New Berlin Public Library

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About the Library

The library belongs to the Bridges Library System, a cooperative of public libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson Counties. We encourage you to use the New Berlin Library as your primary library in order to help control community costs. However, you may check out and return materials at any member library.

We offer a variety of services. Please visit us soon!

 

New Berlin Library Services

Library Services

Learn about the services the library offers, loan periods, fines & fees, and services for Adults and Youth.

Friends of the New Berlin Public Library

Friends of the Library

Learn about this dynamic group of volunteers that promote and support library programs and services.

New Berlin Library Administration

Library Administration

See our library board members, information about board meetings and board minutes.

 HISTORY OF THE NEW BERLIN PUBLIC LIBRARY

When the community of New Berlin was made a city in 1960, it did not have a library. In the spring of 1963 a Library Study Committee was appointed by the mayor to determine the need for a library for the city. The committee did a survey of residents to see if residents would be in favor of a library, which they were. In October 1964 the committee recommended that the city establish a Library Board, and keep the library independent from other city departments. This was accomplished by June of 1965. The New Berlin Lions Club proposed that the city build a combination Community Center and Library, and began fundraising towards this end. Money was raised both door-to-door and through the Lions’ annual corn roast at the Wisconsin State Fair.

The New Berlin Public Library opened to the public on June 30, 1969, at 14750 W. Cleveland Avenue, with Paul G. Sotirin as director. Upon opening, the library had about 2400 volumes in the collection, and a staff of about 5. By 1970, there were 14,000 volumes in the collection and circulation of 67,000 items per year, with a yearly budget of $90,700. From its inception the library has offered story times and summer reading programs for children from pre-school through high school, as well as programs for adults.

There were two additions to the original Library/Community Center building, the first being on the southern end of the building, in 1983. This was followed about eight years later by an addition to the western side of the library, which effectively tripled the size of the original library space, not including staff offices and Community Center space.

The library joined the Waukesha Federated Library System (now Bridges Library System) when it was formed in 1981.

Sotirin remained director until his retirement in the spring of 1993, when Katie Schulz became director. By this time the library was once again beginning to outgrow the available space, and in the early 2000’s the Library Board were able to get a new building approved. After scouting out several locations throughout the city, including the existing site on Cleveland Avenue, the current site just off National Avenue and Coffee Road was chosen. The site is part of the New Berlin City Center, a cluster of commercial and residential buildings near the main city intersection of National Avenue and Moorland Road. The former library building still houses the Community Center, but also the Food Pantry and Senior Center.

The new 55,117 square-foot library opened on February 13, 2005, at 15105 Library Lane. In addition to space for the library collection, the building also offers study rooms and five meeting rooms. Katie Schulz retired in 2010, and Dennis Sampson took over as Director. Sampson retired in July of 2014, and Barbara Draeger became the fourth library director since the library opened.

The New Berlin Public library continues to offer programs to people of all ages, from our story times for young children to Friday movies for adults, summer and winter reading programs, author talks, art exhibits, and many other offerings. We also offer home delivery of library materials for those unable to get to the library on their own. There are now over 143,000 items in the library, and close to 200,000 electronic books, audiobooks, and videos available through the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium.

The library will celebrate its 50th anniversary in June of 2019.

Barbara Draeger, Library Director

February 2017

 

CELEBRATING OUR LIBRARY!

 

Celebrate Libraries was founded in May 2015 for the purpose of establishing a connection of communities, encouraging the exploration of knowledge of who we have been, who we are and who we can become individually and collectively. To help make this goal a reality, Celebrate Libraries produces videos about library programming, architecture, and trends in information sharing. Click the picture below to watch the amazing video they made about the New Berlin Public Library.

 

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