additional librarian and custodian would have to be added. Resident Kathy Garcia note a local library "would be a place to gather the culture of the area and not just accumulate materials and visual aids." Resident Alvin De Villers thought, "it's time we start growing and owning." The next Sussex-Lisbon library committee meeting, Tuesday, April 18.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, April 18, 1978, page 1. 

    "Petition forces Lisbon to meet on library" - A special meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. ; a petition with fourteen signatures calling for repeals join with Sussex in forming a joint library board. Petition asks that vote be taken on June 6 on the resolution "the Town of Lisbon shall not grant any conditional use grants until the town budgets a new master zoning plan." Sharon Bader, petition submitter, said, "We don't think the new library will give us a quality service." Also said it would be many years before library would be able to serve the community.  Note: There was heated debate at the April Annual Meeting that new library wouldn't provide level of existing services. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 2, 1978, page 1. 

    "Book not closed on library issue" - A meeting to be held June 6 will discuss the library board and creation of a Lisbon town park commission. Petitioners reported to have withdrawn petition due to "wording wasn't legally correct". Also, the town is working with SEWRPC on a master plan. Biggest objection - library committee had things/plans laid out, and residents couldn't vote on a a choice.  Mrs. Bader said, "Do they realize the estimated cost is between $200,000-300,000? That we will go without any library service for a while if we decide on a joint system?" these questions she wants cleared up. Also, a letter "To the Editor" regarding library a wise idea for Lisbon residents, and on page 2, the "Library director writes" (Richard Cramer of Menomonee Falls) explains the Maude Shunk library operation, costs, etc. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 9, 1978, page 1-2.

    "Petitioners disappoint library group" - Denise Wenger disappointed they (the petitioners) didn't meet with the committee. Sharon Bader - not withdrawing petition; didn't meet because "all discussion this issue will be a matter of public concern at the special meeting on Tuesday, June 6." Leo Wolf, one of the Town petitioners, did attend a committee meeting and it reviewed the economics of the library situation with him, said Wenger.

    "Further, it is important people understand the town would spend another $200,000 in contracting for library services over the next four years, whether we have our library or not." And it could be higher depending on contract increases. Lisbon's population is expected to rise to 38,000 by the year 2,000 (according to town chairman Richard Jung), so a much greater need there is for a library. committee hopes to start library with 10-15,000 books, and to finance the collection with a bond issue, and would pay a percentage of the cost over a 5-10 year period. The shelf life of a book - estimated to be about 10 years, said Wenger. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 16, 1978, page 1.

    "Dear Editor" - "Lisbon library vote" - article contains contents of a letter sent to those who petitioned on the library question in Lisbon. 'Dear Resident, ...'. Sincerely, Town of Lisbon Library Committee." Followed on page 9 an letter "To the Editor", an explanation about the petition from petitioners. signed, "Respectfully yours, Sharon Bader, Petitioner Circulator". Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 23, 1978, page 2 and 9. [Editor Note: the entire letter(s) were not included here to prevent duplication of already known information.]

    "Maude Shunk meets on library contract" - The Menomonee Falls library board to meet, Thursday, June 1, to consider a amount of a contract with the Town of Lisbon and the terms of the contract. 8:3- a.m. at the library.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, May 30, 1978, page 1. 

    "Meet on joint library today" - At the May 24 joint meeting with Sussex, a resident asked of the town whether family library cards would be available from Menomonee Falls, if a joint library was started. Town Chairman Richard Jung said they would be. Also, people are sending for the new library, but the money can't be accepted until the joint Town/Village Library committee (board) is approved.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, June 1, 1978, page 1 and 2.

    "Lisbon residents nix joint library plan" - Lisbon residents voted 122-41 not to form a joint library board with sussex at the June 6 meeting at Hamilton High School. Residents also voted to continue contracting library services for 3 1/2 years or a period of time deemed legal. Also authorized board to expend from Town funds to satisfy these contracts. Electors decided to have the Town pursue a county library system, and authorized board to assign a committee to study this system. A copy of this was sent to the Waukesha County Supervisor (Board?). Committee to report back at 1979 Annual Meeting. 

