About the Library
New Facility

The Jack Russell Memorial Library provides the opportunity to expand and enhance Library services to the City of Hartford and surrounding communities. Your community library offers:

  • A separate teen area appealing to reading and musical interests, featuring special programming, book clubs, and gaming sessions.
  • A community room, designed to hold various library programs and community meetings, even after hours.
  • Consolidation of circulation, Interlibrary Loan, cataloging, and processing operations enabling these tasks to be completed away from the primary service desk.
  • Expanded adult programming in cooperation with the Friends of the Library including book clubs, literacy projects, computer assistance, book discussions, consumer information programs, and adult/children sessions.
  • Expanded Hartford History Room offering genealogical research materials, local history collections, and displays of community interest.
  • Special quiet reading areas overlooking the Mill Pond, complete with comfortable chairs, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Three small study rooms for small group meetings, one-on-one tutoring, and quiet study.
  • Nineteen Internet workstations throughout the facility.
  • WI-FI capability to enabling owners of laptops and other mobile devices to use the Library.
  • Green design and heating and cooling system making it less costly to operate.
  • Design codes that comply with current standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act for entrances, restrooms, and public service stations, including wider aisles and shorter shelves.
  • A 24-hour drive through materials pick-up and return.
  • Customer service desks in all departments, making assistance more accessible.
  • Over 100 public parking spaces to increase accessibility to the downtown.
Library Staff

Michael Gelhausen, Library Director                                           Cary Perzan, Youth Librarian
Diane Hegy, Secretary/Bookkeeper
Kristine Parker, Technical Services/ILL                                             Matt Baiocchi
Lyanne Collins                                                                          Renee Daley 
Nancy Enderle                                                                                   Kathy Kluge 
Ann Schmirler
Cheryl Simon
Marcia Wilcox

Library Board Members

Mark Chappel
Lori Doll 
Marilee Fuss
Gary Morgenstern, Vice-President 
Gene O'Brien
Shari Purman, President
Michael Weber                                                                                  Barry Wintinger, Aldermanic Liaison


Library History

The Hartford Public Library was founded on August 25, 1904 through the efforts of the Hartford Free Library Association and was housed in two upstairs rooms in the old 1892 City Hall until 1914.

From 1914 to 1930, the Library relocated to the "new" Hartford High School - operating jointly as a public and educational library. On March 3, 1925, the City of Hartford assumed total control of the operations and funding at the request of the Free Library Association.

In 1931, with the construction of the current City Hall completed, the Library returned to Main Street and remained there until the new library opened in 2011. When City Hall was remodeled in 1985, the Library moved up to the third floor, 14,500 square foot location. In June of 1985, the Library's collection consisted of 51,000 books and other materials, serving the 7,500 residents of the City of Hartford and the surrounding rural areas.

The Library Today

The Library serves almost 30,000 people. This increase occurred when county-wide service began in 1987. Current population trends indicate that Hartford's population could rise to 23,000 by 2030, with the total service population exceeding 40,500.

Our collections now include over 140,000 printed volumes, audio-books, compact discs, videos, DVDs, and beginning reading kits. The Library participates in a statewide Interlibrary Loan (ILL) network, and is a member of the forty-four library "SHARE" on-line consortium that provides direct access to over three million items with regular weekday delivery between the member libraries.

The Hartford History Room consists of an extensive collection of local business records, house and family histories as well as church and cemetery records.

Nineteen Internet work stations are available to the public and were used by over 16,500 people in 2013. We expect to exceed 18,000 users during 2014. The number of Library cardholders was 3,134 in 1985 and has jumped to 24,829 through 2013.

Jack Russell Memorial Library |  Hartford Wisconsin 2011 All rights reserved.