Early Library History by Lillie Leppen

The Ellison Library was a gift to the Village of Scandinavia. It was housed in the Scandinavia Union High School. It consisted of books, a desk, three tables all with thick glass sheets for tops and thirteen oak chairs to go with the tables. The furniture here mentioned was purchased by the Woman’s Club with money given by Mr. Lewis Ellison.

When the school system became part of the Iola-Scandinavia Schools (1960) this library was moved to the multi-purpose room at the Lutheran Church.

When the village built a new fire station and village hall in connection with the community hall, a room was provided for this library.

This was in 1967. The Craft Club did much to get this room ready for the books.
The Woman’s Club disbanded about this time so they turned over the sum of $71.00 to the Craft Club for work towards the library.

Mrs. George Nottelson took over checking the books, but as she had many other duties she wished to be released.

August 15, 1968, the Club asked me (Miss Leppen) to take over. This I did with the good help of Mrs. Adrian Tomlin and her daughter, Patricia. We started the accession book and had to renumber many of the books to fit the new accession list. The card catalogue had to be sorted to remove all cards for lost books and new cards made for those for which cards were missing.

We also had a Library Association with Mrs. Howard Bestul as president, Mrs. Sylvan Gurholt as vice-president, Mrs. Jack Webie as secretary and Mrs. Donald Johnson, treasurer. We were to meet quarterly instead of each month. We also appointed four members as a book buying committee.

At first we all helped to get the books ready for the public and also helped keep the library open by taking turns being there on hours when the library was open.

June 28, 1969, we held open house to introduce the public to our library. On that day we received a gift of $24 from businesses in the village and area. We served lunch and sold some old books which brought in $13.23.

The Township and Village boards each presented us with $150 to help us get supplies needed and books.

To arouse interest we have held evening meetings when travlogs in slides and film have been shown. These meetings were often well attended.

Through the efforts of Mrs. Roy Caldwell and Mr. Roy Nottleson we contacted the County Financing Board of Waupaca to try to get grants for library funds for our library. This went through and we received our first check March 10, 1969, for $187.50. Following checks have been received for 1970-71-72-73 for $187.50 each. The check for March 1974 was a little less being $184.75.

We have been very thankful for each of these checks, as they have helped greatly in purchasing new books and equipment. January 1970 we purchased new shelves at $122.50. Other less expensive material has been added. More things were planned bet we never got them.

March 20, 1969, Mrs. Cabell and I went to a library meeting at Appleton where we received much information as beginners. The most interesting part of the meeting was borrowing books via teletype. Mrs. Walter Trinrud at Appleton explained this and we have now ordered books many times this way and have been very happy about this service.

Mrs. Cabell, Mrs. Tomlin, Mrs. Olga Johnson and Miss Alice Hasler have been wonderful helpers in getting our library in order. Some times working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on none regular days, working through the noon hour on package lunches.

We now have 1955 books listed in our accession book plus several children’s books and a number of paper back books and several condensed Readers Digest books.

At present we subscribe to Ranger Rick, National Wildlife and National Geographic.

Up to 1972 neither the faithful helpers nor I had any salary. At first I received a gift of $10 for work done.

By 1972 the Association voted I receive a salary of $10 per month. This is what the salary has been as long as I was the librarian.

In April 1974 a Library Association meeting was held. Mr. Douglas Watson was elected president, Mrs. Steven Schroeder secretary and Mrs. Clarence Blom stayed on as treasurer. Mrs. Peotter was the only member of the purchasing committee. We also elected a weeding committee to weed out old books to be sold or given away. This was done and the books to be sold were taken to the Corn Roast that fall.

Dates and time for library hours varied to try to accommodate the public. The last time I was there we were open Wednesday and Saturdays forenoons from 9 to 12 every week in May and June. Then we changed the hours to 3 pm to 7:30 pm every Friday during June, July, August and September.

I stayed on as librarian until September 27, 1974, when Mrs. Steve Schroeder took over. In October a group gave me a party and thanks for my work.

During the years 1972 and on I with Mrs. Cabell or Mrs. Tomlin attended meeting held in the seven different libraries at different times. The purpose of these meetings was to consider Waupaca County merging with Outagamie County. The last of these meetings I attended was October 15, 1974, at Marion when Mrs. Schroeder drove.

I wish to thank all named here and all others who did much to help keep our library going.


Lillie Leppen