The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.
The founding of the Ridgeland Area Library is evidence of the strength of the community and the need for a library in every community.
When a local history buff who wrote a book about local veterans passed away, her sons wanted a place to share her research. A Little Free Library owner heard about it, and spread the word. One thing led to another and a survey was sent out to the Ridgeland area about starting a local library. The survey confirmed what the community already knew; there was a need for a library. Being on the county line, Ridgeland was considered an underserved population with the nearest library about 20 miles away.
Once the word got out, donations to support the library started flowing in. All new shelving was donated and a lot of books. The books that aren’t added to the collection are sold and the proceeds go to support the library. Even the building housing the library, the previous American Legion building, was donated to the town.
Ridgeland is a small town of less than 300 people, but a community with a big heart. When something needs to be done, people roll up their sleeves and pitch in. It is common for people to volunteer their time to support the community. Right now, the entire staff supporting the library are volunteers. In the near future, the library board hopes to become a library branch of an existing library and to join a library system to provide paid staff and to expand library services to this worthy community.
Congratulations to the Ridgeland Area Library! You are an inspiring story of a community who saw a need and worked together to make it happen. So much love has been poured into your beginning and so much more will feed your success.