The City of Stoughton, Wisconsin has the distinction of having preserved two historic library buildings. An elaborate multi-purpose building which housed the public library in the basement was completed in 1901. The stone signage on the building says "City Hall 1901 Library". In addition to the City Hall and Library, the building contained a large city auditorium which became the City Hall Opera House. The building has been restored and serves as an active cultural and entertainment venue. More on the building's history can be found here.
Wanting a larger space for the public library, the City sought and received a Carnegie grant of $13,000 to help build a separate public library building which was dedicated in 1908. The building was designed by architects Claude and Starck. A referendum was passed in 1988 to significantly expand the building. The wrap-around addition preserves the original building. Recently, the interior of the Carnegie building was restored. More on the library's history can be found here.
These two buildings are on the Wisconsin Library Heritage Trail.
For more on Wisconsin's Carnegie libraries click here.
The Madison Public Library also has one of the most comprehensive histories on the web that I've seen. It was written by Dr. Bob Kann in 2001 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Madison Public Library. To see the history click here.
Every library should have at least a brief history of the library accessible from its website. Examples of Wisconsin library web histories can be found here.
The City of Madison was one of three Wisconsin communities to receive a second Carnegie grant for a branch library (the other communities were Racine and Superior). The Carnegie branch library of the Madison Public Library is no longer used as a library. It now houses the offices of Yahara Builders. The building is located at 1497 Williamson St. near the corner of Williamson and Baldwin. It is located at the east end of the Williamson Street Co-op grocery store. The Central Library building funded by Carnegie was razed.
Andrew Carnegie is noted for his gifts for the construction of public library buildings. However, he also gave gifts to help build 108 academic libraries in the United States. In addition to the Carnegie grants for 63 public library buildings in Wisconsin, there were two academic institutions that received Carnegie grants for library buildings - Beloit College and Lawrence University. The Lawrence University Carnegie building was razed in 1974, but the Beloit College Carnegie building still survives. In 1962 it became home to the Pettibone Center for World Affairs. Check out the "Carnegie Libraries" link on the right to find out more about Carnegie library buildings in Wisconsin.
Postcard showing the Lawrence University Carnegie Library Building
Postcard showing the Beloit College Carnegie Libray Building