McMillan is a Finalist for the IMLS 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. We are thanking one of our community partners every day through April 25th, when we will host a celebration and concert to celebrate. Without our community partners, we would not have qualified for this award.
We thank the Mead Witter Foundation. The Mead and Witter families have not only been generous financial supporters of the library, they have given their time and talent by serving on the Library Board. Since our founding in 1890, they have been an important factor in our success. Our on-going concert series is due to their support and they have helped with many collection and building related projects.
We thank the Bell Family Charitable Foundation. The Bell Family Charitable Foundation has been an important supporter of McMillan. They were a major donor to the remodeled Youth Services area and have helped expand our maker program. These are two of the most important initiatives we have undertaken in the last decade
We thank Charles & JoAnn Lester. Mr. Lester served for many years as treasurer of the Library Board, guiding us through troubled times. The Lesters have also been great financial supporters of McMillan. The fountain and sign were donated by them, as was the main entrance, which bears their name. They have also supported the libraries in Arpin, Vesper, Nekoosa and Rome.
We thank City of Wisconsin Rapids. We have been funded by and part of the City since it was Grand Rapids and Centralia was across the river. All our staff are City employees. The Mayor and Council appoint most of our governing Board. City staff helped us when we were finalizing the solar project. No library can succeed without solid support from its municipality. We have been very fortunate to have that support and we are grateful for it. Special thanks to Mayor Zach Vruwink, who wrote one of our letters of support.
We thank Wood County. Wood County is a significant funder of McMillan. Wood County, Wisconsin reimbursement for service to County resident is an important part of our operations. Several County departments (Wood County Health Department/ @WoodCoWisc.ParksForestry ) are also programming partners, which we value.
We thank Cathy Meils and ARTiGras 2019. Millan has worked with Cathy and ARTiGras for several years. Participating in the annual arts festival has made McMillan stronger and our program better
We thank our staff. A good facility is great, funding is foundational, but a quality staff is essential to exceptional library service. As Director, I want to thank all the staff for making this honor possible.
We thank our Library Board. They get no pay and are called on to make important decisions about the direction of the Library. The current Plan of Service, which they vetted and approved, set us on our present course. They have been a pleasure to work for and with. If you see them, thank them for their service to McMillan and the community.
We thank former Director Ron McCabe. Ron oversaw many of the changes and initiated most of the programs that qualified McMillan for Finalist status. The concert series, Monday Movies, updated Youth Services area, Commons, coffeehouse and garden were all started by him. He hired most of the current staff. When you next see Ron, thank him for building McMillan's service. McMillan would not be a Finalist without his efforts.
We thank the South Wood County Historical Museum. They have been a long time partner and co-conspirator in documenting, preserving and displaying local history. Local history is a core mission for both organizations and it is great to have such close cooperation between us. Thanks to Phil and Lori, Uncle Dave and Kathryn Engel, the volunteers, staff and Board for being a pleasure to work with.
We thank all who have contributed to the Library Endowment. When this facility was built, Mary McMillan Burt donated funds for an Endowment, to provide the extras that make us special. Since then, many others have donated or bequeathed funds to keep the Endowment in good shape. The Endowment helped fund the renovated Youth Services area, the Commons and the solar project. Much of our programming budget comes from the Endowment. We have a special library because of all these kind donations.
We thank local native Scott Prahl and his company Viking Electric. Scott knew we were looking into solar and stepped forward with a proposal the Library Board was happy to accept. Viking Electric Inc not only installed the system, they arranged the funding for the project. Without their assistance, we would have had a much smaller project or no project at all. Viking is breaking even on the project, undertaking it as a gift to his home town and the library. It remains the largest project in the area at 235 kW.
We thank our solar donors. Our 235 kW solar project got off the ground with support of Viking Electric and the Library Endowment, but it would not have happened without community support. We have an anonymous donor who pledged $80,000 for the project, leaving us with $60,000 to raise. With over one hundred additional donors, we now have raised 1/3 of that. See the list of donors at https://www.mcmillanlibrary.org/solar-donors . They have helped not just McMillan, but the community and the Earth.
We thank the Wood County Drug Task Force - the individuals, organizations and agencies working to reduce and prevent substance abuse and addiction through education, treatment, recovery and community engagement. McMillan is proud to be part of this group, which is doing such good work.