Spooner Memorial Library 715.635.2792 | Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 8am-4pm

Building Expansion

Building Expansion Updates

Expanding into the Future

October 2023

Spooner Memorial Library
Building Expansion Update

The DRAFT exterior plan with photos can be viewed HERE.

Update (October 2023)

We are excited to announce that our feasibility study is over and we now have a plan for the future Spooner Memorial Library building. We are now embarking on schematic planning for the library, including topographic and utility surveys, preliminary demolition plans, building floor plans, ceiling and roof plans, preliminary structural framing concepts, site and landscaping plans, and exterior building elevation work. In the next 12-16 weeks we’ll have design review meetings, a 3-dimensional exterior rendering of the building, an estimate of probable cost, and presentation boards with building plans and 3D images. We anticipate by January 2024, we will be ready to start our capital campaign.

So what is the plan? With a variance in place, the plan is to knock down the entire children’s wing of the library. There is a crack in the wall and ceiling that is monitored closely but serious enough that it cannot be easily fixed. In place of the children’s wing, there will be an expanded two story area with a basement. The basement will be for mechanicals, storage, and staff workspace. The main floor will most likely be the children and teen area. The upstairs will become meeting rooms, study rooms, program space, and a maker space. In place of a costly elevator, there will ramps along the wall parallel to Walnut Street going from the basement to the upper floor. We envision windows along that same wall and throughout the addition. We desire to make the library more accessible, with lower shelving, comfortable seating, and more spaces between shelves. With designated program space, access to library materials during programs would no longer be an issue. We are planning for more storage space that doesn’t require staff to stand on ladders to access and would allow the library to be less cluttered and more inviting. More meeting space and study rooms has been a constant request from the community, and this building plan would provide both. We are excited to be moving forward.

DRAFT Future Exterior Layout Plan

Update (August 21, 2023)

Spooner Memorial Library
DRAFT Future Exterior Layout Plan

The DRAFT exterior plan with photos can be viewed HERE.

Estimated Square Footage:
8,750 sq ft (Main Floor)
4,550 sq ft (Upstairs above current Children’s Area)
4,550 sq ft (Downstairs below current Children’s Area)
-1,560 sq ft for ramp on all 3 floors
Total estimated square footage: 16,290

1. Tear down entire current children’s wing.
2. Build basement, main floor, and upstairs where current children’s wing stands but expand wing to be 10 feet from sidewalk on all ends (note – a public hearing is being held on Monday, August 28, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. in Spooner Council Chambers to permit this).
3. Upstairs will become meeting rooms, a maker space, and program space which will mean this space will not need to be covered by library staff.
4. Basement will be storage, employee workspace, and a mechanical room.
5. There will not be an elevator. A ramp will be built near the entrance to assist patrons and staff in going upstairs and downstairs. The ramp will use up 1,560 square feet of space, but will cost the library significantly less money to install and mean no yearly maintenance fees or dedicated phone lines.
6. The siding on the outside of the library will be replaced with non-rotting material.
7. The inside of the library will be remodeled, but the break room will not, as it was recently done.
8. The main floor of the library will be dedicated to material space, sitting areas, small study rooms, a used book room, and staff space.
9. The community garden beds will be moved in front of the book mural and the gazebo will be moved to the garden area. The fountain will be dismantled and put back up in a smaller format.
10. There will be two single stall bathrooms on all floors.

Once we have received permission for variance, the Library will move forward with creating a floor plan for the interior of the library.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions


Why doesn’t the current building work?

  • Limited accessible parking, parking situation dangerous in the Winter
  • Limited accessible shelving, books are too high and too low for patrons to access and spacing between shelving units fulfill the minimum ADA requirements
  • No designated program space
  • Crack in the wall (children’s side)
  • Limited community engagement space
  • Limited space for public computers with some stations difficult to access
  • No meeting space for more than 2 people
  • Meeting area lacks typical amenities like AV systems and counters for food service
  • No space to hold meetings, community forums, or go into closed sessions (anything done in closed session can be heard outside of the room)
  • No designated quiet/study space
  • No designated teen space
  • No storage space and what storage space is available (above Director’s office) is difficult and dangerous to access
  • Circulation area not accessible for patrons in wheelchairs or to children
  • Not enough staff work space
  • Not enough space for Library of Things collection
  • Compassion Kitchen food resource storage is not easily accessible for staff when restocking
  • No space to store and create outreach materials
  • No exit for staff in office should an active shooter come into the library
  • View of library obstructed by high shelving causing a risk of theft
  • No separation of children’s and teen book collections
  • No movable shelving

What would the library be able to do in a new building that the current space cannot accommodate now?

  • Add to our collection, including our Library of Things
  • Reach more individuals in need through the Compassion Kitchen and outreach programs
  • Provide community meeting space that is accessible until 7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Host larger events without obstructing access to the library’s collection
  • Provide more study space and quiet space for the community to work from the library
  • Provide more space for community organizations to share their resources
  • Provide a designated makerspace, providing opportunities to the community that they wouldn’t have otherwise
  • Provide more outdoor programs where patrons can come into the library afterwards
  • Storage of extra chairs and program materials
  • Move shelving to accommodate various programs
  • Have a designated, safe teen space
  • Provide better access to materials, parking, and seating
  • Provide more comfortable and accessible seating options
  • Partner with organizations in the same building, eliminating the barrier of transportation
  • Allow staff to have designated workspace allowing for a more efficient workflow

Why do we need a bigger library when we have the internet?

  • Three-quarters of the library’s checkouts are for print/physical materials
  • More and more community members are working remotely
  • Many properties in this area do not have access to fast or affordable internet
  • The library is a place that helps community members maneuver and adapt through constant tech challenges and changes
  • The library provides a place for community members to connect safely online
  • Community is people, people need a communal space to connect
  • The library is the only place in the community where people of all ages are engaged
  • Print materials are not dead, nor will they ever be
  • The library is the community’s only place that provides affordable, accessible printing, scanning, faxing, and tech support

What would it cost? What funding does the library have now compared to how much it would need?

  • The library is working with SEH (architect) to determine an estimated cost
  • The library needs City of Spooner’s support to provide additional funds annually to support additional cost of operation
  • The library currently has $52,050 to go towards the schematic design process and the expansion itself
  • The library has very supportive patrons who have already said they would support the campaign

How can I support the project?

  • Share library stories and interest in the project
  • Provide media coverage of support for the project
  • Join the campaign committee
  • Give money, stocks, charitable donations to the library (421 High Street, Spooner, WI 54801)
  • Attend City Council meetings to express support for this project

Is the library collecting community suggestions for the space?

  • The library will host community sessions once the project is approved and plans are written
  • The library will provide many outlets for community members to provide suggestions for the space
  • Community members are welcome now to express what isn’t working with the current library (director@spoonerlibrary.org)



Give money, stocks, charitable donations to the library.

Please drop off or mail a check to to the library below with a note that you would like to donate to the building project.

Spooner Memorial Library
421 High Street
Spooner, WI 54801

Support the Project

  • Follow the library on social media to stay up to date
  • Subscribe to the Library Newsletter
  • Provide media coverage of support for the project by sharing social media posts and newsletters
  • Share your library stories and interest in the project with librarians
  • Join the campaign committee
  • Give money, stocks, charitable donations to the library
  • Attend City Council meetings to express support for this project 

Spooner Memorial Library
421 High Street
Spooner, WI 54801
Phone:  715.635.2792
Fax:  715.635.2147