History

old library buildingThe Oconomowoc Public Library is one of the oldest libraries in the state, progressing from a private association in 1870 to a public library in 1893. In 1918, the City of Oconomowoc took over  operations from the Oconomowoc Public Library Association. From 1900 to 1987 the Library was located at 212 N. Lake Road in a three-building complex that was constructed during the 1850s and ‘60s.

In 1962, the Board of Trustees recognized the need for a new building. In 1987, the Library moved to its current location at 200 W. South St. Over the years, updates to the facility have helped us remain as welcoming and vital as when it opened in 1987.

Josephine Machus was appointed Library Director in 1950. Under her leadership, the Library started children’s storytime and the material collection continued to expand. She retired in 1981 after 31 years of service.

In 1981 Ray McKenna filled the Director position. During his tenure, he guided the Library through the construction of a new building as well as the many technological advancements. He retired in 2014 after 33 years of service.

Betsy Bleck was appointed Library Director in 2014. Betsy joined the Library in 2008 as the Youth Services Librarian. Under Betsy's leadership, the Library continues to undergo building and technology updates, and programs and services continually evolve and expand in order to meet the diverse needs of our community.

 

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