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Library Name Changes July 1, 2021
On July 1, 2021, the Baraboo Public Library officially became Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library. The name honors the family of Juanita Schadde, whose $2.5 million donation helped make the library expansion project possible. The Schadde family have been long-time Baraboo proprietors of Schadde Plumbing and Heating, founded a few years before the date of the library’s 1895 charter. The name also recognizes the original major benefactor of the library, Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist and philanthropist whose $15,000 grant to the City of Baraboo on March 14, 1902 enabled Baraboo to build a public library.
The original name of the library, Carnegie Free Library, will remain part of the historic 1903 edifice, even after the library expansion is complete.
“By the late 1800s, many people in Baraboo had worked for years to establish a public library, with meetings and fundraising efforts, and collecting books to make it a reality,” said Library Director Jessica Bergin. “The Carnegie donation was significant enough to make a library building in Baraboo a physical reality. Similarly, staff, volunteers, and donors had worked since the early 2000s to expand the Baraboo library, and the Schadde donation put the current library expansion project over the finish line for City approval.”
Construction was slated to begin this spring, but the final approval on the $6 million rural development loan from the United States Department of Agriculture was delayed.
“We are hopeful we will begin construction this summer or fall,” Bergin said. “We are preparing for the many changes that will occur in the physical library building over the next several months. The library will remain open to the public during construction.”
“Our new name signals our enduring connection with our history,” Bergin said. “We will maintain the library’s role as a community center for lifelong learning and literacy, bringing people, information, and ideas together.”
The library’s website address also changed to www.csmpl.org July 1.
Library Construction Update - March 2021
In early June, the library construction project will move into Phase 1, which includes demolition of the building to the east of the library, as well as the demolition of most of the east portion of the current library building.
The library will remain open during the library construction project. As site preparation and construction begin, library services will continue to be conducted in the current library building. During the next year and a half, there might be a few days when we will need to close the building, but in general, people will be able to come in and use the library as usual.
There will be no public entrance on the north side of the building. There will be one restroom available in the library during this phase of the construction project, located in the Youth Services Department in the lower level.
The parking lot will be used as a construction staging area and will not be available for patron or staff use. People may park on the streets close by the library. Handicapped parking spaces will still be available on Fourth Avenue in front of the library.
Once construction activities block the alley, a book return will be installed in front of the library so patrons can conveniently return their library materials at an outdoor book return.
Phase 2 of the project, which involves building the new addition, is slated to be completed in summer 2022. At that point, all library services will move into the newly-built structure, and Phase 3 work—renovating the historic Carnegie structure—will begin. This final phase should be finished in fall 2022.
Throughout this project, library staff members will adapt to changing building conditions, and look forward to providing library services for Baraboo area residents.