Council updated on library merger

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Public Library will soon be part of a bigger, better library system.

Library Director Martha Rosche updated the City Council Tuesday on the pending merger of the Eastern Shores Library System and the Mid Wisconsin Federated Library System.

The merger has been approved by all of the County Boards of the four involved counties – Ozaukee and Sheboygan of the ESLS and Dodge and Washington of the MWFLS.

The process began earlier this year, Rosche reported, after the Mid Wisconsin system learned that their director would be retiring.

After an examination of future options, officials in the Dodge and Washington system decided that a merger with another system would be their best option. “They ended up figuring their best match would be with Eastern Shores,” Rosche explained.

The new system will include 33 libraries in the four counties. It will mean the addition of more than 500,000 items to the combined system collection.

“It will save money to have both library systems combined into one, although how much we’re still not sure,” Rosche said.

The headquarters for the new combined system will remain in Sheboygan and Mead Public Library in Sheboygan will be the resource library for the new system.

“Right now, the big thing is to find a name for the new system,” Rosche allowed, adding jokingly, “That may be the downfall.

“We are the first in the whole state to merge two library systems, so we’re sort of a guinea pig,” Rosche admitted.

The merger will officially take place next Jan. 1.

“We’re looking forward to a whole year for full implementation, because that’s probably what it’s going to take. It’s going to be an interesting year for us, but I think it will be a fruitful and rewarding year,” Rosche concluded.


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