Dodgeville Library Building Project Information

The referendum passed with a ‘Yes’ Vote on February 18th, 2020

(Articles submitted to the Dodgeville Chronicle by The Dodgeville Public Library Board of Trustees.)


1. A look back

“The Dodgeville Public Library – A look back before moving forward”

The Dodgeville Public Library is looking toward the future, not just for the library, but for the City of Dodgeville. With your help, we hope to expand your library to fill a variety of needs for this building and our town.

The Dodgeville Public Library started out in 1900, in a single room of the original Dodgeville City Hall, with an annual budget of $400, and was open four hours each week. By 1923, the library was open three days a week and had a single full time librarian. A dedicated library building was finally built in 1951, at 111 West Merrimac Street, site of the current police department, thanks in part to a generous $10,000 donation by Mattie Utting. Click on ‘A look back’ to read more information.

2. Why this spot?

Update: The current plan is to keep the Library where we are at! City Hall will be moving when they find a suitable location. Then the library will expand to use the entire building and hopefully beyond with an expansion. Please call 608.935.3728 if you have any questions! Thank you!

Looking for a new location for a new library took a number of factors into consideration. The first is available size. A building assessment completed in 2014 showed that a library for a population of our size should have 21,000 sq. ft. of space. This is a significant increase over our current size of less than 6,800 sq. ft. 

3. Why libraries matter?

“Why would a new library benefit the City of Dodgeville?”

Whether you personally use the library or not, the Dodgeville Public library plays an essential role in our community. The library is a promotor of education, equality and democracy. Anyone can go, anyone can read, anyone can use the public computers and make use of the library for whatever they wish to learn about. This access is open to all and is transformational in people’s lives.

A new library would include public meeting spaces able to accommodate large events and meetings after-hours. Click on ‘Why libraries matter’ to read more information.

4. Why now?

“Why should the City of Dodgeville build a new library now?”

The current Library and City Hall building was built in 1988 to serve a city population of under 4,000 citizens and had a footprint of 6,700 sq. ft. The primary focus of the library was on physical check-out of standard adult and children’s books with minimal programming and services to the community. The library received less than 33,000 visits from all patrons in 1990. There were no public use computers and the library received about 100 patrons per day. The Library had three full time and two part time staff upstairs, while the City Hall had only two full time and five part time staff downstairs. The Library now has four full time and ten part time staff upstairs, while the City Hall has six full time and three part time staff downstairs. The Dodgeville City Hall needs room to expand and a new library would allow City Hall to renovate space upstairs to alleviate crowding and City storage challenges.

By 2018, the library held 250 programs attended by over 5,700 people of all ages. Click on Why now? to read more information.

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