Frequently Asked Questions
Do we really still need libraries?
Yes! Libraries today are more important than ever. Numerous studies in Wisconsin and elsewhere show that public libraries have experienced a dramatic increase in usage. The amount of both materials checked out and programs attended have risen in Prairie du Chien and across the state, even though technology is more available in homes than ever before. Particularly in difficult economic times, libraries offer all people equal access to the tools they need to stay informed, educated and connected. Public libraries are destinations for lifelong learning and community gathering places; they are not just a building with books.
What is the vision for the renovated and expanded Prairie du Chien Library ?
The new Library will be a place of lifelong learning and interaction. Only the imagination of the community and its support will limit what is possible.
The Library will be a place where people can get cozy and read a book, enjoy an atmosphere filled with natural light for research using cutting-edge technology, and participate in innovative activities. It is a place for people of every age:
•Young children will delight in the friendly environment where they can participate in story time and other age-appropriate activities. They will be able to check out books and materials and have access to computers with programs designed specifically for them. •Older children and teens will continue on their journey of life-long learning with resource materials not available elsewhere, both in print and electronic formats. They will have space to work on projects, meet with friends and participate in activities of interest to them such as book clubs and guest speakers. They too will have access to computers for fun and games as well as research and school related projects. •The Library will expand opportunities for adults. Whether the Library is a destination for pleasure reading, research or social interaction, it will meet the needs of this diverse group with books, periodicals, other print materials, technology, services, programs and events of interest
How will the library use technology?
The renovated and expanded Prairie du Chien library will offer a wide range of technology-based resources, combined with the training patrons need to learn how to use it. Resources will include online databases and collections, computer stations, laptops, e-book readers and free Wi-Fi. We offer many of these things today, but in the new library there will be more room to use them. The Library Board, volunteers and architects understand that technology must be developed to be flexible and to accommodate fast-changing adaptations; this is being taken into consideration in every way possible.
How much will the new library cost and how will it be paid for?
The cost of the renovation and expansion of our current library is approximately $3 million. The Common Council has provided $1.5 million and challenged the community to raise an additional $1.5 million in private funds and grants to assist with paying for the project. The “Ready, Set, Grow” Capital Campaign is underway to help raise the funds needed; initial reaction has been very positive.
Other locations were researched but no new building could be developed for less than $4,000,000. The current building is in excellent condition and the location, near elementary schools and downtown, offers easy access.
Every gift to the library is an important step in this process. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. In addition, the proposed funding plan for the library project calls for a very minimal impact on residents’ property tax bills; the plan is similar to the one that has been used so successfully for Hoffman Hall. The project’s scope will be defined by the available dollars.
What will it cost to operate the renovated and expanded library?
The library will continue to be funded by the City of Prairie du Chien, Crawford County and surrounding counties. The library has been designed specifically so that no additional staffing will be needed. Energy efficiency will be incorporated in the building of the new addition; this will help reduce monthly utility costs. No increase in the library’s annual budget is anticipated.
When will the new library be open to the public?
Ground breaking is scheduled for the spring of 2017. Construction will take approximately 10 to 12 months. The opening will depend of many factors - weather, funding, building design and construction schedule. More specifics will be announced as they become available.
Who will be able to use the Prairie du Chien Library?
The library is one of the few places that is open to every person of every age in our community. Anyone may use library facilities, services and programs.
What will happen to the donations if the full goal is not met?
While we anticipate that we will achieve or exceed the $3 million goal, all donors can be assured that their gifts will be used for capital expenditures for the Library. If we need to revise the plans due to funding, we will notify each donor.
How will donors be recognized?
Donors will be recognized in a variety of ways. There will be naming opportunities for many special spaces in the new building; a list is available on request. We are planning a donor recognition area in a very visible location near the front of the library. All gifts are deeply appreciated.
Will the whole community participate in the campaign?
The Prairie du Chien Public Library is the community’s library and is designed to provide programs and services to people of all ages. The “Ready, Set, Grow” Capital Campaign will have opportunities for all members of the community to participate, and we are deeply appreciative of everyone’s support.