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“COMMUNITY. This is what itʼs all about,” according to Kohler Public Library Director Erin Coppersmith when referring to the library she has worked for since 1998, first as a temporary employee and later as Director.

Kohler is a Wisconsin village of about 3000 people. Developed before WWI as a planned community by the Kohler Company of plumbing fixture fame, Kohler is located about 10 miles west of the City of Sheboygan and the Lake Michigan shore.

The library is a member of the Monarch Library System, a consortium of thirty libraries in Dodge, Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Washington counties, including a rural bookmobile. Kohler is one of a few small Wisconsin towns in which a public and school library share a physical space.

The libraries inhabit one wing of Kohlerʼs K-12 public school on Upper Road. Each has its own staff-sharing information and learning resources for the benefit of the students. http://www.kohlerpublicschools.org/library-media/

Director Coppersmith depends of the consortium, as well as the Wisconsin Library Association for programming ideas. These organizations provide online Webinars (Web- based seminars) to keep library staff up-to-date on the latest trends in information technology.

Planned future projects include the digitization of historic photos of Kohler and a program to teach computer code writing (coding) to the villageʼs K-12 schoolchildren.

The library is an active place. Students arrive and depart as chimes indicate the beginning or ending of classes. After school, the public library is open for Kohler-area readers-many of whom work on family genealogy searches with library assistance.

Coppersmith regularly involves students in projects such as the recent mural contest won by student Anne Nelsen. The completed mural is one of many artworks gracing the library walls. The librarian encourages school pupils to develop a sense of responsibility about the library, from simply shelving used materials, to requesting new books and suggesting new group projects.

“Everyone knows everyone else in Kohler. Itʼs like a big family here. I get to know the students on a personal level. I know what they like to read and can recommend new subjects,” says Coppersmith.

After graduation, itʼs common for former students to return to talk about college and changes in their lives. Coppersmith welcomes the opportunity to mentor the young adults.

“I can honestly say I look forward to coming to work everyday,” she says.



This Kohler Public Library video is sponsored by Kohler Credit Union. Originally established and incorporated for Kohler Co. employees in 1938, Kohler Credit Union is now a $300 million not-for-profit, financial cooperative, owned and governed by its members.

Since 2014, anyone living or working in Sheboygan, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington or Waukesha counties may be a member.

*Click Kohler Credit Union logo