LIBRARY EXPANSION 2017 - READY SET GROW!
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.
DONOR POLICIES

NOTE: The proposed gifting amount of each item and/or area should not be construed to be, nor does it represent, the actual cost of the item and/or area. Donors will be recognized by name both on the donor wall near the entrance and/or at the selected room or feature listed. All naming opportunities are subject to Library approval. Naming opportunities and gift levels are subject to availability and subject to change. Naming opportunities will be designed to be consistent with interior standards for the new Library. You may choose from these suggested wordings:
“A gift from” 
“Through the generosity of” 
“In Memory/Honor of”
GROWING OUR LIBRARY SERVICES (BY NANCY ASHMORE, LIBRARY DIRECTOR)

I don’t know how many of you had the opportunity to be in the Library during one of our Summer Reading programs. It was exhilarating to see the enthusiasm of the kids and their parents and caregivers. But if you were here, you also saw how even a modest group of 30-40 children and the 10 or more adults who accompanied them filled up the available space. Perhaps you were even here on that memorable day in June when we hosted more than 80 children and 30 adults in that same space. The photos are available on our Facebook page, if you’re curious to see what the room looked like. Participation in the Summer Reading program has increased over the past few years, and not only are we bursting at the seams with young patrons, but we don’t have space for the amount of reading material that we should have for our young users. In fact, we literally must remove one item for each item we add. It’s not too much of a problem if a children’s program takes up the entire space, as most of our young users are quite happy to wait until the program is over to choose their materials. Adult programs are quite another situation; holding them in the Library can disrupt many users. Occasionally, we hold programs in City Hall, on those occasions when the space is available. A very limited number of adult programs are held in the Library, if the audience will be small. We get frequent inquiries as to whether the Library could host a book club or a technology class. I’ve personally even had a request for a mah johng club, which I would love to do; in fact, I recently purchased a couple of mah johng instruction books for the Library. But unfortunately, our ability to provide these spaces and opportunities for our community is so limited that we can’t even provide a private place for tutoring, for academic online testing, or for confidential conversations. Our patrons frequently need spaces where they can study quietly, have private conversations, hold group training or gather for any number of purposes. The Library is a logical place for those activities to occur, but we are unable to provide those amenities for our community members. Fortunately, the Library Board and the City have made great progress toward expanding the Library building. The proposed expansion will give us room not only for the needs I have discussed earlier, but also for quiet reading areas, access to technology, and separation of staff work areas from public areas. The proposed program room will be extremely flexible, in that we will be able to use it as one large room or divide it for smaller groups, and it is also easily accessible from the new Children’s area. The building’s design will allow the room to be used outside normal library hours without the necessity for library staff to be present. Technology will be incorporated throughout the building, which means that not only the program room but also the smaller study rooms may be used for online meetings and classes. We will be able to display art and have cultural displays that have not been possible before. Our genealogy and local history room will be dedicated to that purpose, allowing us to provide more access and materials for the users, and we will be able to grow all of our collections to better match the size of our user base. The Library is already far more than a storehouse for books, and the expansion will allow it to serve adults, teens, and children in many more ways than we currently are able.
​YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY PROJECT – A LONG AND WINDING ROAD (BY AARON KRAMER, CITY ADMINISTRATOR)
“A public meeting was held Wednesday evening at the Grand Opera hall in the interest of the public library at which much enthusiasm was expressed at the prospect of enlarging and developing the present library within a short time. Nicholas Gunderson, city superintendent of schools and a member of the library board, presided over the meeting…Hon. H.S. Dudgeon of Madison, secretary of the state library commission…stated that in view of the fact that the supply of books in the Prairie du Chien library is very insufficient for the demand, the state library commission will agree to loan the library one book for every dollar the present appropriation is increased, 100 books for $100, or any number of books to equal any increase in the annual library appropriation” – La Crosse Tribune, March 3rd 1914
As you can see, the debate over a new or expanded library is not something new to Prairie du Chien. From the wonderful history compiled by Mary Ann Stemper, “Wachute Memorial Library”, the earliest reference to a library dates back to March 1859, when a newspaper article referred to the the librarian - Dr. Whitney – leaving for the gold field of the American West. In 1908, the Women’s Temperance Union established a reading room in the Famechon Building, now Fort Mulligan’s. They gathered 200 volumes and a collection of magazines. By 1909, a broad based community group called the Prairie du Chien Library Association took over the reading room. They were allowed to move their collection to its temporary location at the council chambers in the old city hall. In September 1956, the League of Women Voters offered their building to the city for a library. They had a few stipulations. The city couldn’t change the front appearance of the building; the League would be able to use it for meetings. The city would pay the $1,000 they still owed. Then-Mayor Pake said that it was a generous offer, and promised the council would act in mid-September. At that meeting it was determined that a 32 X 60 addition to the back would be needed which would cost $29,350. Obviously, nothing came of their offer because in 1960, they turned it over to the state historical society. The building is now known as the Knowlton House. In August 1960, shortly after her husband’s death, Mrs. Emma Linzenmeyer Wachute offered $75,000 to the city for a new library. The original design had a partial second story, but the plan was simplified to contain costs. The old library was closed for two weeks over the holidays in 1962, while the National Guard moved the library. It opened on the new site in January 28, 1963, and it remains in its present location. And, now in the 21st century, we find ourselves again facing the issue of expanding the current library, and how to pay for it. A library expansion plan is in place which will extend the life of the current library past the middle of this century. The Common Council has approved a $3 million expansion and upgrade with a challenge to our community to raise $1,500,000. Initial campaign planning is taking place now. Please watch this column as we will keep everyone advised as the plans move forward. The next article will discuss the exciting building plans and why the expansion and renovation of the library is needed, even in this digital age.