    County system? -  Marie Arons, Town resident, said in 1974 a public library consultant recommended a Waukesha County library system instead of establishing a town/village library system. She said that Town Chairman Jung received a letter from State Department of Public Instruction consultant, Sally Drew in February 1974 (though it was her personal opinion not official). Jo Hewitt, of the library committee told voters the county library system had been proposed to residents and was voted down in 1975.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, June 13, 1978, page 1 and 2.

    "Library contracts pending" - Supervisor Gus Sandroni reported that all four libraries were meeting in early July, and the Town will know soon whether it has contracts. Town Attorney Clayton Cramer advised board that a 3 1/2 year contract was legal. Resident Leo Wolf questioned the correct reading of the motion which gave the board the power to negotiate for library services. wolf tape recorded meeting; Supervisor Sandroni may listen to tape. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, June 27, 1978, page 1.

    "Library services held up" - At Monday night, July 3, meeting, Sandroni told residents still no contract with Menomonee Falls; holding up other contracts. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, July 4, 1978, page 1.

    "Lisbon delays signing Falls library contract" - Received contract but Board didn't sign due to questions about bookmobile services. Sandroni to meet with Menomonee Falls on July 18. Board would like to see more of the Town serviced. Other contracts expected by July 12. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, July 11, 1978, page 1.

    "Lisbon want 3-plus year library pact" - Lisbon negotiating with Maude Shunk for 3 years, 5 months, August 1, 1978 thru December 31, 1981. Lisbon recently extended the contract through July 31 to avoid lapse in services which cost $1,670 for the one month. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, July 18, 1978, page 1. Also much the same covered in Sussex Sun, Tuesday, July 25, 1978, page 1. 

    "Wolf sues Lisbon again" - (Leo) Wolf wants the court to order the town clerk and treasurer not to spend any monies except for highway crew salaries and library services until the matter is settled. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, July 25, 1978, page 1.

    "Tie vote stalls library contract" - Town Board vote on Menomonee Falls contract ended in a tie; Sandroni absent. Will be present at a special July 31 meeting. One contract clause, Town to reimburse the Maude Shunk library directly on January 1 for any books not returned. The Town in turn has the power to levy a special assessment against each individual for the cost. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, August 1, 1978, page 1 and 2

    On page 4, "Library van rolls in Lisbon" - article contains pictures of van and two town residents using service. Robert Rapp, sole Menomonee Falls Bookmobile librarian. Town wants equalized stops across its 24 subdivisions instead of only 3 stops. Those stops were: Blue Heron subdivision at Clearview Dr., Carberry St. near Plainview and Townline Rds., and at the Willow Springs Trailer Park. User stats for 1977 and through June 1978 are given in article. 

    "Lisbon approves pact with Shunk library" - Contract unanimously approved by the Lisbon Town Board, Monday evening, July 31. Contract can be terminated by either party with a 6 month notice. Agreement calls for 8 different stops every two weeks. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, August 8, 1978, page 1 and 2

    "Lisbon approves library cooperative contract" - The Lisbon Town Board approved a 3-year contract with Hartland and North Lake libraries, Monday night, August 14, 1978. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, August 15, 1978, page 11.

    Town chairman Jung appointed 3 people to library committee to investigate the possibility of a county wide library service. They will work jointly with the Library Committee. Appointed were: Marie Aron, Sharon Bader, and Pat Wolske. "Wolf sues Lisbon again" - (Leo) Wolf wants the court to order the town clerk and treasurer not to spend any monies except for highway crew salaries and library services until the matter is settled. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, September 12, 1978, page 2.

