Hayward library facing financial crisis - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Hayward library facing financial crisis

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A community library in Northwestern Wisconsin, that is one of just two privately funded libraries in Wisconsin is facing a financial crisis.

Now, the library is counting on the community's generosity to keep their services available.

"It's been a great pleasure to watch the library grow. So it's near and dear to my heart."

Molly Lank-Jones has been the library director at the Sherman and Ruth Weiss Community Library in Hayward for 22 years.

She has seen the library evolve over the years into what it is now. 

"That's why I said it's a great time to be a librarian because we still have all the traditional library services. We're just expanding to become this community center," said Lank-Jones.

But it all takes money- money the private funded library is running out of.

They estimate their current funds will be depleted in three years or less.

So, the Hayward Library Foundation launched a campaign to raise $2 million by 2020.

"It will be invested and hopefully the interest from the investments will carry the library forward perpetuated forever," said Hayward Library Foundation President Tom Burgess.

Library personnel say about 2,000 people walk through these doors on a weekly basis. If they don't get the funded they need, all those people will be directly affected.

 "We would have to cut back our services and we really don't want to do that. We... oh my gosh... we're just part of the community here," said Jones.

Services like year round educational and recreational programs for adults and children.

Two donations were made to kick start the campaign - one in the amount of $10,000, and one from a state representative. 

"I truly do believe they are the cornerstone to communities. They're an essential part to a civilized community and culture," said Wisconsin's 74th Assembly District Representative Beth Meyers.

It is a second home to the 9,000 card holders from 29 different communities. 

"We know most of the people who come in," said Jones.

And those who all work there. 

"It's still the librarian's basic creed is all of us really just like helping people."

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