History of the Library


1880 Eight O'Clock Club is formed to raise funds for a library.

1884 Ripon Library Association is incorporated.

1885 A 500 volume rental library is located in Phelps Drug Store.

1890 Library moves to larger quarters at Ensign's jewelry store.

1896 Library moves to the City Building and hires its first librarian.

1898 Library is turned over to the city and becomes a free public library.

1902 Andrew Carnegie donates $10,000 to build a new library.

1905 New library building is completed and opened to the public.

1963 Friends of the Ripon Public Library is established.

1970 City of Ripon authorizes Library Board to propose new library building - View the 1970 pamphlet, "Why Ripon Needs New Library" [ 2MB PDF ]

1972 New library building on Jefferson St. is completed.

1975 Ripon joins the newly established Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System.

1994 Ripon Public Library advisory committee for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act is formed.

1994 Dynix automated circulation system and online catalog replaces manual systems at a cost of $60,000.

1995 Angus Young Associates of Janesville is hired to develop a plan for expanding the library and bringing it into compliance with the ADA.

1997 First Internet station is made available for public use.

1997 Fundraising committee is created by the library board.

1997 Doris Riggs Miller donates $1.2 million for the library expansion.

1998 Groundbreaking ceremony is held in July.

1999 Addition and renovation of library is completed in May.

2000 Ripon and other Fond du Lac libraries leave the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System and join the Winnefox Library System.

2000 Ripon joins 20 other area libraries in sharing an automated circulation system and online catalog developed by Dynamic Research Associates.

2001 The Library expands it's services to the community, adding additional computer stations, color copying services, and children's educational games.

2004 The Winnefox Library System completes a major computer upgrade and migration to SIRSI Unicorn / Workflows software. These changes facilitate the addition of the Fond du Lac Library to the shared catalog later in the year, and pave the way for future service enhancements.

2005 A new director brings plans for additional programming for adults & teens. Free wireless Internet access is made available throughout the building.

2007 Video gaming comes to the library in the form of "Dance Dance Revolution," while the first Teen Summer Reading program kicks off. A new homebound delivery service is met with much enthusiasm.

2011 Results of the library's long range planning reveal a continued dedication to serving the community, meeting the needs of patrons while keeping up-to-date with changing technology.  Circulation alone increased nearly 5% per year over the last three years.