    "Library gets go ahead" - Village Board set aside $17,000 in revenue sharing for its new library. On Thursday, September 2, the sussex Library Board, headed by Joanne Smith, recommended the Village proceed with a program to organize its own library. Village Board said library will be scheduled for budget considerations in 1979. Most likely to be housed in the new Jaycees' building in sussex Village Park. Estimated costs are $40,000 for books; shelves and furnishings another $12,000; $10,000 for a part-time librarian, and $5,000 for supplies and maintenance. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, September 19, 1978, page 1.

    Pictures of "Library-Go-Round" van and residents. Article includes schedule of new stops in Town. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 3, 1978, page 1 and 2.

    On page 2 "Citizen input welcomed at meeting on county wide library system" - Area librarians and citizens to meet Thursday, October 12, at W.C.T.I. at 7:30 p.m.

    "Letters from our readers"; "Yes to library" - a letter from a representative of the Sussex-Lisbon Jaycettes Library Committee in support of concession building use for a library. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 10, 1978, page 2.

    "Ready for Sussex library?" - Village Board to hold village wide survey to get input from all. Village Board member John Bauer wanted to see guidelines on how to proceed with a library before budget discussions are started. Member roger Johnson suggested putting a village Trustee on the Library Board to improve communications between the two boards. Two Library Board members recently resigned" Carol Darrow and Elwood Schmidt. Village President Paul Fleischmann appointed Diane Fitzpatrick to fill unexpired term for Schmidt to May 1980, and Moody appointed to fill Darrow's term to May 1979.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 17, 1978, page 2.

    "Reveal joint library plan to Lisbon officials" - Mrs. Pat Wolske presented a report to the Lisbon town Board on October 23, on a county wide library system. Library systems became possible as a result of the enactment of the Wisconsin Library Law in 1971. 

    "Smith praises county wide library plan" - "I see it as having marvelous benefits for an area like Sussex...In favor of system by hands tied by our own community governments." Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 24, 1978, page 4.

    "(Sussex Trustee Glen) Moody asks for a library decision" (Sussex Trustee Glen) Moody said recently the Library Committee will ask the Village Board at its next meeting on Tuesday, November 14, to decide definitely whether or not the village can have a library. Site - large meeting room above Village Hall has a number of problems with the construction of the area which would have to be remodeled. Not conducive for those in wheelchairs and Library Committee member Diane Fitzpatrick said area has enough space but sound would be a problem. Library Board Chairman Joanne Smith said the concession stand is still most ideal location - all it needs is heating. 

    "Petition for library" - 654 Sussex resident signatures obtained in support of a village library. Village Board presented signature petition October 24. Sussex-Lisbon Jaycettes, Lionettes, and the Woman's Club are canvassing signatures. 

    "In community hall?" - The use of redoing the upstairs halls and meeting room to be discussed on October 30 by Health & Property Committee chaired by Gloria Mutchler. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, October 31, 1978, page 1.

    "Lisbon tries gemuetlichkeit on Sussex" - Joint board meeting agreed on appointing one official from each area to sit on each of the various committees of the other. No voting rights and strictly for the "purpose of liaison"; including library committee. 

    "Letters from our Readers" - Sussex-Lisbon Jaycettes thank residents who signed library petition.

    "Talk Sussex library tonight" - Discussion by Village Board and residents to recommend library on November 7, 7 p.m., at Maple Avenue School. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 9, 1978, page 1-2.

    "Library budget at $58,000" - Library Board of Sussex asking Village Board tonight (Tuesday November 14) to establish a library. If approved, the Village's first library could be ready this spring. Library Board also requesting that $17,000 from Federal revenue sharing this year be set aside to study whether to use Jaycettes Building or Village Hall. Budget of $58,000 also requested. $40,000 for books, $6,000 for furniture, $5,600 for part-time librarian, and $5,000 for supplies. 

