Antigo Public Library to Increase Hours and Services
Operating hours beginning August 1 will be 9-6 M-Thurs., 9-5 on Fridays & 9-4 on Saturdays.
FOR ANTIGO TIMES
The Antigo Public Library is excited to announce that hours will be increasing beginning August 1. The library will open an hour earlier on Fridays and will change its Saturday hours from 10-2 to 9-4.
“The Library Board’s goal for these changes is to make our opening time more consistent and to increase availability of library services at times outside the typical work week,” library director Ada Demlow said.
“The library will be looking closely at needs and its budget over the next year to consider remaining open until 7 or 8 p.m. one evening per week as well,” she added. “We just want to move carefully, one step at a time.”
In addition to these increased hours, the library has already been working hard at rolling out new programs and services for all ages. During this past year the library expanded its outreach program to schools and daycares as part of its commitment to early literacy. This includes partnerships with
Headstart, LeRoyer Child Care, Antigo Child Care and White Lake School. Library staff also visit Elcho’s day care and school during the summer. The Tail Waggin’ Tutors program has expanded with an additional volunteer team available to help give young reader’s practice in reading out loud. Recently, the meeting room was filled with middle school students engaging one-day learning class on engineering, coding and more.
But it isn’t just youth programs that are seeing an increase. The library recently partnered with the Senior Center to provide an interactive I-Spy Game for their grand opening. The library also has a new
Writer’s Group that meets monthly for adults and hosts quarterly Jigsaw Puzzle Competitions for older teens and adults. One-on-one support for adults and seniors needing help getting email accounts, etc. set up continues to be a regular and growing service offered. There are plans for the library to support additional training for citizens including classes on how to use the Everbridge App to find out information about weather emergencies and events in our community.
“The library is grateful to the City of Antigo and Langlade County for its stable support of its facilities and services for many years,” said Sheryl Perkins, Library Board President. The City and County each provide $306,690 per year to fund the library. This amount has been consistent for many years. Our library is a city-county library and our agreement with the city and county requires that the each provide equal funding to the library.” she added.
“The library budget receives other revenues from things like partnerships and fees paid by neighboring counties for use of our existing services,” Demlow stated.
Perkins added that even with those additional revenues, it is not quite enough to balance our budget.
“We balance the budget each year by using funds from our “fund balance,” Perkins said. State law requires that public libraries be able to keep funds not spent from their budget. In the past the Antigo
Library benefitted because budgets were not entirely spent, and the remaining funds led to the library having a fund balance.”
“Due to rising costs of materials and salaries over the past decade, the library no longer adds to this fund balance, but is depleting it. The library board is working carefully to make sure our fund balance is used carefully so that it can last as long as possible before needing increases in our funding,” Perkins continued.
“Rapidly rising costs in the areas of health insurance and materials are making this quite a challenge,”
said Demlow. “We are glad that are careful spending this past year has allowed us to be able to increase hours and services without an increase from the city and county. The installation of solar panels later this year will alleviate some of our electricity costs, but we expect that we will need to request a modest increase in 2025 as by that point the fund balance will likely be at a tipping point. We will need to start looking towards the future and being able to balance our budget without the fund balance.”
Another way the library is trying to stretch their budget is by using donations and book sales to support their robust program offerings. “This helps us offer more to the community; however, it also makes these programs more dependent on direct community support.” Demlow commented. “The Library
Foundation has been a wonderful sponsor for our story walks in the past and more recently have been funding our Free Books for Kids program which provides new books as prizes for children engaged in the library’s various reading programs. Donations made directly to the library or to the Foundation all support the library’s goal to be a central part of our city and county for many years to come.” She concluded.