Rhinelander District Library

Natalie Jablonski

Expansion plans for the Rhinelander District Library continue  as the board works toward the best way to to accomplish that goal.

Consultants have reported the library would need an extra 12,000 square feet to meet growing patron needs. An architectural firm has been retained that has worked with other Carnegie libraries like Rhinelander and has a preliminary proposal.

Library Director Virginia Roberts says they're close to showing the proposal...


A change in library directors slowed the pace of planning for construction of an addition to the Rhinelander District Library.

Library Board President Jan Baer says they are hoping to get the process back on track with a meeting next month. Past Director Ed Hughes left for a job in Mississippi last summer and Baer says the process of hiring a new director and getting her up to speed caused a delay...



Longtime Rhinelander educator and author Ced Vig began a tradition at the Rhinelander District Library and this year marks its 30th anniversary. The tradition began   with Vig donating the first book to the Holiday Book Fund.

Library Foundation member Kari Zambon says since it's beginning, nearly a quarter-million dollars has been raised for book purchases...

"....nearly one in four of the books taken out in the Children's Department are book-plated with the Ced Vig book fund..."

Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

An arbitration hearing conducted among the government members of the Rhinelander District Library resulted in  a smaller increase than requested.

The city of Rhinelander and the towns of Newbold, Pine Lake, Crescent and Pelican form the district that supports the library.

The approved budget was $916,000. Library Board President Jan Baer(bear) says they had requested about $41,000 more than last year but that request was cut in half...

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Rhinelander District Library had a day at the races…when more than a hundred kids competed in the 28th annual Worm Race.  As WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski reports, some worms just move faster than others.    

Natalie Jablonski



The Rhinelander District Library will be looking for a new director.

Ed Hughes says he will be leaving Rhinelander to take a job in Hernando, Mississippi...

"....the library is called First Regional Library. It's a big, 5-county library system..."

Hughes says he enjoyed his time in Rhinelander, but health considerations for his spouse led him to look at a warmer climate.

Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

A donation to the Rhinelander District Library will help seniors and children in the area.

Library Director Ed Hughes outlines the $1,000 gift from the Rhinelander Women's Club...

"....to be distributed between our senior outreach program and our Children's Department. The senior outreach person says she would like to take her portion of the money and spend it on buying CD players for audio books. She does a lot of outreach to nursing homes...."

Johan Larsson

Old-fashioned books are holding their own in a world of e-readers, according to a new online survey. 

The Pew Research Center reports that in 2013, a bigger percentage of American adults read e-books.  But there also appears to be more people reading more print books.   That could indicate people aren’t necessarily giving up one for the other. 

Rhinelander Library Director Ed Hughes says the findings are surprising.

Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

A draft proposal for an addition to the Rhinelander District Library is nearing a decision by its Board.

The board has been working with an architect to provide additional space, especially meeting rooms says Library Director Ed Hughes...


"....I saw what was supposed to be the penultimate drawing for the plan, this is long before the final one, but I'm looking at it and I think there's some things in there that need to be fixed in my opinion. It's looking really good. If it was ready tomorrow I'd say, 'go ahead'.....

Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

The Rhinelander District Library Board has agreed to cut hours to make up a budget shortfall.

This fall, Director Ed Hughes told the Rhinelander city council his budget was overdrawn because of an error made concerning employee health insurance last year. With the city and supporting towns experiencing tight fiscal times, they rejected an increase to cover the loss.

Hughes says the library board agreed to not fill a vacant position and cut hours...


Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

No increase in budget could result in fewer employees and reduced hours at the Rhinelander District Library.

The government partners voted no to a $40,000 increase during an arbitration hearing this week. If the towns of Newbold, Pine Lake, Crescent, and Pelican, along with the city of Rhinelander object to a proposed budget, they can ask for a hearing. . The government partners voted against the increase. Oneida County also helps with funding. Hughes says the library's budget is close to $900,000.

Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

The Rhinelander city council has voted to send the Rhinelander District library's budget to the town partners for arbitration.

Library Director Ed Hughes told the council while preparing the budget, they noticed they should have been paying more for health insurance...


"...we were caught last year by surprise. We weren't covering some people that needed to be covered by insurance. It was an honest mistake, but it's costing us $40,000 to $42,000 a year..."

Natalie Jablonski-WXPR

Is it north or is it east? Those appear to be the expansion choices as the Rhinelander District Library moves forward on a possible expansion.

Library Director Ed Hughes says HBM Architects from Cleveland met with the library board to help factor in as much as possible into a design...


"...we picked them because they had extensive experience working with older Carnegie libraries. As everyone knows in this community, that old Carnegie library is well-loved...."


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.