The library board has worked with River Architects to carefully plan the designs for the library building expansion and restoration. Click the button below to look through the preliminary building project designs. Our architect, Val Schute, has also provided a very detailed and informative presentation regarding the history, present, and future of the library building project which you can view here.
We also have large poster boards of key layouts from the proposed designs printed and on display here at the library. If you would like to see these designs in person, please stop by the library. Follow the button below to the public comment form to tell us what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although there are additional costs to renovating a historic building like our library, renovation is actually not as expensive as demolishing it and building new. Out of the total projected construction cost, renovation is only a quarter as expensive as building new ($80/SF vs $300/SF). Also, much, if not all, of the renovation costs will be covered with grants due to the historic nature of the building.
Additionally, the library building is a historic landmark, completely unique in this area. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Many in our community have expressed their view that the current building is an important community asset and needs to be preserved with comments like these:
“It’s a piece of history, even driving by, it is inspiring to keep it as a part of the community.”
“We love that it is a historic building and want to keep preserving it for future generations.”
We are fortunate to have a generous community and a supportive City Council! The library board conducted a pre-campaign study to ascertain the level of community support for a capital campaign to raise funds for the library improvement plans. The study involved interviews with many area residents and the results were very favorable and supportive of the library building project.
The best way to support the library right now is to join our Friends group or make a donation to our building fund. We have a variety of ways to donate online, by mail, or by stopping in to the library.
Other ways to support the project:
- Volunteer to be part of the campaign. ·
- Make your own personal gift or pledge to the project. ·
- Share library stories and interest in the project to friends and neighbors. ·
- Provide social media coverage of support for the project. ·
- Ask the businesses you frequent to lend their support to the campaign. ·
- Attend City Council meetings to express support for the library.
If you are interested in supporting the library in other ways, give us a call at 715-644-2004 or stop by and talk to us!
The library’s building project is actually two projects rolled into one: restoration of the current, 120+ year old space, and new construction of an addition to expand library space.
- Thanks to the generosity of Marie and Walter Wartolec, the lot to the west of the library was purchased and donated to the library for the purpose of building the new addition.
- Our architect, River Architects has provided a preliminary cost estimate of about 4.2 million for the entire project.
- The library needs City of Stanley’s support to apply for the Community Building Block Grant.
- We have identified grants for the renovation of the historic building.
- We will be conducting extensive research to identify foundation grants and other funding resources.
The library has very supportive patrons and an interested community who have already said they would support the campaign.
Q. The proposed expansion plan seems large for a small town, do we really need a library that big?
- Patron Seating—When planning seating for patrons it is recommended to use 30 square feet (SF) per seat. Currently we have 30 SF for seating, with no comfortable seating. The new library will have 850 SF for adult and youth seating.
- Staff Spaces—Workspace sizes are designed by staff function, not the number of staff members. Function include check-out, check-in, book sorting, delivery/courier, material preparation and more. The ideal allocation is 150 SF per function. For Stanley this includes the consolidation of two service points into one as well as a director’s office.
- Computer Workstations—The recommended size for individual computer workstations ranges from 35-50 SF. While computers have gotten smaller, the need for workspace remains. The proposed design will allow for twice as many computer workstations as the library currently has.
- Multipurpose Meeting Rooms/Study Rooms—A general meeting space is based on 10 SF. per audience seat with room for the speaker. Today’s libraries include spaces for individuals or small groups. These rooms are used for various purposes such as collaborative work, test taking, tutoring, virtual meetings, telemedicine visits, and quiet workspace. Currently, the library does not have any meeting/study rooms.
- Collection—The standard in libraries is to widen the aisles to a minimum of 42” to allow accessible access. The use of 84” or 90” high shelving is no longer recommended so the lower height shelving requires more SF. Collection SF is based on 10 volumes/SF.
Q. What are some examples of recent library projects similar to ours?
Building Square Footage
Conversion of a Bank. Shared Use Building with City and Police. Additional space available to the library within the building.
4.6 million (2021)
2.2 million (2015)
Conversion of a Bank. One floor. Lacks large program/meeting room
2.1 million (2022)
1.2 million (2019)
3.6 million (2021)
Proposed addition/renovation: 11,650
The current library building, while beautiful and well-made, is over 120 years old. It is not energy efficient does not meet ADA standards, and was not built with the current needs of the library and community in mind. We also have a challenging lack of space for the community, for staff, for programming, and for the collection. These conditions make it difficult for many people to use the current library facility.
- The first floor is not wheelchair accessible and the entire building does not meet ADA standards.
- The front steps are difficult or dangerous for many people to use.
- The lower entrance is unsafe in bad weather.
- Front door is difficult to open and not level with the floor.
- Hazardous substances including asbestos and lead paint, while not immediately dangerous to staff or public health, need to be addressed.
- Limited accessible shelving, too high and too low for patrons to access. Spacing between shelving units too narrow.
- No designated comfortable seating or reading spaces for adults and youth.
- Limited collection space and no room for a makerspace.
- Cracks in the walls, water damage. Windows are cracked and the wood is rotted.
- Limited community engagement space.
- No private meeting rooms or study spaces.
- No space to hold larger meetings, forums, and larger programs/events.
- No designated quiet space.
- Limited or difficult to access storage space.
- Circulation area not accessible for patrons in wheelchairs or to children.
- Limited designated staff workspace.
- Not enough electrical outlets and grid is outdated and not up to standards.
- Lighting is poor, does not meet user needs.
The completed plans will see an increase in the frequency and ways people can use the library.
- Provide free community meeting/event space.
- Greater public access and engagement with activities and community events.
- Provide ADA accessible library space/resources.
- A designated, safe teen space.
- Quiet reading spaces for adults.
- More frequent use and greater participation in programs and events. ·
- More study space and quiet space for community members to work from the library.
- More space for community organizations to share their resources and conduct programs/events.
- Provide a designated makerspace, offering unique opportunities to the community.
- More storage and shelving for programs/events.
- More comfortable & accessible seating options.
- Provide staff with designated workspace and breakroom for a more efficient workflow.
Q. Why do we need a bigger library when we have the internet?
The internet is great and has become a central part of our daily lives. We provide free internet at the library year-round whether we are closed or open, and we offer WiFi hotspots for checkout for free. However, the internet does not provide a safe, physical space for community life and engagement. Additionally, our rural area has unreliable internet and limited availability; many households do not have access to fast or affordable internet. Besides providing access to the internet at our location, there are many tangible things the library offers, including:
- Opportunities to meet others, learn new things, and engage in Stanley community life.
- Space to study, take tests, conduct meetings, apply for jobs and certifications, host events, play, and work.
- Fast, free WiFi which can be accessed outside of the building as well as WiFi hotspots patrons can check out to bring the internet home with them.
- Space which often serves as a much-needed respite from Wisconsin weather as a free-to-use place that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Physical materials including books, movies, and magazines, which still account for the great majority of library checkouts.
- Tech support to help community members maneuver and adapt through constant tech challenges and changes.
- A place for community members to connect safely online.
- A one of a kind space in our community where people of all ages are engaged.
- Affordable, accessible printing, scanning, faxing, and tech support.