Progress Report – June 2019
On Thursday, June the 6th, the library offered two Public Input Sessions, one in the Town of Cable, one in the Town of Namakagon. As a joint library of the two communities, it felt that it was important that each community was given an opportunity to review our preliminary plans. Devin Flanigan, our Keller Builds liaison, was present to answer questions and explain their involvement in the process. At each session, Library Director Kristine Lendved offered some history and background on the project, Library Board member and Katie Flowers Endowment President Anne Paul offered additional information as to the reasons behind our wish to expand the size of the library; to augment our collection, improve our service profile and be able to offer library programming during regular hours of operation! Devin Flanigan offered a slide presentation showcasing the plans at present including views from several angles and a look at the proposed floor plan.
Questions from those attending were fielded. Some people wondered why it was so big. Others wondered if it were big enough! Some questions could not yet be answered. We are not far enough along in the process to have specified exact furnishings or exterior treatments or even to have decided precisely what sort of heating/cooling will be used. The present plan addresses present and future space needs, identifies a floorplan and offers an exterior that will at once showcase the existing log cabin library and look to be part of a “campus” that includes the adjacent Cable Natural History Museum.
Marketing materials, a Case Statement and an accompanying brochure, were developed and received JUST in time for the Public Input Sessions. Same are available for pick-up at the library, or, give us a call at 715-798-3189 or email us at email@example.com and we’d be very happy to put one in the mail to you! We have large format drawings at the library and Library Director Kristine Lendved would be very happy to show them to you and take your input on them.
Our expansion facility will include a community meeting room which will enable us to offer daytime programming and will also be available for reservation for groups wishing to use it at any time. The facility is designed so that the meeting room and restrooms can be blocked off from the rest of the building so that the meeting room can be used before or after hours when staff is not present. There will, additionally, be several smaller study rooms which would be appropriate for small group meetings or to allow an area visitor who needs to work, to do so in a private space. These rooms, also, will be available to reserve. There will be a larger and improved children’s area and a central circulation desk which will include improved work space for library staff. There is a planned “media center” where patrons can use a scanner to transfer slides or photographs to digital files and accomplish other tech chores. Yes, there will be computer stations and room for our collection.
And the log cabin library? YES it will still very much be part of the library. As currently planned, it will be considered the “adult reading area.” A significant portion of the collection will continue to be housed there. The children’s area will be fully relocated to the expansion facility, as well as the main circulation desk,, which should insure that the area will, indeed, be a peaceful, quiet place to read and study. Several computer stations will remain there, and, of course, the wireless will extend to both areas of the facility.
Let us also say THIS: there are NO PLANS to make any changes to the exterior of the log cabin building. Because the log cabin does not look exactly like itself in the architectural rendering there are those who think those are planned changes. They are not! For one thing: the log cabin is owned by the Cable Natural History Museum. They have effected some improvements in and on the log cabin in the last several years, notably a new cedar shake roof and a newly refurbished exterior. It is also the case that the log cabin library is on both State and Federal Registers of Historic Places. So, will the log cabin library change? Indeed not…not on our watch!
Next steps: We will have an additional meeting with Keller to discuss the input we received at our Public Input Sessions. This should result in an updated preliminary plan. Then…well we need to raise the funds to accomplish this project. Our marketing materials identify our goal of raising two million dollars as well as identifying funding levels. Please know that we’d be very grateful to receive whatever contribution anyone wishes to make to our endeavor. We feel that this will be a great addition to our community.We hope, soon, to kick off an actual capital campaign.
In the meantime, Library Director Kristine Lendved or any member of our Board of Directors would be happy to talk to you about the project and how you might be involved.
Progress Report – January 2019
We are now two years into our “project” and, while it may look like not much has changed, progress has, in fact, been made.
In our last installment we explained that we had interviewed a number of architects and that we had determined that it would be useful to visit properties that they had been involved with. This determination resulted in a group of current and former Board Trustees, as well as Library Director Kristine Lendved, taking a series of daytrips in the early months of 2018. (happily, good weather was with us on travel days!) We visited the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, WI, the Ely Public Library in Ely, MN and the Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library in Iron River, WI. Each of these libraries was designed by one of the firms we were considering, and we certainly saw a wide variety of styles and economic resources. We also felt that we learned a great deal with each visit and refined our own ideas of what we hoped to offer in a new library building for our own community.
We were also introduced to a concept we had not previously considered: Design/Build. We were first approached by a construction management firm that has done other work in the area and were impressed by the services they would offer. We were subsequently contacted by another construction management firm, Keller Builds, which is located in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. After several meetings with both construction management firms we opted to go with Keller Builds for several reasons, the most significant being that they had an on-staff architect, which seemed like the best fit for us. We have had, at the time of this writing, three meetings with Keller personnel. In the first we spent…hours…discussing our existing services and the ones we hope to offer. From this, the Keller architect assembled a “needs assessment” document, identifying space sizes for what we had identified as our space needs. We carefully reviewed this document and made notes and suggested changes and went over it all again with Keller personnel. They supplied us with an updated space needs calculation.
The committee engaged with this process is composed of current and former Library Board Trustees, library staff and representatives from the Cable Natural History Museum and the Towns of Cable and Namakagon.
While there are still issues to iron out, having, largely, to do with State and County regulations pertaining to building across property boundaries, we do hope, very much, to have an initial drawing and potential library lay-out in the next month to six weeks at which time we hope to engage with our community on the plan and the project. We very much want for this to be a place that everyone will be pleased with and proud of.
We wish to assure anyone who may be worried about it that our plans VERY MUCH include keeping our iconic and beloved log cabin as a working and essential part of the library! We are also working on re-orienting the entryway to the new building so that it will face north, which, we hope very much, will take some of the pressure off an extremely busy section of County M! We also wish to state that we fully intend to work together with the Cable Natural History Museum to retain and enhance the “campus” area that we will share.
In the meantime, we continue to utilize the property. The Katie Flowers Endowment kept The Book House (as it is called) open every Saturday from Memorial Day weekend until Fall Fest weekend, with a few extra days in between, including the Annual Fourth of July Book Sale.
The library used the property to offer a Summer Reading Carnival which was a fun day of interactive activities and performance. Kenton Whitman and his family taught kids how to weave cord into a bracelet…that could easily be unwound if you found yourself in sudden need of a rope! We set-up some old-fashioned games for kids to play…like hop-scotch and a life-sized tic tac toe board painted onto the lawn. The day wrapped up with a puppet theater performance by Pam Cocoran, a part-time resident of Clam Lake who makes delightful felted wool puppets.
Although we have not yet kicked off a capital campaign in support of our building project, we have received funds which we’ve been directed to add to that fund. If you do have an interest in offering your financial support to this project, you are encouraged to contact Library Director Kristine Lendved who would share the information with the Library Board and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your support and recognition.
As we stated last year, we are always happy to hear from any of our patrons regarding the types of services and features you’d like to see offered by the library! We are YOUR Forest Lodge Library and we are here for YOU.