Curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee and a lakeside view – all free of charge at the Lake Geneva Public Library – your source for lifelong learning.

2018 holiday and closure schedule.
The library will be closed on the following days:

Monday, January 1, 2018 – New Year’s Day
Friday, April 27, 2018 – Staff Training
Monday, May 28, 2018 – Memorial Day
Wednesday, July 4, 2018 – Independence Day
Monday, September 3, 2018 – Labor Day
Friday, October 12, 2018 – Staff Work Day
Thursday, November 22, 2018 – Thanksgiving Day
Monday, December 24, 2018 – Christmas Eve
Tuesday, December 25, 2018 – Christmas Day
Monday, December 31, 2018 – New Year’s Eve
(Tuesday, January 1, 2019 – New Year’s Day)

Local History Collection

Delve into Lake Geneva’s past by browsing the library’s local history collection of rare books, photographs and postcards, microfilm dating back to 1849, plat maps, and resource files of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and articles on local people, places, events, and more. From the glacier days of Lake Geneva to the era of its grand lakefront mansions, from the gangster days to the Sea Serpent of Lake Geneva, explore the rich and varied history of our city and county.

View our online resources, which include Images of Lake Geneva, a digital collection of 500 souvenir-quality photographs and postcards or search our online local history databases, while researching genealogy.

Program Calendar

Smith Meeting Room

Located at the east end of the building, this beautiful room showcases drawings by library architect James Dresser as well as a stained glass art collection rendered and fabricated by Ed Gilbertson from original stained glass designed by Dresser. The room offers space for meetings and programs for people of all ages. If you are interested in hosting a meeting or program of your own at the library, you can find more information here.

Library Policies

The Lake Geneva Public Library champions lifelong learning and access to information, resources, and services for all community members.

Our values: The Lake Geneva Public Library is committed to upholding the following values

  • Service to the Community
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Access to Information
  • Lifelong Learning

Library Use Guidelines

The Lake Geneva Public Library is a valuable resource of materials, information, services, and programs for the community. Our doors are open to all, regardless of origin, age, sex, background, or views. In order to safeguard right of access to the Library, to ensure the safety of patrons and staff, and to protect the Library building and its resources, the Lake Geneva Public Library has established the following general guidelines:

Please do:

    • Ask staff for assistance if needed.
    • Expect prompt, courteous, and confidential treatment.
    • Find a clean and safe building.
    • Enjoy beverages in covered containers capped securely, away from computers.
    • Suggest new materials.
    • Call or come in for Reference and Information services.
    • Make appropriate use of Interlibrary Loan services.
    • Expect to use printer or photocopier independently of Library Staff.
    • Attend special library programs and visit our Swanson Center.
    • Remember that your Lake Geneva Public Library card enables you to borrow materials at other public libraries in Wisconsin.
    • Set cellular phones to vibrate or silence before entering the Library building. Emergency use should be limited to the enclosed foyer and to outside the Library building.

Do not:

      • Carry weapons or firearms in the Library and doorway under Wisconsin Statues 943.13 and City of Lake Geneva Municipal Ordinance 11-30 Section 50-4(c)
      • Conduct surveys, circulate, or solicit signatures for petitions, distribute information, campaign, canvass, request donations, or perform any other similarly defined activities with patrons or staff in the Library and on the public property surrounding the Library
      • Interfere or obstruct patrons when entering or exiting the Library
      • Disrupt other patrons’ use of the Library.
      • Speak or behave in an obscene, intimidating, harassing, or abusive manner.
      • Interfere with the library staff performance of their duties.
      • Deface library materials or rearrange furnishings or computer equipment.
      • Eat in the building.
      • Smoke in the building or on the library grounds
      • Speak or laugh loudly.
      • Leave personal belongings unattended.
      • Run, jump, or use rollerblades or other sports equipment in the building or on the library grounds.
      • Bring animals into the building except designated assistive animals .
      • Leave children under the age of 10 unsupervised.

