One of many story time activities at Fremont’s newly renovated Neuschafer Community Library, which held an official dedication ceremony last week.
By Bob Cloud, Waupaca County Post
Two weeks after taking the position as director of the Neuschafer Community Library in Fremont, Melissa Krause was overseeing a major remodeling project.
“My role thus far has been the wearer of many hats,” Krause says. “I have been director, general contractor and children’s librarian, which has certainly made this an exciting time.”
Krause became Fremont’s library director on April 21.
“While I am from Wisconsin, I spent the last nine years in North Dakota working as a journalist and a small business owner of a community art studio,” she says.
In the fall of 2020, the library was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Marilyn W. Taylor/Wohlt Creamery Fund within the Community Foundation.
Taylor, who died in February 2017, bequeathed Wohlt Creamery, the business founded by her parents, to the Community Foundation.
The foundation set up an $8 million endowment that awards grants to organizations and projects in Fremont, New London and surrounding areas.
Natalie Snyder was the library director when the grant was announced.
The funds were used to redesign the library’s interior and purchase new furniture and flooring.
“This was a very extensive remodel,” Krause says, noting that the library was stripped to bare walls and floors.
“The contents of the library were transferred into our gymnasium so we could continue daily circulation,” she says. “(We) now have a completely new, redesigned space.”
Krause says the focus of the design was “functionality.”
“Many of the new furniture items are on wheels, so we have mobility to change up the space as needed,” Krause says. “We have new seating for children and teens.”
In addition to the Community Foundation grant, the library received $10,000 from an anonymous donor.
That donation pays to replace the ceiling and convert the lighting to energy-efficient LED fixtures.
Krause notes that staff members Ann Stearn and Jennie Hellengreen played a major role in completing the project, while the Friends of the Library were instrumental in helping fund it.
“Really, it required so many hands to help move books, hang shelving, make adjustments to the electrical and so forth,” Krause says. “It took a village and then some to make this beautiful space happen.”
The Marilynn W. Taylor/Wohlt Cheese Fund is a permanent endowment fund that will provide support in the New London and Fremont region. Read more about Marilynn here.
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