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Staff at the Waupaca Area Public Library are dedicated to providing the best possible customer service. The motto of “Imagine, learn, connect” guides the library to provide innovative programs and needed services to their community.
School programs meet the needs of both the local school population of students and teachers as well homeschooled children and parents. Programs focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning with special emphasis on coding. iPads and coding games for all ages are available to children and their caregivers. The early literacy play area provides toys and an interactive learning wall. The hollowed out cottonwood tree invites kids to use their imaginations while furniture provides a comfy place to share a story. Weekly programming is held for babies, toddlers, and school age children.
Teens can relax in their own space. The “Best Cellar” was originated in 1998 and expanded in 2006. With a computer bar, gaming corner, and makerspace, teens can always find something to do. The full time teen librarian leads a group of high school age employees, who staff the room when school is not in session. Drop in programs and activities are available on a regular basis.
The library also has strong adult programming that utilizes local experts. A film series features a retired professor who researches and shares classic films on the first Thursday of the month. The monthly Lunch & Learn Program provides an interesting speaker with a light lunch provided by local restaurants. Special programs, including author visits, are provided on an almost monthly basis.
The library provides meeting space for non-profit and for profit organizations. The Winchester Academy, a local organization committed to lifelong learning, utilizes library meeting spaces and calls the library its home. Political organizations, a writers’ club, and a photography club meet regularly at the library. The Library Exhibit Room (funded through the Library Foundation) provides up to eight exhibits a year, providing cultural, historical and educational displays free to the general public. The Exhibit Room is run by Committee which includes a paid coordinator, community members, and a library board member.Twice annually the library has a “Food for Fines” drive. Food collected, in lieu of overdue fees, is donated to the local food pantry.
Serving the community means being in the community, not just in the library. The library collaborates with organizations to bring programming to the local farmer’s market, area schools and city festivals. Children’s librarians provide stimulating book talks at school. Delivery between the library and school expands student access to the books they want to read. With the schools, the library has been able to bring award winning authors, connecting readers and writers. Last year, Gordon Korman and Jan Brett visited our community with the library as facilitator.
This past year the Waupaca Area Public Library went through a remodeling project and the community demonstrated how much the library is loved. The library’s $270,000 renovation was completed with an amazing outpouring of support from the library users; for every $1 of taxpayer money spent, $1.50 was provided by the Waupaca Library Foundation. Carpet, paint, furniture, adjustable height main desk, self-check and new RFID security system were included in the upgrades. Happily for everyone, the renovation was completed without the library closing.
Guided by the needs in the community, the Waupaca Area Public Library is committed to offering opportunities for innovation and engaged learning.