About Us

The Patterson Memorial Library is the Heart of our Community and YOUR Library for the Future!


The library began as a few bookshelves in the Village Hall on Main St.  In 1930, Miss Anna Hoaglund became the first Librarian, and remained the librarian until Ruth Clarke took over in 1954. 

The library was located in the Village Hall until Katharine Patterson passed away, leaving $10,000 to the Village of Wild Rose to build a library.  A spot was found, 1 block over on the point where Wisconsin Avenue and Division St. meet, (the point later became named Clarke Park, after Ruth Clarke the librarian, who also tended the rose garden there). 

Nearly the entire village helped build, clean or move books to the new library. There was a parade of children and adults all carrying or pulling a wagon full of books the block from the Village Hall to the new Library!  On August 11, 1957 there was a grand ceremony to welcome the little library building into the world!

Ruth Served as Library Director for 25 years, from 1954 until 1980, when Linda Steffen took over.  Linda saw the need to expand the little library and embarked upon a building expansion campaign - one of two she would be in charge of!  Funds were raised, and the middle of the present building, the first edition was added on in 1988, doubling the space in the library. 

After only a few years, it became apparent that more room was needed and Linda set about fundraising, this time Jerry Apps put his name on the project, and once again, the job got done!  This time securing a block grant which added the Community Center, kitchen, and restrooms.  The former entrance was changed and the restrooms there were converted, one to a Director's office, and one for use as the staff bathroom (the ladies room). In 2005 the project was finished and in 2006 the new library/community center was christened.

Linda served as Library Director for 32 years, from 1980 to 2012, when Kent Barnard, the fourth Library Director was hired. (Fun Fact:  Kent was born 8 days after the little library was dedicated in August, 1957!) Her accomplishments over the years have been impressive, two major expansions, overseeing the move from hand stamped cards to computers and joining the Winnefox Library System!

Kent has been busy digitizing the collection of Family Histories and other ephemera of local history, such as scrapbooks and historical plays written by Mrs. Pearl Dopp.  With grant money secured from the Wisconsin Humanities, WiLS, the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin and Donations from the Friends of The Patterson Memorial Library, Kent has also been equipping the library with an area for personal online meetings,  a digital conversion area (for converting analog items such as VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Super 8 mm, 126, 110 and 35mm film negatives, and cassette tapes to digital formats), and a recording area for family histories, both a/v and audio.  This area is now open and the digitized local histories may be found online - just use the tab above!

In 2023, our great friend Jerry Apps contributed monies and memorabilia to be used in the creation of the Jerry Apps Reading Room.  Most of the South wall of the original library was reconstructed, housing a "secret door" for the kidddos to come through to Storytime (and also used as an excuse to have grownupscome through for escape rooms).  Walls were repainted, and new window dressings were put in.  A picture rail was hung to eliminate the need to put holes in the walls to display Jerry's memorabilia and honors, and this allows us to easily swap out items to keep the room fresh.

In addition, an Archives room was built to keep our ephemera safe from peoples hands, as much of it has become brittle.  Since it is now online (see above!), there is no need for anyone to look at the physical relics.

Our experienced Staff is here for you!  Our Library Assistants are:

Stephanie Austin

Helen Cox

Sue Strehlow

Our Director is Kent A. Barnard, MLIS

You can reach us at: 920-622-3835; by fax: 920-622-5140; or by email:  wrplstaff@wildroselibrary.org or director@wildroselibrary.org

Everyone is welcome at the library!

You can reach any or all of us at 920-622--3835, or fax 920-622-5140



The Patterson Memorial Library was established and continues to exist in great part through the generous donations of our patrons and benefactors.  Donations are one of the ways we are able to stay fine-free!  Donations also fund our Summer Reading Program, Card Creators, STEAM Projects, Cake Pans, and other programs at the library!

Many Ways to Donate:

Memorial Gift Bricks:   Purchase a brick to remember a loved one or simply as a way to support the library. Levels are $100, $250,  $500 and $1,000.  Please ask the Director for details or to place an order.

You may also donate to the library for a specific purpose, such as to purchase specific materials like books or books on cd, or sponsor one of our many programs.

Leave a bequest in your will to the library and its continued operation, enhancement and enrichment in the community as a community center.  Your financial advisor will help set this up for you!

One of our favorite ways to donate or leave a bequest is with the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, a non-profit organization serving the communities of Central Wisconsin in the name of the Patterson Memorial Library.

Corporations wishing to donate are encouraged to contact our Director, Kent Barnard

Last but not least - there is a guilt and donation jar at the circulation desk - feel free to drop a little something in next time you're in!

We are dedicated to serving you, our stakeholders in the Village of Wild Rose and neighboring communities.  It is by your tax dollars and generous donations we are able to operate our library for you without fines!  Thank you so much for supporting your library and literacy!

Contact Us:

Director:  Kent A. Barnard, MLIS

email: director@wildroselibrary.org

staff:  wrpl_staff@wildroselibrary.org

snail mail:  Patterson Memorial Library
                   500 Division Street,
                   Wild Rose, WI  54984

Telephone: 920.622.3835

Fax:  920.622.5140


Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm

  9:00am - 12:00pm