    "Ask citizen input on town library"  - The town of Lisbon Library Committee has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, November 15, at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, for interested residents to come forward to express their views on future library services. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 14, 1978, page 1. (Note: Same article on page 19)

    "Sussex library closer" - Village Board approves village library. Nancy Kolesari informed Village Board that "Information has just been brought to our attention by an old project report found by our president (Sussex-Lisbon Jaycettes), that in 1968 the Jaycettes were contacted by the then Library Board to phone Sussex residents as to their feelings of having a library in Sussex. the survey results were as follows: 580 calls, 338 yes, 35 no, 191 no answer, 9 indifferent, and 7 out-of-service"...

    Budget requests to be discussed December 12 at 7 p.m. Picture of petition presentation by Nancy Kolesari. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 21, 1978, page 1-2.

    "Town of Lisbon survey falls short" - Only about 72 people responded to Monday, November 20 meeting or 1/3 of those present. A special meeting in the near future for a presentation of an independent library study by a professional group. Study cost shared by Sussex and Lisbon. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, November 28, 1978, page 5.

    "Sussex liaisons" - Village President Paul Fleischmann appointing Gloria Mutchler as (town of Lisbon) library committee liaison for Sussex.

    Editorial - "About libraries" - Editor says that libraries need continued future support and Sussex residents should consider this commitment.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, December 5, 1978, page 2.

    "Lisbon signs library contract" - Town Board accepted a 3-year contract with the Pewaukee library beginning Jan.1, 1979 thru Dec. 31, 1981. $3,500 cost per year, then $3,800, and $4,10.. Town has 3-year contracts with four libraries.

    "Propose committee pay" - If approved, Tuesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall, certain village committees may be paid, including four library committee members at $4.00 per hour.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, December 12, 1978, page 1.

    "Library at the hall" - The Library Board and Health & Property Committee endorse second floor of Village Hall as a temporary site for Village library. Voted unanimously in favor at a special joint meeting, Tuesday, December 19. According to Joanne Smith, a group of citizens will start working on fund raising to make the site accessible to handicapped library users. 

    "Sussex sticks with teen center, library budget" - Sussex residents approved a $1,074,940 budget on Dec. 12., but about 12 Sussex residents generated a lot of discussion on funds for a proposed teen center and a library. Trustee Roger Johnson estimated the library, budgeted at $56,259, would cost about $5 per family next year. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, December 26, 1978, page 1.

    "Lisbon questions...What's in a name?" - The North Lake library contract was signed and approved. A 3-year contract begins January 1, 1979 at $1,200; $1,300 in 1980; and $1,400 in 1981

    The Menomonee Falls library made an adjustment in the Town's contract. Lisbon to pay $22,765 for 1979. People have long overdue books and materials; Maude Shunk will turn bills over to the Town for collections. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, January 9, 1979, page 7. (Note: same article appears January 16, 1979)

    "What's cost to remodel library?" - A temporary site for the Sussex library should be the Village Hall upper floor, according to Gloria Mutchler, chairman of the Library Committee. However, Village Board said estimates should be obtained on heating, ventilating, chairlift and restrooms. Discussion on this site was tabled until figures can be presented. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, January 16, 1979, page 1.  

    "Sussex asks county for library study" - Sussex asked county to set up a 15 member committee to study a county-wide library system. Committee will have up to three years to make report. Will make a thorough investigation of public library services and library needs in county.  Will a county-wide system meet these needs? Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, January 23, 1979, page 3.  

    "Library in school building?" - Health & Property Committee Chairman, Gloria Mutchler, met Monday, January 29; Lions (Jaycees?) Club building in Sussex Village Park a possible. Costs to remodel upper hall at Village Hall approximately $22,000. Lions building and Jaycees would need new furnace. The Orchard Elementary School is also being considered as a permanent site. The Hamilton school administration is discussing possibility of closing it next year due to declining enrollment in the area. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, January 30, 1979, page 2.  


    "Review of the News of 1979" - January: Plans for proposed Sussex library studied. Choices: Lion's building, Community Hall upper level, Jaycee building, or Main-Orchard school? Note: School closed in June 1979 due to expected decline in Hamilton School District birth rate. 

    February: Study recommends joint library between Sussex Village and Lisbon. 

