Phelps Public Library

4495 Town Hall Road
Phelps, WI 54554


The Phelps Public Library was started with Works Progress Administration funds in the depression years. It was first located in the Phelps State Bank Building. When those quarters became inadequate, it was moved to a small building adjacent to the theater. Later, it functioned at the town hall and at the school. Mrs. Jean Kopf worked faithfully and almost alone on the library project.

In 1948 the Phelps Woman's Club purchased a building from the Conservation Department and moved it into town. It was modernized and shelving was built to house the library. It was in use for twenty-one years. In 1969 when the Community Center was constructed, space for the library was provided in the building. Funds from the sale of its former building and a gift from Lillian Kerr provided shelving and books. In the mid 1980s Vera and Elmer Wavering gave generous donations of Motorola stock to the library.

Originally the library was maintained by the Phelps Woman's Club and operated for many years by volunteer Eleanor Ellis.

The library is an independent self-governing organization with a five person board. The current board consists of members: President, Eleanor Lapp, Luanne Gregas, Ginny Parker, Diane Moline and Laura Myszka. The library director is June Franzen and the clerk is Donna Lepisto. It is a member of the Northern Waters Library Service.

The library is maintained primarily by the Town of Phelps with additional funds from Vilas County and the State of Wisconsin. The Phelps Woman's Club remains an active supporter and has been joined in its efforts by the Phelps Lions Club.

With an annual circulation of 18,500 and an inventory of over 10,000 items, including regular and large print books, audiobooks, videocassettes, music CD's, DVD's and magazines, the library is a vital and popular media center offering both recreation and information.

In recent years the addition of a copy machine and fax machine plus high speed Internet access for patrons, wireless access 24/7, word processing, the ability to quickly obtain needed items from other Wisconsin libraries, outreach to our area seniors, story hours, entertainment programs and a rewarding summer reading program, that itself draws approximately 100 children each year, has helped make the library an integral part of the community of Phelps for citizens of all ages.
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