Holiday hours: All MCPL locations will be closed Sat.–Mon., 8/31–9/2.
Branch Library Establishment and Dissolution Policy
CHAPTER 7: Administrative
COMPUTER ID: AMBLEAD-63
Title: Branch Library Establishment and Dissolution Policy
Effective Date: 7-2018
Authorized By: Library Board of Trustees/Library Director
Date of Last Revision: 7-2018
In order to meet the ever-changing needs of Marathon County residents, the Marathon
County Public Library (MCPL) frequently evaluates both the physical locations from which
it serve its customers, the manner in which each branch operates, and the specific
services that are provided. As needs change, the MCPL must change to meet them. The
MCPL must also be good stewards of its financial resources, ensuring that MCPL is able
to continue to provide high quality services to its customers.
This policy outlines the requirements that shall be evaluated when considering whether a
new branch library is established or adopted as a branch of the Marathon County Public
Library. Establishment of a new branch library requires the approval of the library's board
and the full County Board, and is subject to the County Board's assessment of the
financial conditions of the library.
This policy also serves as a guide when considering dissolution of a branch library,
providing guidelines aimed at identifying areas that can no longer support having a
traditional bricks and mortar library facility.
Procedure for Branch Establishment and Implementation
A municipality that seeks to establish a branch library or have a library adopted into the
region shall follow the process outlined below for requesting the establishment of such a
1. The municipality seeking to establish a branch library or have a library adopted
into the region shall request the establishment of such a branch. A municipality
seeking to establish a branch library or have a library adopted into the region
shall pass a resolution endorsing a branch library and agreeing to the costs
listed in Responsibilities of the Municipality for Branch Operation. The MCPL
Board will consider this resolution to be a formal application and request for a
ITEM NUMBER: 7.63 b
2. The municipality seeking to establish a branch library or have a library adopted
into the region shall provide the MCPL Board with information regarding the
location and funding for the proposed branch library building and grounds. The
information shall include a plan for funding, purchase, or construction of the
proposed branch library building and site.
3. The municipality seeking to establish a branch library or have a library adopted
into the region shall agree to the criteria, service requirements, and policies
outlined in this establishment policy and to the MCPL policies for operation of
4. The municipality seeking to establish a branch library or have a library adopted
into the region will have its request evaluated by the MCPL board. MCPL will
estimate the operating costs and headquarters costs of the branch library and
notify the municipality of its tentative decision on the proposal, outlining any
deficiencies or problems with the proposal. A date and time will be set for a joint
meeting between the municipality and the Library Director and Library Board
President to discuss any outstanding issues surrounding the proposal including,
but not restricted to:
Level of service
Planning and development
The items for discussion will be established by an agenda prior to the meeting.
5. At its next regular meeting following this discussion, the MCPL Board will
discuss and deliver its final decision on the proposal to the County Executive
Board Subcommittee, the County Administrator, and the full County Board of
Supervisors as soon as is practicable.
6. MCPL and the municipality of the prospective branch will sign an agreement
before a new branch library is opened for service.
ITEM NUMBER: 7.63 c
Criteria for Branch Establishment
The following criteria will be considered to determine if it is appropriate to establish a new
branch in any particular community.
1. A new branch library will be established or adopted only if it is possible to do so
without unduly reducing current levels of library services, by adding the necessary
funds for the operating and capital budgets.
2. Local community support for the branch library must be indicated through a formal
statement of commitment from the municipality (city, village, or town) that is
applying for a branch library, recognizing its financial responsibilities.
3. The population served must be at least 2,000 with a demonstrated growth
potential. Population statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Administration
Demographic Services Center will be used to estimate population, and the
population of the community and adjacent townships will be considered.
4. As a general rule, a library should not be within a 20-minute drive from another
library within the region or an adjacent region. Established traffic patterns in the
service area will be considered.
5. The municipality seeking to establish a branch library or have a library adopted into
the region shall agree that the MCPL shall be responsible for decisions regarding
the nature of library services, circulation policies, and operational guidelines of the
branch library established.
1. MCPL will determine the staff hours adequate for the branch library operations to
ensure that the branch library is open for the required number of open hours.
2. A new branch library will be open no fewer than 20 hours per week.
3. A municipality establishing an approved branch library of MCPL will agree to follow
the policies in place that govern MCPL.
4. A municipality establishing an approved branch library of MCPL shall provide an
identified location, funding source, or funding plan for the branch location.
ITEM NUMBER: 7.63 d
Responsibilities of the Municipality for Branch Operation
In addition to what is outlined in the MCPL agreement, the municipality shall agree to:
1. Provision of heat, air-conditioning, light, water and other utilities with the exception
of telephone service.
2. Trash removal services on a weekly basis.
3. Maintenance and repair of the building and grounds, including raking, lawn mowing
and snow removal.
4. Support of regional policies that guide the operations of the regional library and all
5. Development and interpretation of policies relating to meeting room use (if
6. Support of special programming such as lectures, exhibits, children's programs
and discussion groups.
7. Support for provision of adequate funding for regional library service program with
local, state and federal authorities.
Responsibilities of MCPL
In addition to what is outlined in the MCPL Master Agreement, MCPL will agree to:
1. Development and implementation of all library policies.
2. Determine weekly hours of service with input from local residents.
3. Purchase and annual maintenance of electronic equipment required by MCPL for
participation in the integrated library system (ILS) and regional library system.
4. Selection of library materials. All materials must be ordered through headquarters
regardless of the source of funds. All materials must be processed centrally for use
of the agency. Local citizens are encouraged to make collection development
suggestions for staff consideration.
ITEM NUMBER: 7.63 e
5. Selection, training and employment of all branch personnel. The MCPL Board is
responsible for maintaining a pay schedule and personnel policies for all MCPL
personnel. All decisions relating to hiring, promotion, demotion or termination are
the responsibility of MCPL.
6. Insurance of building contents other than municipal equipment, including materials
as itemized on the annual insurance inventory.
7. Miscellaneous services such as telephone service, delivery service, purchase of
essential operating supplies and all other responsibilities not directly associated
with the provision and maintenance of physical facilities. Provision of the
telecommunications and equipment infrastructure required to support the
Integrated Library System (ILS) and the regional library system.
Providing an adequate library facility is a requirement of the municipality, which wishes to
establish a branch library of MCPL.
1. All facilities must meet the building requirements as outlined in the Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction.
2. The library site should provide maximum convenient access to the greatest
number of people in the community during the normal course of their daily
Near the center of the highest density of daily activity
Near high use facilities such as a post office, bank, retail stores
Located on a primary street
Provide on and/or off street parking within a reasonable distance.
3. Multi-use facilities are acceptable only if each area is designated its own space
and physically and securely separated from other areas of the building.
4. Delivery access: easy access for deliveries of library materials must be provided.
ITEM NUMBER: 7.63 f
Collection Development Requirements
1. New branches require an opening day collection. The collection of a pre-existing
community library may be cataloged into the MCPL system by headquarters staff.
Standard collection management and development policies will be applied in this
2. When a pre-existing collection does not exist, or is being developed from personal
donations, MCPL will provide the municipality with an estimate of the additional
dollars required by the region to purchase and prepare an opening day collection.
3. Donated items will be subject to the same criteria for selection as new books and
will be cataloged or disposed of according to those criteria. MCPL staff will make
Criteria for Branch Dissolution
In the event of funding declines, community needs or demographic changes, or any other
reasons that might necessitate a review of library services in a community that hosts a
branch library, the following criteria will be deemed appropriate for review to determine
whether a branch library continues to be viable in that community:
1. Circulation at a branch library is shown to have dropped in an unacceptable way,
or to an unacceptable level as defined by the library's board;
2. Attendance has dropped measurably;
3. The community is no longer fulfilling the terms of the library service agreement;
4. Changing demographics no longer support the use of a physical library;
5. Public hearings in the community reveal a lack of support for a branch library;
6. County funding priorities necessitate a reduction in services.
If any of the aforementioned criteria necessitate a review of branch library services, the
Library will act upon a board mandate to review that branch library's viability. The review
will be conducted under the oversight of the library board, and will be reported to
Marathon County's administration and the County Board Executive Committee along with
the recommendations of the library board.
- Marathon County Public Library
300 North First Street Wausau WI 54403 USA
Account Status: 715-261-7209 (24/7)