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September 22, 2019

Jamie Taylor/River NewsWith a simple push on the door, Rhinelander District Library Director Virginia Roberts capped off a lot of work by the Library’s Board of Trustees, and the generosity of private donors, in renovating the library’s Carnegie entrance and putting it back into service.
Jamie Taylor/River News

With a simple push on the door, Rhinelander District Library Director Virginia Roberts capped off a lot of work by the Library’s Board of Trustees, and the generosity of private donors, in renovating the library’s Carnegie entrance and putting it back into service.
9/12/2019 7:25:00 AM
Library celebrates restoration of Carnegie entrance

Jamie Taylor
River News Reporter

A brief celebration was held at the Rhinelander District Library Tuesday to officially reopen the Carnegie entrance, which had been undergoing renovation since January. The ceremony itself consisted of a few words from library director Virginia Roberts and her pushing the bar to open it.

The move restores the original door as the main front entrance from Stevens Street.

In May 2018 the library's Board of Trustees voted to reopen the original entrance rather than spend money to repair and replace the atrium doors currently in use.

Roberts said the newer entrance, which was built with an addition was constructed in 1984, is metal-framed and set in concrete and freezes every winter.

Members of the library board, building committee and some donors were on hand to watch Roberts make the change official.

"Some of you have been here a long, long time and seen some of the changes to this library, and we are very pleased to present a brand new entryway that is the original entryway to the Carnegie library," Roberts said. "Originally the door was opened November 5, 1904, and there is a time capsule from the Rhinelander Masonic Lodge, the Rhinelander Woman's Club stocked many of the shelves, and there is a lot of history in this building."

Roberts said the renovation project came to a little over $30,000 and was paid for entirely through private donations.

To use the Carnegie entrance, staff had to do a little rearranging of the interior space, most notably relocating the main desk.

Roberts said that the atrium entrance has been temporarily turned into the location for the used book sale. A definitive future use has not been decided for the glassed in space.

"With some luck, the building committee will meet and we'll make some more plans about what we're going to do here, what we're going to do over here," Roberts said. "And, of course, staff has some pretty good ideas."

Another long put-off renovation to the venerable building is set to get underway next month.

"The foundation has a campaign going right now to improve our lavatories," Roberts said. "Which is a win-win for the entire community. So we would really, really like that to go on next."

The work on remodeling the bathrooms will get underway Oct. 2.

Roberts also noted there has been some talk of adding a family bathroom on the main floor, which current has no restroom facilities.

"That is something under discussion, but we're not sure where or how," Roberts said. "So we would love to have a family bathroom on the main floor. Our seniors would enjoy it, too."

Information on how to make donations to the Rhinelander District Library Foundation can be found at

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