A few words from the blog author (more commonly known as the library director)

I’m the library director here at the well-loved Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and I’ve been hanging around this library since the 5th grade.  Some of my fondest memories are of children’s librarian, “Miss Kate”, and the way she made the books come alive when she came to the schools and told us all about them.  She inspired me to want to read every book in the library when I was young.  I still want to, actually, only now I realize it could never happen unless I live to be 80,000 years old AND then only if they stop publishing new stuff.  (I’ve got a plodding pace and the more they publish, the slower I seem to read.)

What a privilege and pleasure it has been for me to work here, from the day I started shelving books back in 1976 to now.   My job has changed (more than a little) during that time…and…so has the world of libraries and information. 

I am pretty familiar with most of the ways things in this building work…or don’t.   Helping steer this library into the future, for our next generation, would be my greatest professional honor.

The goal of this building blog is to keep all interested people informed throughout the process.  I’ll keep posting as events unfold and decisions are made.  Come back and visit often.  Better yet subscribe to see when new posts are published either by adding the RSS feed or getting an email delivered to your inbox.

The library board, staff, and I would love to have your input every step of the way.  Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think.  Please feel free to comment here! 

~Connie Meyer, Library Director



Must've been a boring book!




  1. Connie, this is a great vehicle for providing and receiving information about our upcoming building expansion. It is easy to use and full of interesting information. The utilization of this web2 technology is yet another indication of the forward thinking and innovative practices of the Dwight Foster Public Library.

    Thank you.

  2. Thank you, Jill! I very much appreciate not only your kind words but also your support of our library in all its endeavors. ~Connie

  3. Hi Connie,

    Great blog. Love the design. I’ve been pondering the migration to wordpress — even signed up for an account — but haven’t yet found any compelling reasons to do so. (And the reason why. I haven’t done anything yet to familiarize myself with its features.)

    Congratulations on your community’s moving forward on the library remodeling and expansion. I’m definitely rooting for your success in your fundraising efforts. Hope Fort responds in a huge way!

    I shared your great news on my Retiring Guy’s Digest blog.


    • Hi Paul,

      Thank you for the nice compliment. I really enjoy your blog too.

      I love WordPress because it is easy, versatile, and powerful. I haven’t tapped much into the “powerful” options because I am no programmer. But I see if I actually knew more about computer code, it would be possible.

      Thanks for good wishes about our project, too. We are very excited! -Connie

  4. Connie,
    In a time when the economic climate remains doom-gloom, it is so very uplifting to see the Fort Atkinson community open their pockets for this inspiring endeavor. It’s an expression of true community. Congratuations . . . on much more than a building project.

    In your temporary home, I have come to love your drive by book drop. I can only imagine how much more it would be cherished with in sub-zero degree weather. Is there any possibility which this wonderful assessory could be added? Thank you. -Liz

    • Thank you, Liz! It continues to make me so happy to see the building be transformed because it feels to me similar to what a library can actually do for a person’s life. It has been a very doom and gloom period and people tend to need hope more than anything else. I’ve seen people able to literally change their own lives as a result of information they found in a library or from reading a book that inspired them. So I get really excited when I see the building renovated and expanded to better offer those life-changing opportunities…as well as the small, less monumental ones that help account for much of daily living.

      I’m glad you are enjoying our drive up book return. It’s something that we’ve never had before due to the orientation of our building. Our permanent library is on the wrong side of the street for a drive up; having a drive up on the passenger’s side isn’t a very good option. We discussed many drive up return ideas during our design workshops (to the point of people thinking I was overly focused on it!). In the end, to make a drive up return happen on site would have necessitated profound compromises to the building. So we opted for a walk up return with a “drop off” parking stall in front of the building as well as redesigning the sidewalk area and removing the embankment (and all the steps) in front. There will be far fewer barriers to the return than before.

      We do still have the book drop we’ve been using (which was kindly donated to us by Highsmith, Inc.) and will consider putting it in an alternate location so it could actually suffice as a drive up apart from the library property itself. We can only make that happen if we have a long-term plan to manage the staffing needed to empty it and transport the items back to the library. (It fills up fast, including on Sundays and holidays.) So that’s something we’ll certainly explore after we get situated back in our old home.

      Thanks for your feedback, Liz. I really appreciate your comments! ~Connie

  5. Hello Connie — great site! I am a parent blogger for a children’s e-book firm, Bookboard, Inc., and I’m writing a piece about noise levels at libraries. (My six year old and I were reading at our local public library yesterday and I was stunned to find myself shouting for her to hear me! Yes, we were in the children’s room, but it was all kinds of crazy noise — kids, parents, librarians, a baby shower going on in the community room. I was stunned. So I’m reflecting on the topic of my “old school memories” of whispering in libraries…and how we now have “quiet zones” versus the whole library being a quiet zone. I love the image on your site of the Richard Armour quote. What permissions are required to possibly use this image in my blog? https://dwightfpl.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/shhh-cropped.jpg
    Thanks for the info! I’m Diana Akers and can be reached at diana@bookboard.com.

    • Hi Diana,
      You have my permission to use the photograph of our wall words. I appreciate your kind words! Yes, noise in libraries is definitely a topic worthy of public discussion. Even though we have an area dedicated to quiet, we do still have people who are unhappy with the noise level of the rest of the library. On the other hand, we have people who wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing their children if we reverted to whispering in libraries. So we try to strike a balance, offering at least one really quiet area that is our place of refuge for those who want a beautiful quiet space. I will look forward to reading your blog! Warmly, Connie Meyer

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