119 year old library in Sparta hoping to receive $250,000 grant

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT)- A nearly 120-year-old library is hoping to receive funds after the senate appropriations committee passed legislation.

The funding comes from the Agricultural, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Built-in 1902, the Sparta Free Library is hopeful that it can finally start upgrading.

“If you look at federal and state mandates for a community our size, our current footprint is only about half the size it should be for a community of our size,” said Library Director, Michelle Tryggestad.

Friends of the Sparta Free Library, a non-profit that helps fund the library, was well on their way to the 1.5 million dollar goal.

When the pandemic hit things slowed down until the Senate Appropriations Committee picked the Sparta Free Library for a $250,000 grant.

“The plan for this hopefully $250,000 is to put that into our overall fund and really get going on the plans for the expansion in the start that final stage of moving forward,” said Tryggestad.

As technology changes and the community grows, library staff says it’s been hard for the library to keep up without the proper funding.

But staff says that providing children in the community with proper services and space is one of their biggest goals.

“It’s really nice to be able to offer events, programs where families can be together, doing crafting activities or dance parties all sorts of fun stuff at the library, and right now we just dont have the space,” said youth services librarian, Aimee Schreiber.

The library director says that fundraising efforts have been largely community-driven and that the Senate Appropriation Act’s dollars aren’t just a gift to the library, but to the entire Sparta community.

“The entire community has gotten behind this expansion and really stepped up to the plate,” said Tryggestad.

Senator Tammy Baldwin is a member of the appropriations committee and hopes the entire senate can vote on it in Septem