Library History

Head Librarians:

Mrs. Alice Novotny 1959 – 1969

Mrs. Marilyn Borchardt 1970 – 1975

Ms. Darla Jean Kraus 1976 – 2015

Ms. Jacqueline Rammer 2016 – Present

 

In 1956, the Random Lake Garden Club dreamed up the idea of a library in the small village of Random Lake, Wisconsin. Through the interest of public and civic organizations in the village, planning was done and the Library had its first home in the annex of Edlee’s Inn on Second Street. With the Random Lake Village Board appropriating funds to cover the rent and $1500 to cover the initial costs of start-up, not to mention the donations of cash, time, furnishings, labor, and books, the library opened on April 26, 1957. By Fall, it was determined that the space was not large enough. On October 1, 1961, the Library moved to the former Times Publishing Company at 405 Second Street. The Port Washington Library, now WJ Niederkorn Library, donated the furnishings. The Library had 642 borrowers, with a circulation of 10,865 items a year. The head librarian was Alice Novotny, assisted by Mrs. John Gasser and Mrs. Ray Weinhold.

bankIn 1969 a lot was donated on Allen Street for library purposes. In 1970, the Random Lake State Bank building, 430 Second Street, was purchased with the donated lot as partial payment. The move was made in 1972, with over 7,000 items and a growing circulation.

In 1980, Random Lake Library became a joint community library, with funding coming from the Town of Scott, Town of Sherman, Village of Adell, and Village of Random Lake.

The former Random Lake Auditorium at 112 Butler Street was remodeled in 1995 for library use, and the collection was moved there in 1996. Funding for the project included $300,000 from local government and the LSCA Federal Grant of $125,000. The Friends of the Library provided the remaining $200,000 through fundraising and pledge drives. In 1998, the library began providing Internet access to the public. The Library received the Outstanding Commercial Restoration Award in 2000 from Sheboygan County Landmarks.

In 2003, the lower level of the library was expanded into the children’s room and meeting rooms. The project was completed in 2003 for a cost of $200,000. In 2006, the library had over 3,000 borrowers, over 34,000 books, and over 62,000 circulations.

In 2016, Jacqueline Rammer, MLIS, became the Library Director. One of her first initiatives was creating a Teen Room housing the young adult collection. Additionally, the sitting area received a wonderful new look courtesy of the Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Library and became the Darla Jean Kraus Reading Area in honor of the former director. Circulation continues to rise and the library is consistently growing with more patrons, more materials, and more programs.