1992- The Forest Lodge Library becomes a fully functioning Public Library
1999 – The Forest Lodge Library joins the Merlin Consortium
2000 – The Forest Lodge Library building named to the State Register of Historic Places. The Katie Flowers Endowment is formed, honoring long-time librarian Katie Flowers.
2007 – The Forest Lodge Library becomes a Joint Library of the communities of Cable and Namakagon.
2016 – The property adjacent to the library was purchased in anticipation of a library expansion project.
2017 – Patron and community input solicited. Research into architects commenced.
2018 – Keller Builds chosen as design and construction partner for the project
The Forest Lodge Library was founded in 1925 by Mary Livingston Griggs in memory of her mother, Mary Steele Livingston. First called The Community House, Mrs. Griggs envisioned and executed a downtown Cable facility that would combine the functions of library, community meeting center and public rest room.
While the size of the library, at just over 1,000 square feet, has remained unchanged since 1925, the library’s collection of audio/visual and print materials has increased by nearly 2,000 items since 2008. The number of programs offered has doubled in that time frame and the library averages 13,000 visits annually with an average annual circulation of 16,550 library items. Given the space constraints, some library items are stored across the street at the Cable United Church of Christ.
To meet evolving community needs and provide a greater variety of resources and service for patrons, the Forest Lodge Library Board of Trustees has been exploring the possibility of a library expansion and considering possible options for more than 15 years.
When the property adjacent to the library became available in 2016 the Board moved to approve and effect purchase to enable a facility expansion project that could and would include the log cabin. The title to the acquisition property is jointly held by the Towns of Cable and Namakagon on behalf of the Forest Lodge Library.
Now former Forest Lodge Library Board President Judy Krueger explained that library expansion plan development has been a lengthy, thoughtful and inclusive process. The Library Board along with personnel from the Cable Natural History Museum, the Towns of Cable and Namakagon as well as other community members have conducted extensive community surveys and were active participants in the 2017 Cable Tomorrow Visioning Sessions. Library Board members also interviewed a number of architectural and design/built firms and consulted and visited with other libraries.
In the summer of 2018, the Board of Trustees made the determination to work with Keller Builds out of the Fox Valley, a construction management firm with an on-staff architect. After several detailed meetings with Keller a design that met the major expectations of the Board, Committees and the public was developed. The proposed facility expansion design features a connection between the new expansion and the log cabin. The design concept was presented at two public input sessions in June, 2019, one in Cable, one in Namakagon. The feedback collected was shared with Keller Builds and resulted in revised concept designs. The design is still a work in progress. A civil engineering survey has been completed that will address drainage and parking issues.
A recent Needs Projection Study for 2019–2039 completed by the Northern Waters Library Service recommended a facility of nearly 7,000 square feet to adequately serve the population, service needs and circulation volume of the Forest Lodge Library. The current concept plan is within 300 square feet of this recommendation.
The Forest Lodge Library building is owned by the Cable Natural History Museum. The maintenance of the structure and grounds is supported by a fund bestowed by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation which is held and managed by the Cable Natural History Museum. The Forest Lodge Library currently leases the space from the Cable Natural History Museum on an annual basis.
The Forest Lodge Library’s Facility Expansion plan was developed with the cooperation and support of the Cable Natural History Museum. The hope is to create a cultural campus that will be an educational and entertainment locus of the Cable community.
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Currently the capital campaign is in a silent solicitation phase – pursuing foundation grants, major gifts and naming opportunities. There will be a campaign kick-off in mid to late 2021 that will include a mass mailing, special events and more.
The Forest Lodge Library Fundraising Goal of $2.5 million includes excavation, storm water and site development; data, communication and technology; building costs, architecture and management; fixtures, furnishings and equipment. The property for the expansion has already been paid for.
As the fund-raising arm of the Forest Lodge Library, The Katie Flowers Endowment, a 501(c)3 organization, will be the recipient of and hold donations to the facility expansion project until such time as they need to be expended.
The library expansion plans may be viewed by visiting https://forestlodgelibrary.org/. Please contact the Forest Lodge Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-798-3189 with questions or input.
To be kept up to date on the library expansion project, new library acquisitions, upcoming programs and more please visit https://forestlodgelibrary.org/ and subscribe to email updates (scroll down far right of home page).
“I know in my heart that this is where the library belongs.”
Joanne Cleary (life-long area resident, former Forest Lodge Library board trustee and Forest Lodge Advisory Council member
“This has been a lengthy, thoughtful and inclusive process,” said former Forest Lodge Library Board President Judy Krueger. “Since finalizing property purchase in December of 2016, the board and various committees which included former Library Board members, personnel from the Cable Natural History Museum and the Towns of Cable and Namakagon as well as others in the community have conducted extensive community surveys and participated in the Cable Tomorrow Visioning Sessions. The board also consulted with and visited other libraries and interviewed a number of architectural and design/build firms.”
“I love libraries. More than that, I believe in libraries. I believe they are essential to their communities and vital to our democracy. It has been exciting to witness the evolution of library services as we work to offer more and differing services to our communities; everything from the latest novel to tech access and assistance to “how to do stuff” MAKERSPACE events. Libraries truly are community hubs…free for all and here for everyone.” Kristine Lendved, Director, Forest Lodge Library