McMillan Memorial Library taking steps toward the future

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - The McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids is in the process of major renovations.

They’re taking steps toward the future by adding more technology you won’t find at most libraries.

This library was built in the 1970s, and while it has served its purpose for many years, they said it’s time for an upgrade for future generations.

“We have new needs, the community has new needs and we have to redesign the space, it’s not a renovation, it’s a redesign,” McMillan Memorial Library Director Andy Barnett said.

Barnett said the redesigned space will have a more modern feel to it, with five new study rooms, meeting rooms, and a maker space. It’s an area where folks can use a 3D printer, a recording studio, and even a wood carver.

“We fill a gap between schools, universities and tech schools, there’s people who need training just to keep their current job, much less get a better job,” Barnett said.

Like libraries have always been, there’s no cost to use the equipment. It will also give the public access to the adobe creative cloud, so there’s no need to buy it.

“This equipment is come in and use it, and that’s great for something like the adobe creative cloud which is hundreds of dollars to buy if you want it on your own,” Barnett said. “Come in and use ours, because that’s why we buy it.”

McMillan Library also offers various online courses complimented by the new tech.

The new gadgets aren’t the only upgrade, a refurbished theater that’s ADA compliant is also in the works.

“The seating was 50-years-old, so we took advantage of that to do the whole thing all new, all up to grade, all up to code and it’s going to be really very nice now,” he said.

The cost for the project is $2 million, it will be open and ready to use for the public by November.

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