Library Planning to Continue with Proposed Budget

The Mayor’s Executive Budget was released at the meeting of the Appleton Common Council last night. I am pleased to report that within the budget there is funding included to continue working on a solution for the Appleton Public Library. In June, the City of Appleton Common Council did not approve acquiring the site that ranked the highest in the site selection process. Since then, the library board has taken time to consider potential avenues to move forward in order to come to a proposal that will be supported.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 1.32.34 PMThe future of Appleton Public Library’s facility plans are closely intertwined with the future of downtown Appleton. The heart of our city is facing important decisions regarding solutions for our aging parking infrastructure. A comprehensive 56-block downtown parking analysis was completed last year providing options for solutions. Another process has begun to study mobility throughout downtown, including travel by foot, bicycle, automobile and public transit. In addition, the city and Appleton Downtown Incorporated are soliciting proposals to undergo a visioning process and update the downtown section of the city’s comprehensive plan.
Decisions about parking and access were identified as primary concerns throughout the months of feedback solicited in 2014. These concerns were echoed by council during public meeting decision points investigating the proposed site. Additionally, there were questions about how the proposed site for the library fit into the big picture for downtown Appleton. Mayor Hanna has factored all of these complicated issues into his 2016 budget proposal.

This proposal contains a Capital Improvement Project for Downtown Development (pg. 608) including funding for the library totaling $30,500,000 over four years:

  • 2016 – $500,000
  • 2017 – $5,000,000
  • 2018 – $15,000,000
  • 2019 – $10,000,000

This timeline allows for the completion of pending mobility and downtown vision studies to inform important decisions before the council. Since 2008, the library has been in the process of evaluating the condition of the current facility, as well as future needs and priorities of our community. Mayor Hanna’s transmittal letter states that work done by the Appleton Public Library Board of Trustees regarding the future needs of the library and leading up to the initial site recommendation remains valid. He is anticipating a collaborative decision making process, involving both the library board and the common council, to reach a consensus regarding the future of the library.

Appleton Public Library Children’s Fall Programs


Appleton Public Library Fall Programs in Children’s Services starts this week! Are you as excited as we are? If there any future musicians, dancers, scientists, engineers, artists or mathematicians ages 3-5 looking for inspiration out there, don’t forget to register for Musical Movin’ Storytime and/or Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead. To register, call the Appleton Public Library at 920-832-6187 or visit

Appleton Public Library Fox Arts Network FAN Pass

Appleton Public Library is excited to announce their newest program, Fox Arts Network FAN Pass.


Appleton Public Library has partnered with over 20 local educational, art and entertainment organizations to bring this unique program to you. Starting mid-September APL will have various free offers for you to “check out” from their partner organizations. A display with all of the offers will be set up near the Children’s Services entrance beginning September 14.

Learn more about FAN Pass on the APL website.

Summer Outdoor Film Series in Houdini Plaza

The summer outdoor film series begins July 22nd in Houdini Plaza with the movie Planes.  The show starts at 8:30 pm. Appleton Public Library along with the YMCA, Building for Kids, Trout Museum of Art, P.A.C. are hosting these great family films in Houdini Plaza.

Put these Summer movie family outings on your calendar.  All shows start at 8:30 p.m.

July 22 – Planes July 29 –  Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas August 5 – Big Hero 6 August 12 – October Sky

Planes_BFKCM Grinch_PAC BigHero6_YMCA


Friends of APL Fall Book Sale

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.41.56 AMThe Friends of APL Fall Book Sale is November 21 and 22 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm in Appleton Public Library’s lower level meeting rooms.

Most items are $1 or less. This year we have a great selection of mysteries, science fiction and German books.

A limited number of computer systems will also be available. They include a computer, monitor, keyboard, and mouse – all for $100.

The Early Bird Sale for Friends starts tomorrow and runs from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. During this time we will accept new and renewed memberships.

Questions? Call the Friends of APL office at 832-3931 or email

New library will make downtown stronger

By Jennifer Stephany

I was honored to serve as a member of the Appleton Public Library’s community advisory committee last summer. There, I learned more about the key role libraries play in the economic development of communities and their downtowns. Forward-thinking communities like Seattle, Denver, Nashville and San Antonio have already shown how rejuvenated public libraries make healthy, economically vibrant cities.

Recently, Appleton Downtown, Inc., conducted workshops where community members identified downtown areas with potential for improvement. The proposed bluff site appeared in the top five areas with the most potential for improvement. Why? There’s strong potential for synergy between the library, the YMCA, the residency clinic and Lawrence University.

RELATED: More on the Appleton Public Library

We also see the direct impact this library development could provide neighboring businesses. Increased foot traffic and new community activities bring optimism to those businesses. We’re also optimistic that the traffic study next year will yield a better solution for access to downtown because of the library project.

