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'The community needs it': Denmark nonprofit hopes to bring library branch back to Village

Posted at 6:06 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 19:06:59-04

DENMARK (NBC26) — A non-profit group in Denmark hopes to turn a current school building into a community center with a library branch.

  • The Village of Denmark in Brown County has not had a library branch for several years, Library Board Member Kathy Pletcher said
  • Non-profit group OneDenmark hopes to turn the current Denmark Early Childhood Center into a community center with a library branch
  • Through the Brown County sales tax, $750,000 is available for the library portion of the project, Pletcher said

(The following is a transcript of the broadcast story.)

I'm Jon Erickson in Denmark.

Right now, there's not a Brown County Library branch here in the Village.

But the goal is to change that and put a branch in the [current Denmark Early Childhood Center].

Molly Arneson is a mom in Denmark.

Her children are [ages] 19, 15, and 5.

And for her older children, family visits to a library were easier.

"Storytimes, and just checking out books, and just going on the computer sometimes," [Arneson said of their time at a library].

"We went to the library a lot."

"And do you miss having that?" [reporter Jon Erickson asked].

"I do, I do," [Arneson said].

But her 5-year-old son could soon get to [a public library], without the family having to make the drive to another branch...

Kathy Pletcher is on the Brown County Library Board and a board member of the group OneDenmark.

That group hopes to turn the current Denmark Schools Early Childhood Center into a community center, including a library branch.

"Why is it important for the Library Board to have a physical location once again in Denmark?" [reporter Jon Erickson asked Pletcher].

"...Because the community needs it. Our library closed in March of 2020 due to COVID; it had been located in the high school. When the high school started to reopen, it was not feasible for the public library to reopen in the high school," [Pletcher said].

She says $750,000 from the County sales tax has been set aside for the library portion of the project.

"We probably won't open until sometime in 2025, because there's work to do to get ready for that," [Pletcher said].

Until then, it takes an imagination to picture a library here - that is until library books can fuel the imaginations of anyone who wants to read them, like [Arneson's] 5-year-old.

"He asks about, 'Can I get more books' ...[H]e's read all the books he has, they're all books passed down from his siblings, so he would love to have more books."

The Denmark Schools administrator says plans haven't yet been finalized for the building to go to the group OneDenmark.

Students who go to school in [the early childhood center] right now, are set to go to the newly updated Denmark Elementary School next school year.