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Decision on library expansion still in the making, board member says

The board of the Hudson Area Joint Library will address concerns raised over a possible expansion of the library to the second floor of the Hudson Municipal Building, according to one of its members.

Jim O'Connor said the objections to the move voiced at a Nov. 17 City Council meeting would be examined before any decision is made regarding the future of the library.

"We are just in the concept stage. We need to have additional meetings with the groups concerned before we advance a concrete plan," said O'Connor, the village of North Hudson's representative on the seven-member library board.

At the Nov. 17 City Council meeting, Municipal Judge Sue Gherty warned of the drawbacks of relocating the municipal courtroom, currently on the second floor of the city-owned building, to the first floor, where it would be next to the children's section of the library. Others called attention to the non-profit organizations that would lose their second-floor offices if the library moved there.

Also, numerous community organizations use the second-floor Community Room for meetings.

The library board at its Oct. 13 meeting voted to direct its Strategic Planning Committee to develop a plan to move the adult section of the library to the second floor and relocate the municipal courtroom to the first floor. Tom Irwin, Alderman Dennis O'Connell and Mike Hipsher comprise the planning committee.

Other members of the library board are president Jim Rouleau (town of Hudson), Robert Benoy (School District of Hudson) and Pat Sabin (town of Hudson).

O'Connor said the library board is considering relocating the adult section of the library to the entire second floor of the Municipal Building. The children's section would move to the existing adult section, giving it more room, and the municipal court would occupy the existing children's section of the library.

"The fact is the library board is considering such an expansion, but it is only in the concept stage," said O'Connor. "We have a number of issues that need to be worked out, such as the ones raised at the (City Council) meeting... The only decision that has been made is to explore going to the second floor. We're a long way from a final decision on that."

O'Connor, who had a leadership role in forming the joint library a year ago, was the first board member to return a call from the Star-Observer regarding the future of the library.

He said concern about the proximity of the children's library to the courtroom might be addressed by creating a separate entrance to the building for people going to the courtroom.

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Randy Hanson can be reached at

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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