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Several Northwoods libraries are set to see improved broadband service by November. 

The Department of Administration and the Department of Public Instruction have announced a 4.2 million dollar expansion of BadgerNet through a partnership with several private companies.  The expansion will increase internet speeds for almost two thirds of the state’s libraries, including in Three Lakes, Eagle River, Crandon, and Mercer.  Libraries in Land o Lakes and Hurley will also benefit. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Architects will be drawing up a plan over the coming months for expanding the Rhinelander District Library.  

The Board of Trustees has selected HBM Architects for the redesign.  Board President Janet Baer says the board chose the Cleveland-based firm in part because of its experience redoing Carnegie libraries.               

The Three Lakes town board has unanimously approved a proposal to expand the local library. The board of trustees has been planning the renovation for more than three years. 

The plan for renovating and expanding the Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library includes a 4000 square foot addition.  Board President Vicki Ruehling says the extra space is badly needed, and points to a 20 percent increase in the number of library visits last year.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Rhinelander District Library Foundation is undergoing a leadership change. 

Former foundation president Linda Davidson has stepped down after 17 years.  She says she’s seen the library through some big changes. 

“When I came on board, we were in the middle of doing the fundraising for the computerization of the library.  Everybody recognized that we really did need these computers in the library.  And from there we added the new parking lot, the HVAC system, we did the lighting in the library.”

The public will soon have a chance to see the Olson Library Expansion project in Eagle River. 

Trustee Phil Jensen says they've known for a longtime that that they've outgrown the facility. Six years ago they had plans for an upgrade, but the recession halted those plans. Now they've hired Northwoods designer and builder Jeff Visner and they have new plans: