History of the L. D. Fargo Public Library
1899 — March 14, Lorenzo Dow Fargo made his gift of $5,000 (raised to $6,000 in 1900) for a public library building. He later paid a Library debt of $728.37.
1899 — April 29, Library Board of Directors organized and took steps to secure plans for a library building.
1899 — Present lot was purchased for $1,710.00 through a fund drive.
1899 — June 19, Plans by architect George Ferry were accepted for the Library building. The library is designed in the Neogothic Revival Style which is a simplified form of the Gothic Revival and was employed primarily for churches. Characteristics include steeply-pitched roofs, irregular massing, and a random ashlar finish.
1899 — June 29, Volunteers who owned a team and wagon were invited to haul stones “hard heads” for construction of the library building.
1902 — August 21 and 22, the L. D. Fargo Public Library was dedicated.
1902 — July 24, Miss Eva Stiles was hired as Librarian, with the starting salary of $1.00 per day.
1902 — October 7, First day of library service to the community of Lake Mills.
1903 — November 24, A fund raise effort to cover the cost of library furnishing and books netted $1,050.00.
1903 — Circulation statistics: 1,471 volumes owned, 560 registered patrons, and a circulation total of 6,087.
1927 — 25th Anniversary of the L. D. Fargo Public Library. A Children’s room was begun.
1948 — A summer reading program for children began, “The Bookworm Reading Club.”
1952 — 50th Anniversary of library service.
1966 — June 27, “Open House” to view the $72,855.00 addition to the Library.
1976 — Bicentennial Time Capsule placed in the Library.
1979 — County Library service made available to the patrons of the L.D.Fargo Public Library.
1980 — January 1, The L. D. Fargo Public Library, and the other public libraries in Jefferson County, joined the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System, thus increasing available services to patrons.
1980 — January 12, Fire caused heavy damage to the Library structure, the children’s books and the record collection.
1980 — January thru March. Volunteers cleaned the fire damaged building and materials and assisted in making the library ready for limited use.
1980 — April 7, The Library re-opened with only basic services offered.
1980 — Annual Report: Except for the month of December, monthly circulation broke all existing records.
1981 — April 5, Dedication and Open House for the reconstructed Library.
1981 — April 5-11, L. D. Fargo Public Library festival in celebration of the reopening of the Library, and in observance of National Library week.
1995 — October, L. D. Fargo Library purchases the automated computer system, DYNIX, thus allowing for electronic access and maintenance of the library’s collection.
1999 — December, the L. D. Fargo Library joins the shared system between Beaver Dam, Waupun, Mayville, and Watertown, thus allowing for one massive database with the collections of 5 different libraries.
2007 — MWFLS joined with Lakeshores Library System (LLS) to form the SHARE system. The SHARE system shared computing resources and library collections across Jefferson, Dodge, Washington, Racine, and Walworth counties.
2013 — After two years of fundraising and planning the library has it’s full interior renovation since the 1980 fire. The library redesign is by Bungalow Pros of Lake Mills with construction by Advanced Building Corporation (ABC) of Verona, WI.
2014 — The SHARE partnership is dissolved for MWFLS and LLS to continue with separate computer systems. MWFLS forms the trio system and continues to share public library collections from libraries in Jefferson, Dodge, and Washington counties.
2015 — Jefferson County votes to withdraw from MWFLS and merge with Waukesha County Federated Library System and together form the Bridges Library System.
The L. D. Fargo Public Library is your resource for:
- Photocopying, Faxing and Scanning.
- Personal Computing
- Internet Access
- Interlibrary Loan
- Meeting Room
- Homebound Services
Getting a Library Card
To register for a card you’ll need to have a photo identification (driver’s license) and something with your current address (including mail). Photo ID with current address covers both requirements. Any library card from a public library in Jefferson or Waukesha Counties can be used at Lake Mills as long as the library card is in good standing. All cards are blocked for fines over $10.
Copies may be made for a cost of $.20/letter size, legal size, and 11″ x 17″ sheet. Fax transmissions are $1 for the first page and $0.20 for additional pages. Fax receiving is $0.20 per page. Scanning to email or flash drive is free, Dude, knock yourself out.
The Library offers public computers with internet access and software from Open Office (comparable to MS Office). Printing is available for $.20 per page for black and white copies, and $.40 per page for color copies.
Our internet service is transmitted over fancy-schmancy fiber optic cable and transmits at about 90Mbps. High-speed Internet access is available but patrons are allowed 30 minutes of computer time when other patrons are waiting. Free Wifi available.
You cannot find the item you are looking for in the Bridges catalog? You can request an item through our Interlibrary Loan Department by sending an email with all the pertinent information including title, author, etc. We can try to obtain your item from elsewhere in the state, and even out of state. Interlibrary loan is available to a person with a valid library card from any library in the Bridges Library System. Items requested through ILL will be sent to the Lake Mills Public Library. To avoid delays, always check the Bridges System’s Cafe catalog to see if we own the material before submitting your Interlibrary Loan request.
The Library stores back issues of the local newspaper, the Lake Mills Leader, in microfilm form, and also provides a microfilm reader. The microfilm reader does NOT print. Use your phone to take a picture off the reader’s screen.
The Library has one room, Library Hall, available for public gatherings, or special groups, or meetings. Arrangements must be made in advance for use of the room.
• Check meeting room availability
• Reserve meeting room
• After hours meeting room request
The Friends of the Library offer home delivery for those unable to get to the library. If you would like to help deliver books to a Home Bound patron or know of someone who might benefit from this service please call the library at 648-2166.
Mission Statement (Updated 2010)
Meeting Room Policy (Reviewed and revised May, 2017)
Circulation Policy Updated October 2015 (Reviewed and Revised October, 2015.)
Gerard Saylor | Library Director email@example.com
Eve Fitzsimmons | ILL and Cataloging Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Feirer | Children’s Librarian email@example.com
Brianna Adams | Young Adult Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn Sieb | Adult Services email@example.com
Rebecca Kane | Library Assistantrebeccakane@lakemills.lib.wi.us
Karie Pollard | firstname.lastname@example.org
The mission of the L. D. Fargo Public Library is to serve the people of Lake Mills and the surrounding area as a reading, learning, entertainment, cultural, and technological center.
Wisconsin public libraries serve everyone and it is the duty of everyone in the service of Wisconsin public libraries to foster inclusivity.
The Library Board meets monthly on the third Monday at 4:30PM.
Shaun Bollig | Library Board President
Wendy Brockert | Business Administrator, Lake Mills Area School District
Doug Fritsch | City Council representative
Steven Wilke | City Manager ex officio
The Library Board meets once a month on the 3rd Monday of the month at 4:30pm. Public is invited to attend. (Previous Board minutes are available, but not online. Ask Library Director Gerard Saylor at email@example.com.)
Library Board Minutes May 21, 2018 (no quorum)
Special Board meeting August 10, 2017 (approval of air conditioner replacement)
No Library Board Minutes for March, 2017. There was not a quorum for the meeting.
No meeting for December, 2017
No meeting in December, 2015