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New Roberts library in the works

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news River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hazel Mackin Library Association in Roberts recently received a grant for $250,000 from the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation. Library officials are now in the process raising an equal amount, and more, to build a new library for Roberts and the town of Warren.

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The library is named after Hazel Rushenberg, who married Arthur Mackin. Hazel was a 1913 member of the first graduating class of Warren Union High School, later known as Roberts High School.

Hazel taught first, second and third grades in Roberts and since there was no library in the grade school, Hazel created a library for her students.

On April 23, 1974, when Leona Colbeth, whose husband, Seth, operated a TV sales and repair shop on Main Street in the village of Roberts, invited a number of women from the village and the surrounding town of Warren to a meeting in the Village Hall.

The "Community Women in Action" was born and its purpose determined: Establish a public library, develop a summer recreational program for the young people of the community and a program to welcome those new in the community.

Charter members of the group included Leona Colbeth, Mary Grupe, Lois Hall, Ginger Hetrick, Marilyn Nourse, Barbara Rohl, Dora Marie Rohl, Harriet Hennessey Rohl, Molly Schultz, Lola Riedle, Helen Winzer and Elizabeth Yatckoske.

The women asked the Roberts Village Board for permission to begin a public library. After several meetings, the Village Board decided that the new library could begin in 1975, the year of the Roberts Centennial, in the northeast corner of the Village Hall.

The library was named for Hazel Mackin, who taught for 35 years, first in the Roberts State Graded School and, after school consolidation, in the St. Croix Central Elementary School.

The Library Board voted unanimously to name it after Hazel because they believed that she had done more than anyone else through the years to teach reading skills and the love of reading to children of Roberts and the town of Warren.

With the increased use of the Hazel Mackin Library, the Roberts City Hall moved to a new building, which allowed the library all of the old municipal building and the garage space beside it. Funds were raised and the entire building was remodeled in the early 1980s.

Now more space is needed. A fundraising committee under the direction of the Hazel Mackin Library Board has been established. Land on Warren Street for the erection of a new library building has been purchased, architectural plans drawn up, and fund-raising continues.

The funds for the Hazel Mackin Library are currently being held by the St. Croix Valley Community Foundation. For more information on helping the Hazel Mackin Library, call Jane Hetland Stevenson at the foundation at (715) 386-9490.

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