THE DOLLARS AND CENTS OF A 21ST CENTURY LIBRARY
At first glance, the financing plan for the proposed expansion and modernization of the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library can appear complex, but it essentially can be divided into three parts. The plan, though, is similar to how the Hoffman Hall project was financed several years ago. First, in early 2017, the City will borrow $3 million. We can’t pay contractors and their employees with IOUs, so the entire amount will be have to borrowed at that time. As part of the overall financing plan, the Common Council has, in essence, issued a “challenge” to the Capital Campaign to raise one-half (1/2) of the total price of the project. If funds are in the Capital Campaign at the time of the 2017 borrowing, the amount borrowed would be reduced. The bond will be a 4-year note with interest-only payments and a balloon note due in 2021. During this time, donations will be collected on the Capital Campaign (this will allow for a 4-to-5 year period for donors to make their contributions) and kept in a separate escrow account. Come 2021, the balloon payment will be refinanced with the principal reduced by two sources: 1) the funds escrowed from the Capital Campaign, and 2) any additional funds contributed by the Common Council at that time.  So, for those who choose to contribute to the Capital Campaign, payments received now could be used to reduce the size of the initial borrowing needed to pay for the project, or they could stretch them over a four-year period, with part of the money being used to reduce the original borrowing and the other portion being used to reduce the amount we need to refinance. Second, in 2021, the note will be re-issued as a 20-year bond, with a possible early call, or payback, date for early payoff if a large donation is received during the payback period. If no call date is recommended by our financial advisors, the City will use the any large donations after 2021 to make the bond payments during the life of the bond. The call date on the bonds will be subject to market conditions at the time, but generally a 20 year bond is callable in 10 years. Therefore, a large donation can be used to make payments until the call date, set aside to reduce the amount of debt outstanding on the call date, or some combination of the two. Yes, the financing plan for the proposed expansion of the library is a bit complex, but, in the end, I, along with the Library Board and the supporters of the library, believe this is the best road to take as we improve the present-day services of our public library, addressing not just the basics of books, but meeting space, genealogy research and archival collection, computer access, and more, and leave a wonderful legacy and gift to the next series of generations who will call the Prairie du Chien area home.
THE PRAIRIE DU CHIEN PUBLIC LIBRARY - THE PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE - Produced by Harold Waterman
DOWNLOADABLE FORMS AND INFORMATION

Ready, Set...Grow - The promotional brochure for the Capital Campaign

Pledge Form - How can you be involved in the Capital Campaign?

Naming Opportunities - Naming opportunities and gift levels are subject to availability and subject to change

Frequently Asked Questions
OFF AND RUNNING - LIBRARY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF WITH MAJOR DONATION
Design Homes, Weeks Family donate $125,000 to launch campaign

