Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

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Some Libraries Sharing Municipal Facilities

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
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on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
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Appleton Public Library
In the previous blog post I discussed some newly completed “stand alone” library buildings in Wisconsin in 1904.  Libraries, however, often shared a facility with another part of municipal government. This often preceded a separate library building. For smaller communities this was more common.  One example of a larger community where this occurred is the public library in Appleton, WI (see postcard above). Appleton dedicated a new municipal building in 1900. The public library occupied the first floor of the building and the City Hall was located on the second floor. This arrangement continued until 1939 when the City Hall moved out of the building, and the library occupied the entire building. 
Clinton Public Library
The Clinton Public Library (above)shared a building with the city hall and the fire department. The library was located on the left side of the building and the fire department on the right side with the City Hall in the middle. Note the fire lookout tower behind the fire station.
Portage Public Library
The Portage Public Library (above) shared a building with the armory (for Company F) and the city hall. The library was on the left, the armory in the middle, and the city hall on the right.
Stoughton Public LibraryThe Stoughton Public Library shared a building with the city hall and an opera house. 
These are only a few examples of public libraries that shared a municipal facility.


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