A New Chapter for the Platteville Public Library
Whether it be fantasy, science fiction, or technical manuals, the ability to learn is based on a person’s accessibility to various knowledge bases. There is perhaps no better place to gather this knowledge than a library. The Platteville Public Library, whose mission is, “to empower and connect our diverse community by providing equal access to resources that educate, enrich and entertain,” equips its residents with a plethora of free goods and services.
In addition to renting books, periodicals, and audio-visual resources, Platteville’s library hosts an assortment of events for children, teens, adults, and seniors. While these events are usually a mix of fun and educational activities, the goal is to continually bring community members together to expand their scope of resources and knowledge.
The Platteville Public Library successfully carried out their operations from 1974 until 2015 when they were met with spacing challenges in their less than 1,000 square feet building. With floor space dwindling and few meeting rooms available to host library clubs and events, the facility was quickly running out of room. To accommodate for greater programming, the library needed more floor space; but without funding, the project would not be possible. Library funding typically happens through grants, credits, or community allotment and donation; however, these funds are rarely enough to contribute to any large-scale expansion.
Thanks to the “Library Block Project,” the library’s wish of expansion was granted when it was announced that the Platteville Public Library would be moving into a newly constructed 22,000 square foot facility. With WHEDA’s allocation of $10 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), the project reached its completion in June 2017. With smiles on their faces, volunteers from the Platteville community came together to help move more than 60,000 items to the library’s new location. It was reported that the new location serves approximately 3,000 visitors weekly, double that of the previous location, with guests utilizing quiet spaces like the computer areas, study and meeting rooms, homework station and tween area, and even a children’s program room called “The Imaginarium.”
WHEDA’s dedication to economic development allows unique features of Wisconsin communities to develop when growth seems unimaginable. Through the allotment of tax credits to the Platteville Public Library, WHEDA was able to help finance a safe space where essential community resources are always accessible. Today, the library continues to enjoy its new location, and keeps its calendar full of different events designed to enrich the Platteville community.