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Hammond residents petition for Library's needed improvements

Some Hammond residents are speaking up for their library and its need for improvements.

On July 9 Tonya Schmitt started a petition asking for the Hammond Community Library budget to be increased in order to provide adequate services and staff.

"The facility is doing more than it's designed to do right now. It can offer the community even more with funding," Schmitt said.

The petition asks for renovations so building can better fit the resources it currently provides.

Schmitt said, "Getting a renovated space would be phenomenal."

Library Board President Joe Mischke agreed that the building is in need of some renovating.

"At least, we need an elevator so the top floor could be used. We'll need heat for it in the winter," he said.

Additionally, the petition touches on the staffing issues.

"The staff of HCL is minute in comparison to what is offered. The budget of HCL must be increased to offer adequate number of staff and adequate staff compensation for all employees," it states.

Schmitt, an avid user of the Library, said she knew something had to be done for the building.

"The Library has done so much for the community so I sat down and typed something up," she said.

She said she took it over to the Library that same night around 7:30 right before the building closed at 8.

By the next morning, Schmitt said there were 15 signatures on it, plus additional electronic e-mail signatures. Friday evening the hard copy was up to 37, with additional e-mail signatures.

Schmitt added that the petition had already gotten to a company that specializes in renovations of Wisconsin libraries.

She's not sure where that will take them yet, she said, but she's glad to get the attention.

Both Schmitt and Mischke said that a new building would be ideal.

Mischke said there has been previous talk about a new building but it never solidified.

If nothing else, Mischke said the petition will bring the Library back into the limelight.

Schmitt said she wants to help establish a stronger sense of community in Hammond, and the Library will help in that.

She said, "I want to do everything I can to build more community."