Olson Memorial Library


This is National Library Week with the theme, "Libraries Transform." One local librarian says even in the digital age, the public continues to support this place of community learning.

Rhinelander District Library Director Virginia Roberts says this is a week for people who enjoy libraries to let that be known...

Bids Opened For Olson Memorial Library Project

Mar 4, 2016

Bids opened last week for the renovation and expansion of the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library were much higher than the projected price of $2.5 million hoped for by the library Board Of Trustees.

Three firms submitted bids with all approaching or exceeding $4 million. The lowest base bid, $3,814,289, was submitted by Industrial Maintenance Services of Escanaba, Mich. When four alternatives were examined, their lowest price dropped to $3,761,488 for alternative one and remained the low bid.

Eagle River Asks Library For Hold Harmless Agreement

Feb 10, 2016

Runoff water from the proposed $2.5 million remodeling and expansion of the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River continues to be an issue.

Tuesday, the city requested both library and landowner Town of Lincoln agree to a hold harmless agreement indemnifying the city of all liability should any flooding occur at any level of the library.

Olson Library Finalizing Expansion Design Plans

Jun 4, 2015

Eagle River area residents will soon be able to preview design concepts for the Olson Memorial Library’s expansion.  


Library Director Nan Andrews says some of the new features include programming spaces like a youth area and a genealogy research room.  

“We have a lot of wall space that’s been targeted for art," she described, "and we’ve redesigned some community rooms so that those rooms could be broken up, and we could actually  have a special art gallery for one month if we needed it or wanted it.”  


Walter E. Olson Memorial Library Eagle River

Eagle River’s Olson Memorial Library is moving forward on their renovations, with plans to begin construction in October. But at WXPR’s Emily Bright reports, the library is expanding its collections in unique ways right now.

Ownership of the Eagle River Library property should soon be transferred to the Town of Lincoln. That means plans to expand the library are getting closer to reality. 

If everything moves ahead as anticipated, the Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River will have a new owner in the near future.

The town of Lincoln, one of seven municipalities participating in the joint operation of the library, passed a motion last week to accept transfer of the library property from the City of Eagle River to the town. 

There are some contingencies, but Lauri Stoegbauer, president of the library trustees, is confident they will be worked out and the transfer will become final.


       At a meeting Wednesday,  the trustees of the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River discussed the effort to transfer ownership of the library property to the town of Lincoln.  The City of Eagle River has owned the property since the library was built in 1980.  However, City officials want to transfer ownership of the property and end its service as fiscal agent by August 15th.


Last week, the City of Eagle River closed the door on the Olson Memorial Library, imposing an August 15th deadline for finding a new fiscal agent and a new owner.

City officials and members of the council seem convinced the library’s board of trustees and its fund-raising foundation are bungling the expansion and renovation project by not following state law.


A $1.6 million dollar grant from a Chicago Foundation has propelled the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library renovation project past it's financial goal.

The Tawani Foundation money is said to be paid over five years.

Capital committee co-chair Phil Jensen says they have been hoping to hear from the foundation...


",.,.it's something we've been working on for the better part of a year. Our first contact with them was last winter just about January. We've been in conversation with them ever since..."


Too many hoops to jump through has prevented the city of Eagle River and the Olson Memorial Library representatives from applying for a Community Development Block Grant.

Eagle River Mayor Jeff Hyslop says everyone agreed Tuesday night during a special meeting the grant process was too burdensome...


"....it was mutally decided that it probably wasn't in the library's interest to pursue the grant at this time. There were enough strings attached that it could actually create more hurdles for the library than would help..."