Eds Note: Here is something we can all agree on, 100 years of public library service is a good thing. And remember the big Wausaublog reunion scheduled for the bicentennial of the library. See you there.
By Phyllis Christensen
One hundred years ago, in April 1907, Wausau Free Public Library opened to the public. The opening was the result of a project that began in 1904, when philanthropist Andrew Carnegie agreed to grant $25000 if the city of Wausau would set aside land for the building. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Alexander donated land to the city for a library building and park. On April 3, 1907, the library opened with a collection of almost 5000 items.
In 1937, Marathon County Library was established as a W.P.A to serve county residents who did not have access to a local library. The two libraries grew and offered expanded services. In 1974, the libraries merged with other local libraries and formed Marathon County Public Library.
The 100th birthday celebration began in January and will continue throughout the year. A display on second floor at Wausau Headquarters changes each month to depict a different decade of history. The final display will depict our vision of the library of the future.
Each branch library, Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon, Mosinee, Rothschild, Stratford, and Spencer, will have a local celebration. On April 15, there will be a special birthday celebration at the Wausau library. Everyone is invited to share in the celebration which will feature activities for kids, music by Andy Z and the Spankin’ Monkees, a barbershop quartet. And, of course, birthday cake for everyone!
For more about the history of MCPL, read the Wikipedia article written by the library’s reference librarians. More information about the 100th Birthday Celebration is available on the library’s web page.