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Library Hours:
Mon.-Th. 9AM-8PM
Fri. 9AM-6PM
Sat. 9AM-2:30PM
Closed Saturdays, from Memorial Day to Labor Day

About Frances L. Simek Memorial Library

Board of Directors | Staff | Statistics | Past Directors | History

Board of Directors

President Dan Miller
Vice President Clem Johnson
Secretary Bethany Leao
John DeBruyne Wendy Plawski
Marsha Klingbeil Margo Swedlund
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Erica Clarkson - Director
Marlene Klemm - Youth Services
Cathy Shaw - Technical Support specialist
Marla Hemke - Public Services Specialist
Emily Mueller - Public Services Specialist
Ariel Rinehart - Public Services Specialist
Nicole Gradberg - Public Services Specialist

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The Frances L. Simek Memorial Library collection has grown with the addition many new books since opening in 1999.

Here are some of the facts and figures comparing the last few years' statistics:

 1999 Totals2004 Totals2008 Totals2010 Totals2012 Totals2014 Totals2016 Totals
Total Circulation99,166115,047125,649135,721145,468135,165133,488
Adult 32,23271,33876,91984,83784,08477,30571,789
Juvenile 39,36543,70948,73050,88461,38457,86061,699
Total Collection 33,17044,08144,33844,89344,27347,10047,111
VideosN/A2,4052,3582,3942,499 3,1333,359

For comparison, the 1998 total circulation was 74,228 and the total collection numbered 25,279. New books and other materials are being added on a monthly basis.

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Past Directors

1903 Joanna Hislop
1904 Lynne G. Worth
1907 Emma M. Elvis
1907 S.W. Ingham
1916 Sophia M. Schulz
1942 Lillian Kaemmerer
1948 Bertha Zielke
1950 Lucy Watson
1951 Bertha Zielke
1953 Margaret Kuse
1984 Shirley Lemke
2001 Polly Gropen
2004 Ann Harris
2014 Anne Hamland
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Old Library on Main Street Current Library on North Main Street
Medford Public Library (1916-1998) Frances L. Simek Memorial Library (1998-present)

Prior to 1900, many people in the Medford area were interested in providing reading materials for others; for example, there was a small library in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WTCU) hall with a 50-book collection that was replaced every three months. The following brief history picks up the story as it has been formally documented.

Highlights of the Past 100 Years

1901 June. The Woman's Club decided to make the attainment of a free public library one of its chief aims.
1903 January. The free public library is established and the first board is appointed by the mayor. Rooms for the library were donated by the WTCU. Many individuals, businesses, and organizations donated books and money to establish a collection of about a thousand volumes.
February 23. The library is officially opened with Joann Hislop as librarian.
1905 November. One borrower ran up a fine that exceeded the value of the overdue book. It was decided to charge only what the book was worth - 20 cents.
1913 The library board started looking for a site for a new building. Frank M. Perkins offered a lot and donated $10 to the purchase price of $100. A major boost came in the form of a $6,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation.
1915 The Women's Alliance was formed to assist in maintaining the library
1916 April 29. The new library building was opened to the public.
1917 February 22. The new Carnegie library on Perkins Street is formally dedicated at a grand opening.
1937 The library is redecorated and the heating system is upgraded.
1942 Librarian Mrs. Sophia M. Schulz, who served for 26 years, is replaced by Lillian Kaemmerer.
1953 January. The library's golden anniversary was celebrated.
1954 Summer. $250 is given to the children's corner. The gift was underwritten by Art Linkletter's People Are Funny radio show and awarded by former Medford resident Perry Gay.
1961 The library joins the Wisconsin Valley Library System.
1979 A children's Nook was designed and opened in the library basement.
1984 Margaret Kuse retired after thirty years of service. Shirley Lemke was hired to take over the director's duties.
1986 The popularity of the children's area led to another remodeling.
1989 Age and overcrowding put stress on the Carnegie building. JoAnn Simek gave a kick-off contribution to the building fund. A controversy over adding on or building new developed and continued for several years. Following the advice of a consultant, the project evolved into a new library on a new site.
1991 A Friends of the Medford Public Library organization is established. A year later, the Wisconsin Secretary of State certifies the Articles of Incorporation.
1993 The Carnegie library building on Perkins Street is entered into the national register of historic places.
1997 May. Pep and Fran Simek pledged significant financial support for a new library.
November. A plan for a 13,000 gross square foot library is unanimously approved by the Library Board.
1998 Joined VCAT automated system, which linked the library to several other area libraries. $1.8 million is given by the community. A new library building was constructed at the end of North Main Street. It is named the Frances L. Simek Memorial Library.
October 11. Cornerstone laying ceremonies were held. Members of the Medford Masonic Lodge conduct the ceremony.
December 14. With the help of MAMS students, more than 20,000 books were moved from the old building to the new library.
December 21. The new Frances L. Simek Memorial Library opens its doors to the public for the first time.
1999 January 23.Formal Dedication and ribbon cutting ceremonies.
October 18. Library Foundation is established.
2003 February 22. The Medford Public Library/Frances L. Simek Memorial Library kicked off the commemoration of 100 years of service to the Medford area with a Centennial Celebration in the Library Main Room. Guests were treated to music, speeches, entertainment and refreshments.
2003 December 6. The Centennial Celebration ended with Arts at the Library with nineteen local artists displaying works in the library.
2008 Library offers free WIFI for patrons
2010 Frances L. Simek, library benefactress died

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