    April: Voters at Annual Lisbon meeting defeat Sussex-Lisbon joint library issue. 

    June: Librarian hired in Sussex, meets village board. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, January 1, 1980, page 4. 

"1979 Resume" - September: Friends of the Sussex Library seeking start and members. 

    October: Village offers $250/month rental (to Hamilton district) for Orchard school building.             

    November: Hamilton High school board submits new lease plan; village not satisfied with "fine print". 

    December: Sussex Finance committee leery of Main-Orchard deal. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, January 22, 1980, page 6-7.


    "Lisbon versus Sussex" - Sussex wants Lisbon's position on its library planned for this spring. Wants to know if Lisbon would contract for library services. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 6, 1979, page 1.  

    "Study recommends joint library" - A study jointly funded by Lisbon's Library Committee and the Sussex Library Board; findings presented by Sonia Bielmeier, library consultant and librarian at Brookfield Public Library.

    "As community growth and library use increases, contract costs increase, " The study says. "Over a period of years contract costs eventually exceed the dollar value of items contracted." Lisbon's contacts increase from approx. $20,000 in 1978 to about $30,000 in 1979, well over the estimated 10% increase projection.

    Study calls for establishment of a library collection of 16,000 volumes by 1984 and sets forth plans for achieving 80% of state standards (2 volumes for each person served) by 1981. Cost estimates for establishing a Lisbon-Sussex library call for $109,641 the first year (1979) and $60,000 plus 10% increase each year from 1980 to 1984. Thus services would total approx. $476,000 for 1979 to 1984; to be shared by the two communities. The study suggests that the Sussex library location light equalize usage by the two unequal populations (currently 65% Lisbon to 35% Sussex). Based on projected contract increases, the study recommends a joint library venture. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 13, 1979, page 6.  

    "Study urges joint library" - [Editor Note: Much of same above] Joanne Smith, chairman of the Sussex Library Board noted that Lisbon residents voted there to oppose expenditure of funds for such a library, and she said a number of Lisbon residents seemed opposed to the idea at a February 12 meeting, preferring contracted services.  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 20, 1979, page 1.  

    "Recommend closing Main, Orchard, add pool" - [an excerpt] Dr. Lee F. Olsen, Hamilton school district administrator recommended if school closed, interested parties could confer with board on alternative uses for the site. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 27, 1979, page 1.  

    "Joint plans of Sussex-Lisbon reach impasse" - At a joint meeting of the Sussex and Lisbon Plan Commissions, Wednesday, February 21., certain areas can't be worked together. But, the Lisbon Town Board agreed that contracting with Sussex for library services has its general approval. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 27, 1979, page 1-6.

    "Letters from our readers" - From "Citizens for Quality Library Services", Write expressing concern over the joint study by a biased consultant, consistently opposed to contracted library services, or a county library system. Letter mentions that federal funding of library van services stopped, and costs to be absorbed by the Menomonee Falls library. Letter also criticizes Town Board for making decisions on library services before the next annual town meeting. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 27, 1979, page 12

    "Library study not adequate, Crane" - Richard Crane, director of Maude Shunk library, says study by consultant not adequate, but makes it clear he's not opposed to a joint Sussex-Lisbon library. He cites differences in her population estimates versus SEWRPC projections; that her annual contracted library services increases of 10-20% should be based on the cost of living increases. Also explains that the library bookmobile services were previously financed under CETA (The Comprehensive Youth Employment Act). Further he notes that certain library services could be contracted with other libraries to reduce costs. Also felt that Brookfield has a particular attitude on contracting library services, and an objective consultant should be have been sought out. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 6, 1979, page 1-2.

    "Time is right for cooperative library" -  Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 6, 1979, page 3

    "Quarrel not the first" - [Recap of Sussex versus Lisbon". Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 20, 1979, page 1.

