During the last decade, as many of you have witnessed, the Boscobel Public Library has undergone numerous improvements to our facility and services.
In 2007, we began by replacing worn furniture and carpeting. The interior was repainted and a beautiful mural added to the rear entryway. We updated the library’s book collection and increased shelf space for new books, DVDs, magazines and other traditional materials; the addition of downloadable e-books and e-audiobooks has provided access to a statewide collection of more than 100,000 titles for Boscobel patrons.
Staff and volunteers reorganized our children’s room and added shelving thanks to a grant from the Boscobel Community Foundation and other supporters. We purchased AWE educational stations and began entire classroom visits to the library for elementary school students and their teachers.
The public computer network has been completely rebuilt: we’ve added new computers, a high speed fiber optic Internet connection, WIFI access and recently brand new core network equipment to better serve the constantly growing public demand for Internet connectivity for work, school, healthcare, taxes, benefits and leisure activity. Staff training has been enhanced as we embrace many new technologies, resources and roles to better serve the public.
Our building has been updated as well, with a new roof installed by the City of Boscobel and, in the past year, a full replacement of the building’s heating system with a new central heat and air system as well as cosmetic and security updates downstairs to expand the usability of our 92-year-old building. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, which hosts a continuing education outreach center at the library, has contributed several valuable improvements also. This summer, thanks to the proceeds from our annual July book sale and a donation from the Royal Neighbors, much needed re-glazing of the library’s beautiful 26 pane sash windows has also gotten underway.
The library and city are well on the way to making full use of our historic 1925 Claude and Starck designed building. One significant hurdle remains, which is to improve access to the downstairs level with the addition of a lift-style elevator. Installing such a lift will require some reconstruction of the building’s rear entryway, as well as the mechanical installation of the lift itself and an automatic rear entry door opener. Several years ago, the estimated cost of an elevator installation alone was thought to be in excess of $100,000; we are expecting that this project will cost a minimum of $120,000.
Currently, $90,000 of an original $300,000 designated by the City of Boscobel in 2015 for library building capital improvement projects, remains available. The library needs to raise an additional $30,000 at minimum to make our elevator project a reality.
At this time, the Boscobel Community Foundation has generously offered to assist with fundraising for this project, by making a commitment to match in-kind, up to $10,000 of donations. This puts us well on the way to achieving our goal of being able to break ground for this project in spring 2017. We also have already received a much appreciated initial donation of $1,000 from the Boscobel United Methodist Women’s organization.
We are now turning to you, our community, to ask for your help in raising the additional funds needed to purchase an elevator for our library. The accessibility will allow us to bring more programs and services to all members of our community: to offer meeting rooms, enhanced space for young adults, a local history center, multi-use makerspace and an improved overall facility for creative fun, learning and inquiry. Most importantly, it will provide us with room to grow, and to help connect all of our community members and organizations to a variety of cooperative opportunities.
As part of your library’s expanded mission, we’re dedicated to helping visualize “all the places we can go”, over the next ten years by sharing resources and working together. Envisioning Boscobel, 2026.
If you would like to find out more about this project, support it with a charitable donation, or lend your time or expertise to help us achieve our goals, please contact the library by calling 608-375-5723, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in anytime. Your assistance and support are gratefully appreciated!