Clinton Public Library Foundation
In 2014, Clinton Public Library Foundation was established using funds raised when Jakes Electric, First National Bank, Delong Co. Inc., American Family Insurance Debbie DuCharme Agency, Country Pride Meats, and Scot Forge funded a pocket calendar fundraiser. The Founders Quilt Campaign met with success when 100 donors gave $100 in honor of the library’s 100th year during 2013/2014. The Foundation’s continuing purpose is to seek funding to help the library search for and acquire more space.
Clinton Public Library's Mission: Clinton Public Library opens doors for curious minds, nurtures learning and creativity, enriches lives, and creates opportunities by bringing people and ideas together.
By 1986 the library contained 10,000 volumes and needed more space so it was moved into the space used by the old post office. A renovation completed in the spring of 1987 set up the space as it is presently occupied.
In 1983, interested citizens organized a "Friends of the Clinton Public Library” group. This organization, among other things, contributed monetary support of the library through periodic book sales and also through articles published in the Clinton Topper, keeping the public informed about library events.
Jean Jacobson was librarian from January, 1979 through December, 1991. She was assisted by Ann Crawley who worked 15 hours a week. Volunteers contributed many hours each year
Clinton’s first library started in 1910 as the Wisconsin Traveling Library. It was located in the
back part of the Covert & Cheever Drug Store, which was at the time the Liquor Emporium.
The library contained 140 books. The Twentieth Century Club, presently known as the Women’s
Club, took over sponsorship at a later date. Books were loaned to members at a charge of 5
cents every two weeks until the books were paid for and put on a free list.
In 1913, a new village hall was built and the library was given a room on the first floor. In 1914
the library contained 500 volumes and was self- supporting. It was open 2-5 on Tuesday and
Saturday afternoons with a paid librarian in charge.
In June of 1921, letters were written to the Village and Town Boards asking for financial aid for the library; $65 from the village and $35 from Clinton Township. The library contained 1457 volumes at the time.
In 1947, the 20thCentury Club received $1000 in the will of Bercia Vanderlyn. It was to be used for the library in any way the board decided.
In 1967, the library met with Dr. Frank Shuler, a member of the Clinton Village Board and helped prepare an ordinance creating a library board for the Village Of Clinton. All property of the library was donated to the Village for a public library, provided the Twentieth Century Club would always provide three members of the library board. The first Twentieth Century members serving on the board were: Edith Reffue, Zilpha Johnson, and Mona Strohbusch.
In 1969, the Clinton Public Library became part of the Rock County Library System which included the public libraries of Beloit, Janesville, Edgerton, Evansville, Milton, and Orfordville. In January of 1974, the library became part of a newly formed library system with the same libraries participating. The name was changed to the Arrowhead Library System. Any person living in Rock County could use of any of these libraries for free.
In 1974, the open hours at Clinton Public Library increased from 17 to 38 hours a week and the circulation tripled. In addition to the books and magazines, patrons could check out art prints, typewriters, records, 8 and 16 mm. movie projectors, video cassette recorders and video tapes. The library was open six days a week.
helping shelve and card books, alphabetizing and filing cards, and conducting pre-school story times. Library hours increased from 21 to 52 hours per week during this time. The summer reading program started in June, 1988.
Staff member Shawn Ibeling (1992 to present) remembers early days when she was a story hour volunteer as kids gathered around a bean bag chair in what used to be the Post Office. Shawn started leading story hour in 1992 and continues to do so today.
Janet Karius was library director from January 1992-1993. She had three children who helped her rearrange library materials on Sunday. Patrons would leave on Saturday and find everything moved around on Monday. Carol Webster and Peg Williams assisted as Janet continued to expand materials and programs. Melanie Stevens served as interim librarian for a few months after Janet left.
Michelle Dennis was library director from February 1994 to 2011. The staff set up the first public computer in 1994. Library computer use increased rapidly during her tenure. Michelle led us from floppy discs to Wi-Fi. In 1997 the library changed over to automated barcodes which was fun and interesting. The library closed for two weeks while forty volunteers labeled books with bar codes. In 2007 Clinton joined the RockCat system.
Michelle strongly promoted early literacy skills while establishing Lapsit Baby & Toddler Storytimes. She also introduced the Shady Hills Bilingual Library program which “brought the library” to rural children during summer vacation months. Michelle addressed the needs of Clinton’s growing Hispanic population by promoting English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in conjunction with Stateline Literacy Council, and developed a collection of Spanish language books at the library.
Mary Bieber is currently the CPL director. Staff includes: Shawn Ibeling, Jenny Ludeman, Deborah Maloney, Tammy Learned, and Maria Troche-Perez. The library now holds over 25,000 items in its collection. Children, teen, and adult programs are popular, and free computer classes are scheduled regularly. Free e-books can be downloaded with the new Overdrive system. The library is now open six days every week for a total of fifty-five hours per week.
Friends of CPL officers (since 2011) are Scott Zoellner, President, Don Seeger, Vice President, Diane Beilke, Treasurer, and Sue Gallagher, Secretary. The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit is active and sponsors book sales, a silent auction, and program aid. The Teen Friends of CPL was started in 2012 and led by President Kadee Feggestad. Their first teen bake sale raised $76.
In July 2012, Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants, did a space analysis and recommended a single story building of 12,000 square feet on one acre of land. Fire Chief John Rindfleisch inspected and posted a sign: "Maximum Capacity Limit: 36". Summer Reading Programs for children typically have an attendance exceeding that amount.
In January 2013, library board members Connie Fleissner, Jan Haag, Diane Bielke, Anne Bua-Demus and Marianne Neilson started planning meetings and asking for feedback from the community regarding the Himmel & Wilson space analysis.