Library Memorial Building Fund

Last Updated: July 1997
Drawing on display at Library

Why the Reedsburg community needs a new library

Although the City of Reedsburg has grown tremendously over the past twenty years, increasing 44% in population, the library has stayed the same size. According to standards developed by the State of Wisconsin, a community of Reedsburg's size should have a library with approximately 15,500 square feet in order to provide adequate service through the year 2015. The proposed new building will provide the community with enough space for the increased collections, adult and juvenile service areas, staff work space, space for the increased electronic technology for libraries, study seating and recreational reading seating, as well as individual study rooms and small and large meeting rooms.

The Children's Library has been the most cramped area. The new library will feature a large children's service area as well as a separate Story Time area. And unlike the old building, all library service will be located on one floor, providing greater security for staff and patrons, as well as and more efficient staff utilization. Please refer to the floor plan below.

Reedsburg Library Space Needs History

The present library building, a gift from the Carnegie Foundation, was opened in 1912, with 4,500 square feet of space. The only increase in size was in 1971 when the City Hall - Recreation Center complex was built and the public library was enlarged to 5,700 square feet. Although a staff workroom was remodeled in 1988 and handicapped access added in 1990, since 1971 the available space has remained the same. During the life of the building, the City population has increased 44%, the library collection size has more than doubled, and the annual circulation has almost quadrupled. The library averages more than 6,000 visits per month. There are only three study tables and three easy chairs in the periodical area. No wonder the building is bursting at the seams!

The table below summarizes the history of the Reedsburg Public Library building in terms of its square footage, collection size, circulation, city population, and annual use as measured by individual library visits.

  Year Size (sq ft) Collection Circulation Population Annual use
Built in 1912 4,500 3,490 14,180 2,615 N/A
Remodeled in 1971 5,700 20,489 35,045 4,585 N/A
Remodeled in 1990 5,700 33,720 88,106 5,834 57,000
Remodeled in 1995 5,700 43,184 163,550 6,595 78,878
% Change 1971-1995 0 % 111 % 367 % 44 % -
Projected 1997 15,500 45,000 170,000 6,800 80,000

Planning for the new library

Although awareness of the need for a new library goes back 15 years, the present planning effort was sparked in 1991, following a meeting of City department heads to discuss each department's most immediate needs. The need for increased library space was cited as one of the major problems within City services.

Richard Roloff, Chariman of the Building, Parks, and Recreation Committee, then requested that Jane Vriesacker, then Library Director, analyze and prepare a report of the library's space needs. This initial Building Program Statement was completed in December 1992 and filed with the City. The document contained an analysis of library space needed, and a general description of all areas and the relationship between them.

The next major step in library planning came in 1995, when Major Wayne Farber appointed a Library Memorial Building Committee to begin more serious planning. The 1992 Building Program Statement was updated by the current Library Director, Susan Steiner, and the committee started looking into building sites, building designs, and funding.

This committee presented their findings to the City Council in February 1996, and the City proposed the purchase of property on Locust St to complete the already owned property, extending the potential site to include the area from Vine St north to Plum St, and from Locust St west to the boundaries of the Co-op. When drawings of the exterior and a floor plan are available, they will be included on this page.

The Vine and Locust site

There are many advantages to building the new library across from the existing Carneigie building. First of all, the City already owns the property and this will reduce costs, both of purchase and the time and effort to locate another suitable location. Second, the library would remain in essentially the same location it has always had. Futhermore, the library would be near the downtown shopping area and in proximity to other City services. And last, there is room for plenty of parking as well as future building expansion.

Uses for the present Carnegie building

Building a new library building will not mean the abandonment of the present Carnegie building. Although it can no longer serve as the library, the structure is in good condition and can be used in other ways. A small portion of the present building will be retained for library use and the main portion can be remodeled to accomodate other City offices, such as public safety and city hall offices.

How will the new library be funded?

The anticipated cost of the new library is $1.5 million; this amount includes furnishings, professional fees, and contingencies. This figure was determine by multiplying the anticipated square footage (15,000) by $100, the typical square foot cost of new library buildings. The site has already been purchased with City of Reedsburg money, and the City will contribute an additional $750,000 toward the new building. A fund raising campaign will raise the additional $750,000. This campaign is directed at individuals, organizations, business, corporations, and foundations.

Gifts of any size will be appreciated! All gifts are tax deductible to the limits provided by law. All donors will be listed in a permanent registry at the library and gifts of $300 or more will be acknowledged on a donor recognition plaque. Other donor recognition opportunities will be available, for example recognition of the donation of a particular room or large furnishing.

Pledges may be made to cover a ten year period; refer to the chart below for sample contribution levels. Gifts should be made payable to:

Friends of the Library
Reedsburg Public Library Memorial Building Fund
P.O. Box 490
Reedsburg WI 53959

Sample Contribution Levels

How many contributions will it take to reach our goal of $750,000?

If the average pledge is: This many pledges are needed:
$100 7,500
$500 1,500
$1,000 750
$5,000 150
$10,000 75
$25,000 30

How much does a gift cost per day, and per year, over the period of the pledge?

This much
per day =
this much
per year =
this much
in 5 yrs =
this much
in 10 years
$ .25 $ 91.25 $ 456 $ 912
$ .50 $ 182.00 $ 912 $ 1,825
$ 1.00 $ 365.00 $ 1,830 $ 3,660
$ 2.75 $ 1,003.00 $ 5,018 $ 10,375
$ 5.50 $ 2,013.00 $ 10,065 $ 20,130
$ 6.85 $ 2,507.00 $ 12,535 $ 25,070

How are we doing so far?

Target Amount Reached Date Reached
$1,000,000 - -
$900,000 - -
$800,000 XXXXX July 1997
$700,000 XXXXX April 1997
$600,000 XXXXX November 1996
$500,000 XXXXX October 1996
$400,000 XXXXX September 1996
$300,000 XXXXX September 1996
$200,000 XXXXX August 1996
$100,000 XXXXX July 1996
$50,000 XXXXX June 1996

Proposed library floor plan.

Floor plan drawing