Prairie du Chien’s Memorial Library Capital Campaign has received an extremely generous kickoff contribution from Design Homes Inc., Randy and Shelly Weeks and the Weeks Family - a $125,000 gift to name the Children’s Reading Area. Earlier this year, the City announced a $1.5 million Capital Campaign to match a $1.5 million contribution to the project by the Common Council. “Shelly and I are very excited to be part of the Library expansion project,” said Randy Weeks. “Like most people in this electronic age, we were not aware of how important the Public Library is to our community. It is not only a place to read or check out a book, but also a gathering and meeting place and a place for children to go use and see some of the latest in technology. We are excited to see the Library expand and grow to meet the needs of this and the next generation.” The Library expansion and modernization project is aimed at bringing the facility into the 21st century with expanded areas for programming and books, as well as quiet reading areas, access to technology, and separation of staff work areas from public areas. The Library will also be able to display art and have cultural displays that have not been possible before. The groundbreaking for the project, estimated at $3 million, is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017. “Today’s announcement is a tremendous commitment on the part of the Weeks Family and their employees to the future of our library,” said City Administrator Aaron Kramer. “What is equally exciting is their request that the donation be used to fund the Children’s Reading Area, one of the most important areas in the library, which will be named for the Weeks Family. In the end, ultimately, that is what this project is about – the future readers and patrons of the Library, today’s children.” If you would like more information on the proposed Library expansion project, or would like to discuss making a contribution to the Capital Campaign, please contact the Library at (608) 326-6211. Every gift to the library is an important step in this process. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. PICTURED: Shelly and Randy Weeks
LIBRARY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN WELCOMES MAJOR DONATION

The City of Prairie du Chien’s Memorial Library Capital Campaign has received a generous personal donation from Major Sue Tiller - a $50,000 gift. Earlier this year, the City announced a $1.5 million Capital Campaign to match a $1.5 million contribution to the project by the Common Council. The project, estimated at $3 million, is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017. “I remember walking, so many times, straight down Minnesota Street to the library…and then coming home with all my many borrowed treasures,” said Tiller, a local business leader, proud 20-year Army veteran and past President of the Friends of the Library. “I was introduced to so much growing up from the library but most of all I remember how safe and warm I felt just being there…reading there...among all the books. So, I can’t think of a better place to give support then to our little library, because it’s time to make it even bigger and better.” The Library expansion and modernization project is aimed at bringing the facility into the 21st century with expanded areas for programming and books, as well as quiet reading areas, access to technology, and separation of staff work areas from public areas. The project will also allow the facility to be used outside normal library hours without the necessity for library staff to be present. Technology will be incorporated throughout the building, which means that not only the program room but also the smaller study rooms may be used for online meetings and classes. The Library will also be able to display art and have cultural displays that have not been possible before. “We are very honored and delighted that the first major personal gift is from a Prairie du Chien native,” said Library Board President Linda Munson. “This gift truly represents a very large move forward as we begin our first steps toward raising $1.5 million.” If you would like more information on the proposed Library expansion project, or would like to discuss making a contribution to the Capital Campaign, please contact the Library at (608) 326-6211. Every gift to the library is an important step in this process. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. (Pictured: Library Board President Linda Munson, Major Sue Tiller, Library Director Nancy Ashmore - Photo courtesy of Correne Martin, Courier-Press)
Pete’s Hamburgers contributed a donation of $500 toward the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library capital campaign to raise $1.5 million, which the city will match, toward expansion of the facility. On Thursday, Nov. 12. Paul Gokey (front, right) presented the donation to library board chair Linda Munson (front, left). Also pictured are Librarian Nancy Ashmore (back, left) and Prairie du Chien City Administrator Aaron Kramer. “I’m grateful to see this library expand,” Gokey said. (Photo by Correne Martin)
To download the donation form, please click on the image for a PDF version.
Join the 100 Families for the Next 100 Years of the Library. Those that have already joined:
- know that they can make a real difference in providing the much-needed renovation and expansion of the Library
- want to have their name, their children’s names, or the name of a person they want to honor or remember, recognized forever in their choice of one of three areas in the new library – Children’s Activity Area , Teen Area or Adult Reading Area with a fireplace
- will donate $1,000 each (that can be pledged over 5 years - $200 per year or $16.67 per month)
You can pledge individually or form groups (e.g. family members, book clubs, bowling leagues, women’s groups, etc.) for one listing.
For additional information please contact the library or Linda Munson at kansas@centurytel.net.
MADISON GAS AND ELECTRIC FOUNDATION DONATES TO LIBRARY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

The City of Prairie du Chien’s Memorial Library Capital Campaign was recently given a $2,500 donation from the Madison Gas and Electric Foundation. This donation is in addition to a previous $10,000 donation from the Foundation. “The Madison Gas and Electric Foundation has a tradition of contributing to causes which benefit the communities they serve,” noted City Administrator Aaron Kramer. “We are extremely excited with this second contribution to the campaign.”

ALSO A BIG THANK YOU to Girl Scout Troops 1081 and 1074 for their hard work on our new donation tracker - currently on display in front of the Library.

(PICTURED - Library Board President Linda Munson and Library Director Nancy Ashmore accepting the donation of Madison Gas - District Manager-Prairie du Chien - Prairie du Chien Gas Company, a division of Madison Gas and Electric Company)