The history of the Frank B. Koller Memorial Library is one marked by the generosity and dedication of the Manitowish Waters community.
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, and continue to be wholehearted supporters of the library.
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.
The Sullivan Room
The Sullivan Room was donated in 1988 by Robert Sullivan in memory of his father Willis G. Sullivan. Today, the Sullivan Room is used as meeting space by many community groups and activities.
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.
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.
March 19, 2019
Library Expansion vote passes in a town meeting of electors