History of the Library

Verona Public Library Timeline

Early 1940’s 

  • Verona’s population: 535 people

1947

  • Alice Kunstman, of the American Legion auxiliary, requests Verona’s Village board to start a library. The village denied this request.
  • Kunstman starts a small library with books from Wisconsin traveling library at community get-togethers once a week. She has great success.
  • Alice Kunstman again approaches the village board about starting a library. The Village approves this request providing lights, heat, and building space (half of the vacated Bank of Verona). The American Legion auxiliary were responsible for maintaining the library. To offset the cost of the $15 a month rent they lease out the space during the day to a lawyer and a gentleman who give accordion lessons.

 

 

1957

  • The library is turned over to the Village and becomes an official city organization with Clara Williams as the director. The library is open 4 hours a week.

1966

  • Verona Library becomes a member of the Dane County Library System as well as the South Central Library System.
  • In November, the library moves to a store front on S. Main St and increases its hours to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 7 – 9 pm, and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 3 – 5 pm

    

 

    1968

    • On December 17th, work begins on the new building for the library, a 3,500 square foot building on E. Harriet St.

    1969

    • In May, the new library opens with 7,500 volumes and Shirley (Gutknecht) Knodle as director.

    Alice Kunstman, May 24, 1969

    1980

    • The Friends of the Verona Public Library is established

    1988

    • The library expands from 3,500 to 12,000 square feet.
    • On May 1st, Beverly Cannady becomes director.
    • On October 2nd, grand opening celebration of the library expansion takes place.

    1989

    • Verona Public Library is awarded “Library of the Year” by South Central Library System

    1990

    • Jacqui Rockweiler awarded Trustee of the year by the Wisconsin Library Association

    1994

    • On October 6th , LINKcat system begins.

    1995

    • July 21st is Beverly Cannady’s last day.
    • On August 7th, Mary Griffith becomes director.

    2004

    • In January, city of Verona council agrees that the library needs a new building.
    • On November 23rd Susan Hedrick becomes Director.

    2005

    • On June 21st, ground breaking for the new library takes place.

    2006

    • On May 1st, grand opening for the new library takes place.

    2008

    • In June, Brian Simons becomes director.

    2011

    • In October, the Service Desk area is remodeled and the library adds the automated handling system, first in the South Central Library System, to utilize RFID technology.

    2013

    • Verona Public Library is awarded “Library of the Year” by Wisconsin Library Association.

    2015

    • In May, Stacey Burkart becomes director.
    • In October, start fundraising $100,000 for endowment with Madison Community Foundation.

    2016

    • In May, inaugural “Word on the Street 5K” fundraiser for the library endowment.

    2017

    • In April, library meets $100,000 endowment fundraising goal.
    • Steve Runde awarded Trustee of the year by the Wisconsin Library Association

     

     

    Year

    Verona Population

    Service Population

    Items Circulated

    Items Owned

    1996

    6,017

    8,105

    150,323

    38,284

    2001

    7,502

    14,370

    192,515

    31,239

    2006

    9,846

    17,582

    382,635

    64,585

    2011

    10,696

    16,199

    587,229

    95,498

    2015

    11,871

    17,460

    572,676

    108,167