GILMANTON, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local community unanimously says "aye" to preserving a historic library in Buffalo County that's more than a century old.
Howard Library in Gilmanton will keep its doors open thanks to neighbors who took matters into their own hands. The library was built back in 1866 by the Howard family, and up until now, it's had a different set of rules than most libraries are used to. But to keep it going, some people said it’s time for some changes.
“This is a unique library and one of a kind, it has to keep going,” said Vickie Davidson.
New president-elect of Howard Library Association Vicky Davidson says she didn't come to the meeting to close the libraries doors.
“I think it wasn't an option. I didn't come here thinking at all about closing it down; I came here with intend to keep it going,” explained Davidson.
But to do so, some things needed to be changed.
“The five hundred dollars given to build the library needs to be give back to the family (who built it) if the library every closed. And we wanted to change that just because of the complexity of finding family members today; there wouldn't be any money to give them,” said Executive Director of the Buffalo County Historical Society Kelly Herold.
Another bylaw that had to go - the library was not allowed to move more than a mile from the Gilmanton Mill.
“But the Gilmanton Mill burned down in the 90's so there is no reference point left today,” explained Herold.
Not every old law had to go. You can still enjoy all the perks of the library with a lifetime membership costing you only a dollar.
“I'm pretty sure it's worth the investment,” said Ashley Henthorn of Gilmanton.
Henthorn paid two bucks Saturday for herself and her 15-months-old daughter- Robin.
“Just seeing Robin's enthusiasm picking out books, no matter how old they are; it just shows that nothing needs to be brand new and in a package,” shared Henthorn.
But as some were making new memories, Davidson remembered spending time at the library that nearly became history on Saturday.
“It’s just like walking back in time. I remember being here with mom and checking out a book,” added Davidson.
She says with new leadership and help of those who were in charge before her, she wants the library to be there as a part of Gilmanton for generations to come.