T. B. SCOTT FREE LIBRARY: HISTORICAL
T. B. Scott, lumberman, state Senator, and first mayor of Merrill
Scott wills $10,000 to the
city to found a free public library, contingent
upon the Citys provision of suitable quarters for the library
within five years.
-Special city election is held
to establish a public library.
Results: 82 for; 0 opposed.
-Janet Russell begins duties as first librarian
as, on March 24, T. B. Scott Free
Library opens on first floor of City
Hall (now the Old City Hall Apartments), among the first two dozen public
libraries in the state. Previous to this time
the community was served by rental libraries.
Merrill Traveling Library Association, one of the first in the
Communities throughout the county subscribe, including Tripoli,
Russell, Gleason, Irma, Chat, and Heinemann.
Classification of books changed from a good ordinary classification
to the Dewey Decimal system.
Librarian authorized to maintain open shelves to give the public
opportunities to select their books by examination of them on the shelves.
Separate Childrens Room approved by Library Board.
Helen Price begins duties as second librarian.
By spring she starts the first
English language classes for foreigners conducted in a Wisconsin public library.
Katherine Barker begins duties as third librarian, serves
Request for $17,500 from Andrew Carnegie Foundation approved. Claude &
Starck of Madison (associates of the famed Louis Sullivan)
contracted as architects the following spring.
Task of re-cataloging the library collection begins.
New Carnegie library completed in StangesPark.
(Moved in August 21, 1911)
Winnifred Bailey, fourth librarian, takes active role in the war effort,
including national mobilization of library materials for American
Elisabeth Burke, fifth librarian, begins duties.
Edna D. Orr, sixth librarian, begins duties.
Nathalie Scribner, seventh librarian, eventually becomes the chief
architect of the Wisconsin Valley Library Association, formed to
encourage the sharing of resources among member libraries.
Thomas B. Scott, Jr., donates $10,000 to the library.
Interest from the gift to be used
for books and magazines.
Due to growth in services and collections, Childrens Dept.
moved to the remodeled lower level of the Carnegie building.
1930s During the depression library use increases dramatically as
its budget decreases.
WPA grant helps with roofing and cement work on the library.
H. V. Kaltenborn, Merrill native and famous radio commentator, journalist
and author donates $2,000 to the library for creation of a book
Edna Kraft begins duties as eighth librarian.
Several centers set up in the county so that rural residents
dont have to travel directly to the main library for books.
The library wins a John Cotton Dana
Honorable Mention Award for its
comprehensive, outstanding and original methods of service.
[An American Library Association Award sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Co.]
The library begins participation in Project 6, a federally
funded demonstration project of the
Wisconsin Free Library Commission and the public libraries of Florence, Forest,
Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas
counties. The project
strengthens the collections of
established libraries and uses a bookmobile to provide service to areas where
there is no public library.
Architects hired to plan an addition to the library.
T. B. Scott Library becomes a founding member of the new cooperative organization called
the Wisconsin Valley Library Reference
Service. Following passage of state
aimed at the formation of library
systems, in 1972 this
organization became the
Wisconsin Valley Library Service.
Edna Kraft named Librarian of the Year by the Wisconsin
Library addition opened, doubling the size of the building.
were Foster & Shavey; Wausau, WI.
Ramon Hernandez begins duties as ninth library director.
Library acclaimed as an excellent example of Sullivanesque
architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Wisconsin Chapter of
American Institute of Architects.
-Library recognized by State Department of Natural Resources
as an excellent example of
construction on a flood plain.
-Merrill receives its first State Aids funds ($7,881.50) for the
expansion of library services.
-Gleason Branch opened. Bonnie
Preuser staffs it
-The library approved as a Wisconsin Registered Landmark.
-Library named to National Register of Historic Places.
-Outreach Extension Service for the homebound, elderly and
handicapped begins, funded with a federal grant.
Kathleen Gosz begins duties as tenth library director.
Tile roof on Carnegie building restored; Bicentennial roof raising celebration.
Library selected to receive the Wisconsin Library Associations
Clarence B. Lester Memorial Award
(Wisconsins Library of the
Year) as an outstanding example of what a library can do and be in a
N. Curtis LeMay begins duties as eleventh library director.
Paperback book deposit station begun in Irma at the Irma Stop N
Shop. The station operated
First card catalog cards, book cards, and book pocket labels made
with a new Apple IIe microcomputer.
Anita Gebert, member of the Board of Trustees since 1960, named
State Library Trustee of the Year.
-Library begins putting records of holding into statewide computer
-Beatrice Lebal begins duties as twelfth library director.
Library celebrates its centennial, with a community-wide Birthday
Party in the Park.
[This inspired the beginning of "Jennyfest" an annual historical
celebration in Stange's Park which continued for about nine years.]
Card catalog discarded; use of Dynix computerized circulation
Patrons begin using the Dynix computerized catalog.
-Library begins offering public Internet access.
-Medford Public Librarys collection and patron records added to
T. B. Scott Librarys computer
database (the M and M Project).
-Referendum for a library building project defeated.
-T. B. Scott Library Board of Trustees gives its approval for the library
become a founding member of V-Cat, a shared automation consortium
administered by WVLS.
-Tile roof on Carnegie building replaced.
-Fundraising for a library building project begins.
-Friends of T. B. Scott Library organized.
Photo below taken by Dr. Lewinnek the fall of 1999 before construction started on
the 2000 addition.
-Second referendum on the proposed library building project passes.
Gillan, Molinaro Architects, Ltd. of Chicago are hired.
-Library moved into temporary quarters at the former Fox
1905 E. 14th St., during construction of the
-Groundbreaking for the new addition.
moved back into the newly expanded and renovated building,
and reopened the doors on Aug. 20th.
- Library Web Page debuts.
-Library designated a Merrill Historic Landmark.
-For the second time the library receives the Wisconsin Library
Associations Library of the Year
-Beyond Books: Community Artshare
-March --Library begins to offer wireless internet access to the public.
-April --Lighted promotional sign, donated by Church Mutual launched.
-October -- Director Bea Lebal receives the Wisconsin Library
Association's Muriel Fuller award.
-January -- Stacy Stevens begins duties as the 13th Library Director.
-September -- Sunday hours begin after Labor Day.
-All year celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Carnegie Building.