“Placemaking” principles also align well with this project. In placemaking, public, private, not-for-profit and community sectors partner to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood around arts, cultural and educational activities. Placemaking animates spaces, rejuvenates streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, creates jobs and brings people together to learn create, innovate, inspire and be inspired.

Creative centers tend to be places with thick labor markets that can fulfill the employment needs of the creative class, people who are not looking just for “a job” but for places with amenities to support innovation and creative thought. The library proposal is the placemaking opportunity that will recreate a neighborhood by bringing new opportunities for collaboration, innovation and discovery. It will be a place that supports creative thought, small business development and lifelong learning.

Isn’t that the place you want Appleton to be?

Jennifer Stephany,

executive director,

Appleton Downtown, Inc.,

Appleton Public Library “Walk a Mile” series to feature refugees

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 8.38.36 AMThe Appleton Public Library will host a panel of refugees from the Congo, Afghanistan and Cuba on Thursday Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

The refugees will speak on their experience resettling in Appleton in the “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” series sponsored by City of Appleton’s Community & Economic Development Department and the Appleton Public Library.

Appleton Diversity Coordinator Kathy Flores along with staff from World Relief will also be on hand.
“The refugees will talk about life in Appleton, the transition they made from refugee camps to life here, aging issues and also answer questions from the public,” said Flores.

Flores and World Relief staff will also speak to the resettlement process and the progress the most recent group of refugees are making.
The program will take place in the lower level of the Appleton Public Library from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Please contact Diversity Coordinator Kathy Flores at (920) 832-1564 or for more information.

Appleton Public Library 2014 Building Process Open House

_APL_logo-1Join the Appleton Public Library for an open house about the new building process.

Date: March 27
Time: 4:30-6:30 pm
Place: First Floor – Children’s Program Room

You’re invited to drop-in, take a look at the top four sites, ask questions and provide input about the Library Needs Assessment and site selection process.

Representatives from Engberg Anderson and APL Staff will be on-hand to answer questions. You’ll also be able to pick your favorite site with a fun, hands-on activity.

Join us to Celebrate Happy! International Day of Happiness

Enjoy great events in our downtown at: Appleton Public LibraryThe History Museum at the CastleDowntown Appleton Farm MarketThe Building for Kids Children’s MuseumHarmony Cafe – Fox Valley with Compassionate Fox Cities and Thompson Community Center.

BFK100 International Day of Happiness-Joint Promo Poster

Compassionate Fox Cities and The Building for Kids Children’s Museum are partnering with a number of downtown Appleton community organizations and attractions to offer a variety of activities in celebration of International Day of Happiness in the Fox Cities on Thursday, March 20.

Although the official designation for this special recognition of Happiness is for one day, many collaborating organizations are celebrating the “art of being happy” throughout the month of March.

Activities at The Building for Kids will be offered as a “Week of Happiness,” from March 16-23. Offerings include: creating “Happy Hometown Memory Tiles,” designing Happiness Journals, and building a Happiness Wall, all in the Da Vinci Art & Science Studio. Additionally, a special story hour and art project activity centering on the popular children’s book, Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud will be presented at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 20 and at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22.

All activities are included in the cost of regular admission to The Building for Kids. Happiness-related activities for collaborating organizations are as follows:
• Harmony Café will host a Compassionate Fox Cities “meet and greet” event from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on March 20.
• The Appleton Public Library will team up with Compassionate Fox Cities to feature the movie, Happy, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on March 13. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Discussion will follow the screening. Additionally, the library will set-up a “Happy Hometown Memories Display” from March 3-31 in a first floor display case available for viewing during regular open hours. The display will highlight the hometown memories of local residents through tile artwork.
• The History Museum at the Castle will provide materials for interested individuals and families to create their own “Happy Hometown Memory Tile” from March 1-16 in the museum lobby. Completed memories will be displayed at the Appleton Public Library. Additionally, admission to the History Museum will be half price on March 20.

• The Thompson Community Center will offer a creative afternoon of sharing happy memories from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12. Those choosing to participate will be able to create their own “Happy Hometown Memory Collage” for display at the Center. All supplies will be provided. Lemonade and cookies will be served and participants will also receive two Thompson Café coupons. Cost to participate is $4.00. To register, call, (920) 225-1700.

Additionally, a special “Grampa’s Grill Out” featuring grilled brats, burgers, chicken and side dishes will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, with inside seating at the Thompson Community Center. For more information, including lunch cost, call (920) 225-1700.

• Appleton Downtown, Incorporated, will partner with Compassionate Fox Cities to offer a “Create a Happy Hometown Memory Tile” station from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15 at the Downtown Appleton Indoor Winter Farm Market inside City Center Plaza. Completed tiles will be showcased in a display at the Appleton Public Library.