    "Joint library talks Thurs." - Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 20, 1979, page 2

    "Should Lisbon face future as owner or renter?" - Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 20, 1979, page 4

    "Create county library committee" - Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 27, 1979, page 1

        Picture of Orchard St. School building behind Main St. School. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 27, 1979, page 1.

    "Committee asks public for cooperative library" - More of same. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 27, 1979, page 9.

        Ad to vote Yes Lisbon by local residents. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, April 3, 1979, page last.

    "Close Main-Orchard; Change boundaries again" - Hamilton School Board met Tuesday, April 10th. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, April 17, 1979, page 1.

    "Defeat Sussex-Lisbon joint library" - 250 people at meeting. Jo Hewitt, "Now is the time to join with Sussex...". Patricia Wolski, "Not so. The Falls won't contract for just the van service.". Leo Wolf, "We'll be buying a pig in poke". 

    The taxpayers agreed with Wolski and Wolf and by a loud voice vote, a joint library with Sussex was defeated. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, April 17, 1979, page 1 & 8.

    "Sussex Library to open soon" - Village Board signed rental-purchase agreement with Hamilton School Board for Main-Orchard School. In past week 35 cases of books arrived.  Friends of the Sussex Library Club held an inaugural charter signing, on Monday, January 7. Mrs. Jeanne Gabel, speaker, for Sussex Hamilton school library. Members Joanne Smith, Sally Droese (publicity), Nancy Kolesari, Micky Bierman, Marion Langlois, and Jeanne Schmidt present. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, January 15, 1980, page 4. On page 5, Agreement signed by Village board January 9; Hamilton School board to sign January 21. Rent to be $250/mo., with an option to purchase in two years. Village will be responsible for operating costs, estimated to be $28,000 per year, using Orchard school building only. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, January 15, 1980,  page 4. Picture


Obit excerpt: Clinton Swanson, born in Sweden in 1910, started his teaching career at age 19 at Hill Rural School near Merrimac, Wis., and spent 20 years in various Sauk County schools. Clinton came to Sussex in 1949 to take over as the eighth-grade teacher and principal, and stayed on the job for eight years. The major event of Principal Swanson's eight years was the building of the first part of Orchard Drive School, right behind Main Street School. Before he left, Swanson would see an addition built onto the school, which in the 1980s became the Sussex Library, Teen Haven and senior citizen dining site. It would evolve into the joint Sussex-Lisbon Pauline Haass Public Library, which later moved to a newer building. Source:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel On-line, October 06, 2004


Library board of Sussex Village to meet with Friends of the Sussex Library , January 24, to discuss division of authority. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, January 22, 1980,  page 4.

SEWRPC advises Village of Sussex to keep Main-Orchard school open (due to projected population/development) and to build a new village hall which would include a library. . Sussex renting Main-Orchard as of February 1, as library, teen and senior center. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, January 29, 1980,  page 1.

Early librarians/volunteers sorting books. Picture: Fred H. Keller collection

New Sussex librarian Terry Zignego helped Andy Kempen in selecting reading material. Zignego who has been the librarian less than a month said she is really enjoying her job.

Picture of Main-Orchard signing agreement. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, February 12, 1980, page 2.

"Library to open...finally" - Phyllis Smith  named new librarian replacing Marion Kusnick whose full-time job interfered with her part-time librarian position. Mickey Bierman is president of the Friends of the Sussex Library. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, September 2, 1980,  page 5.  Picture

Sussex Library September 1980 at former Orchard Elementary School. Picture: Fred H. Keller collection

The ever expanding, eight-month-old Sussex Library has a new service. An outdoor drop box for returning books during hours when the library is closed was installed at the entrance to the Sussex Civic Center. The box drop, a donated item, was reconditioned by Armond Langlois, a library volunteer. Librarian Phyllis Smith and volunteer library helper Dan Waldhauser checked out the new addition Saturday morning. When the library is open, this outdoor book return will be locked. Mrs. Smith reported that there are now over 1,250 card-holding library users. (Sussex Sun photo. Picture: Fred H. Keller collection)

Library History - Part 2

 

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