Milton Public Library

Milton Public Library has been named the Wisconsin Library Association Library of the Year for 2018.

The Milton Public Library is hosting a Biblio Bash from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 8). Some of you might ask, “A what?”

”Biblio” from the Greek word “biblion” indicates something related to a book or books. For example, a bibliophile is a person who loves or collect books. A bibliography is a writing, recording or description of a subject. A bibliopole is a bookseller, combining “biblio” and “pole,” which means merchant or seller.

The Biblio “Bash” is an end-of-the-year party to celebrate an amazing 2018.

It’s easy to say that 2018 has been a pretty good year for the Milton Public Library. It has been our first full year in our remodeled and renovated space. A project made possible because of outstanding community support (from city officials, area residents, businesses and non-profits), strong leadership, and people wholeheartedly embracing the idea of libraries and literacy. From 2015 to 2018, library visits increased by 23,000. This year, we’ve even increased by 3,000 visits over last year. We’re seeing program attendance at a solid 650 people a month. And, we’re registering, on average, 20 new library users—of all ages—each month.

Yes, there is a nationwide trend of book checkouts decreasing, but people still need and use libraries for a wide variety of reasons beyond the physical book. We’re seeing our renovated space being used exactly how we envisioned: study rooms are full with students and tutors, The SPARK features hands-on and messy programs; teens study and socialize in groups, and children are using their imagination. We are also still seeing the enthusiasm of reading from all ages.

And, if you haven’t heard already, the library just recently won the Wisconsin Library Association’s Library of the Year. Out of about 450 public, academic and special libraries in Wisconsin, we were recognized for our innovative programming, commitment to community connections, and building remodel that has given us the space to be a true community center. The library staff is still very giddy about this, and it’s an honor to bring the title to Milton.

On a personal note, this year has also been rather exciting. Not once during high school or college did I think about becoming a librarian. That is odd, because reading has been my passion for a long time, and I’ve been coming to Milton Public Library since I was young. In 2009, a 7-hour-a-week job advertisement in the Milton Courier changed everything. Within a few months of working at the library, I was pursuing my Master’s degree in Library Science. Since then, I gained more knowledge, more hours, changed job titles several times, and in September 2018, I became the library director. I still marveling at how it all fell into place. I truly love Milton, and to be able to be a part of the community in this way is beyond thrilling.

We hope the Milton Public Library has had some kind of impact on you in 2018. Whether it’s a book that made you fall in love with reading again, a program that introduced you to a new hobby, a quiet space that allowed you to pursue higher education, or it was just a place that made you feel welcomed and comfortable, we want to hear about your favorite library memory from this year. Let’s celebrate.

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