"We hope you may live long to gladden the seekers after knowledge, by
furnishing buildings to house books that all may read for recreation and the
educating of the people." -- Letter of thanks from the Hayward Library
Board to Andrew Carnegie, 1904.
Hayward's first informal library was established by Norwegian immigrants.
They held a collection of books on American themes and classics, all in
Norwegian language. The library was located in Clapperton Hall over the
The Hayward Free Library was founded in 1887 on the second floor of what is
now the Hayward Bakery. In 1904 funds from Andrew Carnegie and a
commitment from the townspeople of Hayward built the handsome Carnegie Library
at the corner of Main and Highway 63.
The Hayward Carnegie Library advertised that it contained 3,000 volumes and
a reading room with 14 different newspapers and periodicals. It was a proud
first step to making Hayward more than a rough and tumble logging town.
Surprisingly, it took more than a century later, for the library to become
taxed beyond its intended use. We lacked space for computers, programs and
other services our community deserved. We had eight parking spaces that were
almost always full. Senior citizens and customers with physical challenges were
unable to use the stairs to reach the main floor.
After several years of research and community dialogue, the Hayward Library
Board of Trustees announced plans to build a new library. Their goal was to
provide a progressive, comfortable and accessible building for the community
and its visitors.
A New Chapter
In 1999 the Library Board of Trustees formed an Exploratory Committee to
determine if the library could expand the Carnegie building or if it must move.
Concurrently, the Board hired Bill Turner and Erik Hansen, then of Stubenrauch
Architects, to assess the building and project library needs to the year 2020.
Based on a year of study, deliberation and reports from Stubenrauch, the
Exploratory Committee recommended that the library move to a new location.
The Library Board eventually found and purchased a beautiful site within
city limits for the new library. Enhanced by a natural wooded setting and pond,
the new property is located on Highway 77 next to Complete Computer Solutions
and across from the Hayward Wesleyan Church.
In late summer of 2001, the Steering Committee, created from [a wide range
of community representatives,] began to fundraise for the new building.
Unfortunately for all, the 9-11 tragedy soon hit. The public's attention
understandably became focused on giving to those affected by the event.
The tragedy did [contribute] to a slow start for the building campaign. But
the dedicated Library Board, staff, Steering Committee, Friends of the Library
and other volunteers persevered. They worked prodigiously for approximately six
years on silent auctions, ski and snowshoe events, bike tours, concerts,
potlucks, casino nights and more. School children, private citizens, local
businesses and organizations, and corporations began to contribute.
The Library Board chose Short, Elliott & Hendrickson (S E H) to design
the building and contracted with Church Street, a professional fundraising
company. Soon after, the Board chose Market & Johnson as the construction
Eventually enough funds were raised to apply for the matching Community
Development Block Grant. With help from Northwest Regional Planning in Spooner
and the City of Hayward, the State Department of Commerce awarded the grant to
the library. Next Sawyer County agreed to purchase a portion of the library's
new land with the understanding that the library had 10 years to buy it
The library held its groundbreaking ceremony in June 2006. That autumn,
Market and Johnson began construction. Sawyer County loaned a major asset in
the form of its Facility Manager Dennis Erickson. Throughout the construction
process, Dennis served as liaison between the Library Board, director and
The library was move-in ready by May 2007. Staff, spouses, friends,
community service workers and more than 50 additional volunteers assisted AJ
Movers of Superior to complete the move. The library's Grand Opening ceremony
was held Saturday June 2, 2007.
Since then, the library welcomes an average of 2,000 plus visitors
weekly from 29 communities and beyond. Our 11 internet stations, two study
rooms, community meeting room and nature park trail and pond provide an
inviting place for scholarly and recreational pursuits. Visitors and staff
often are treated to the sight of deer grazing down by the pond.
Although words seem insufficient for such a monumental achievement, a
heartfelt thank you goes to all the people, businesses and organizations that
helped to build our community's beautiful new library. Please stop by to
enjoy your accomplishment!
A Lasting Legacy
Building a new library provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a
lasting legacy. When you, your business or organization make a major
contribution, the library will dedicate a portion of the new building in the
name you have chosen to honor. There are a limited number of spaces left on a
first-come, first-serve basis. Sponsorship of the Children's Summer Reading
Terrace is available, as well as approximately a dozen shelving units in the
Adult and Children's areas.
Contributions of $100 or more are acknowledged on our Wall of Honor, in the
lobby. Gifts to the library may be in the form of cash contributions, real
estate, bequests in wills, stocks, bonds, life insurance and
annuities. Another way to help insure our library's future is to
contribute to the Hayward Library Foundation, LTD.
Please contact Library Director Molly Lank-Jones at 715-634-2161,
extension 14. All information will be kept confidential.