Frank & Betty Koller
In 1986, Frank and Betty Koller generously donated the library to the town of Manitowish Waters in memory of their son, Frank B. Koller. They again showed their support and generosity with the donation of a 760 square foot addition to the building in 1996. They have both passed away, but their estate continues to support the library very generously and will for years to come.
Pauline Zeber was the first librarian at the Frank B. Koller Memorial Library, working on a volunteer basis since the library's inception. Pauline contributed thousands of hours of her time managing the library, purchasing new materials, and cataloging the library's collection.
Frank B. Koller Memorial Library Time Line
April 9, 1985
Committee was created to look into forming a library. Committee members: Rev. Hall (Chairman), Helen Townsend, Betty Skrobot, Toby Hyland
August 27, 1985
Committee recommended present site and a building to be constructed. Frank & Betty Koller offered to donate the library.
October 2, 1985
Library voted down at town meeting, 21 to 1
Second town meeting votes to establish the library. Frank & Betty Koller again offer to donate the building.
July 22, 1986
The first library board was sworn in, consisting of: Pauline Zeber (Chairman), Maxine Hall (Secretary), Robert Gunther, Toby Hyland, and Sue Carlson
September 26, 1986
Ground breaking for library building.
December 22, 1986
Pauline Zeber appointed Librarian on a volunteer basis.
June 22, 1987
Library opens its doors.
July 19, 1987
Library dedication ceremony.
February 22, 1988
"Friends of the Library" was formed, with Sue Rasey as president.
May 23, 1988
Construction began on the Sullivan Room, donated by Robert Sullivan in memory of his father Willis G. Sullivan.
July 1, 1991
Janelle (Oldenburg) Kohl was hired as a full time librarian.
Construction begins on a 760 square foot addition, again donated by Frank & Betty Koller, with new equipment supported with funds from the Friends of the Library "Tea Bag" fund-raiser.
Materials moved into new addition.
Spring 1998 - Spring 1999
Janelle Kohl and volunteers begin task of bar-coding materials for proposed automated circulation system.
The first Librarian Assistant was hired. Teresa Schmidt.
March 15, 1999
Library begins an independent automated circulation system. (Winnebago system)
The orange cards were the first computer-based library cards.
October 18, 2002
The library becomes a part of the Merlin automation system, allowing users unprecedented access to library materials from the Northern Waters service area.
Librarian Assistant Donna Fowler hired.
New sidewalk installed, front door with ADA assist, and roof re-shingled.
Callie Bates hired as Librarian Assistant.
Community Room updates done for the first time since the library was built. Kitchen replaced, carpet, wall paint, artwork display system. Funds raised by Friends.
Sarah Krembs hired as Librarian Assistant.
Carpet replaced in the main part of the library. All books and furniture moved into semi trailers for the duration of the project!
July 12, 2017
Library celebrates its 30th anniversary with an open house attended by many community members including Betty Koller.
Janelle is voted Citizen of the Year
March 19, 2019
Library Expansion vote passes in a town meeting of electors
Groundbreaking for the new addition
Library addition was built through the fall and winter of 2019-2020
March 18 - June 10, 2020
Library was closed for the longest time in its history due to the Covid-19 Pandemic
Library open during the Covid-19 Pandemic but with limited hours, masks required, and curbside service available 24/7 in the new internet cafe.
Library-wide inventory taken.
April 20, 2021
The Merlin online catalog is retired and the Northern Waters Library Network goes live to the public. Pika software is being used.
New Circulation Desk is installed, replacing the one which was original to the building.