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Putt putt at Pauline Haass Library 25th anniversary celebration

Library turns into mini golf course for 25th celebration

Feb. 5, 2013

The Pauline Haass Public Library is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend, and Library Director Kathy Klager has more in store than just a little cake and punch.

Stacks of books will fade into the background briefly as the community is invited to tee it up during a mini golf event Saturday and Sunday to celebrate a quarter century for the joint library, which is shared between Sussex and Lisbon. Klager has been with the joint library since the days of its inception in 1988-89, when she joined as a staff librarian. Klager came from the Oconomowoc library and was there when officials started to plan how the library building would be built in 1996.

"I've stayed through all the changes. When we established the joint library from the Sussex Community Library, overnight we went from serving 4,000 patrons to 12,000.

"And all the excitement going on around here has never stopped," said Klager. "We don't sit on our hands around here, which makes it fun to come to work."

In 25 years, Klager said, there's no shortage of evidence of how the library has grown and changed.

When the joint library was established, 65,000 materials were checked out in the first year; in 2012, 322,000 items were checked out. Klager said the library went from 22,000 books 25 years ago to 110,000 books today - 30,000 of those books are e-books. "So you can see today we have more e-books today than we had physical books when the library started," the director pointed out.

The library had 60 videos when it started and now has 6,000 DVDs; there were 376 audio materials 25 years ago compared to 16,000 today, with 10,000 of those being downloadable audio books, said Klager.

However, through all the changes over the last quarter century, "it's still about the books," Klager said. She cited a recent Pew Research Center report that said more than 80 percent of those polled think traditional books remain important. And while books remain integral to the library's operations, Klager said she's proud to note the Pauline Haass Public Library remains a central part of the community's operations.

"So we have a lot to celebrate … and we're hoping for 25 more great years," said Klager.

Instead of just sitting down to some punch and cake, the library is inviting you to a little putt putt, and the entire community has been getting involved in creating the fun. Just like a traditional golf outing event, local businesses have been asked to participate by sponsoring holes.

For example, Landmark Credit Union's hole will feature a lighthouse like one used in the bank's logo, and you'll hear some sea sounds playing at that hole. And Advanced Orthodontics - whose tagline is, "Leave with a smile" - will have smiley face balloons featured at its hole, and you'll putt into the mouth of a creature … think of the story about the crocodile's visit to the dentist.

Tee Time at the Library is from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at the library, N64 W23820 Main St. One round of golf cost $3 per person or $10 for a group of four. Every person who plays will be entered into a drawing for prizes, and anyone who gets a hole-in-one on the designated hole is eligible to win $100. Proceeds will go toward children's programming.

Library operations will be on hold for the weekend for the sake of safety, Klager said.

If you go

What: Mini golf event in celebration of Pauline Haass Public Library 25th anniversary

When: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 (library operations will be closed during event)

Where: The library, N64 W23820 Main St., Sussex

Cost: $3 per person or $10 for group of 4

Info: phplonline.org or (262) 246-5180

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