Any patron disregarding these guidelines will be given a verbal reminder by Library staff. If unacceptable behavior continues, Library staff need to seek the counsel of the Department Supervisor or other Management Team Staff. Upon review the Library Staff will determine whether patron privileges are to be revoked or if that patron will be asked to leave the Library building and grounds. If the patron refuses to leave, staff will contact the City of Lake Geneva Police Department.

In compliance with the City of Lake Geneva Municipal Code Section #50-11: d. Public property loitering prohibited.

1. No person shall loiter in or about any public street, alley, public sidewalk, street crossing, bridge, public parking lot or other place of assembly or public use in manner which threatens public peace, order or the health, safety and welfare of the public.

2. Upon being requested to move by any public officer or other person in authority, the person shall move or provide an explanation for their presence. Failure to immediately comply with such request shall be a violation of this section.

Any patron observed engaging in suspected unlawful activities of any kind in the Library will be reported by Library staff to the Lake Geneva Police Department.

Donation of Material

The Library has limited space and receives thousands of donations each year. Therefore, a limited number of donated items become part of our Library’s permanent collection. Donations that are cataloged into our collection must meet the same criteria applied to materials purchased through our Library’s operating budget. Some of the factors that influence material selection are:

  • Suitability of the physical format for library use: Catalog galleys or advanced review copies are not acceptable.
  • Material must have received a professional review in a periodical or online resource.
  • Material must fulfill a community need not presently addressed in our collection.
  • Material relevance will be reviewed in relationship to our existing collection.
  • Materials donated by authors must meet the same criteria as material we purchase.

All the donations of materials are appreciated.Donations of materials do not qualify patrons for exemption from Library fines and fees. Most donations are placed in our Friends of the Library Book Sale. Money raised by the Friends Book Sale makes special Library projects and services possible. Therefore, all donations ultimately benefit the Library.


The Lake Geneva Public Library has a limited number of volunteer opportunities available. In general, the Library receives more requests to provide volunteer hours than it can fill.

Each request for volunteer work is evaluated on an individual basis related to current needs and the availability of Library staff to supervise volunteer work.

Approval to provide volunteer hours at the Library is at the discretion of the Library Director.

Concern about Library Resources

The Library will reconsider the selection of materials in its collection, its selection of links on its web site, or discuss the purpose of displays or programs sponsored by the Library upon written request.

A patron is encouraged to discuss informally his or her concerns about Library materials or services with the appropriate department head or the Library Director. This discussion is held by prearranged appointment at a mutually convenient time. At this time, the patron is given a copy of the Statement of Concern about Library Resources form to be completed by the patron.

Patrons not wishing to make an appointment to discuss their concerns must complete the Statement of Concern about Library Resources form if action is requested.

If formal consideration is to take place, the completed form must be forwarded to the Library Director. The Director will assign two additional staff members to review the material. The three will file written comments regarding the appropriateness, literary merits, and adherence of the material to the Library’s mission. Published reviews will be assembled. All of the above will be shared with the patron, along with the Director’s written decision as to the disposition of the challenged material.

If concerns still remain, the patron may request, in writing, that the Library Board of Trustees discuss the situation. The Board’s decision shall be final.

Records Retention

The Lake Geneva Public Library follows the Records Retention schedule set by the Wisconsin Public Records Board for public libraries.

Records retention information from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is available here.

Open Records

The Lake Geneva Public Library follows the State of Wisconsin Open Records Law.
For more information, visit https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lc/briefing_book/ch07_open_records.pdf


Our Primary goal is to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, and patrons. In any emergency situation, life is more important than property. In any serious or life threatening situation, Library staff will phone 911 or other emergency contacts if it is not life threatening.

Library staff is responsible for filling out an Emergency Incident Report Form for any unusual building situation. There are two separate forms:

  • Building Emergency Incident Report
  • Patron/Staff Incident Report

Building Emergency Incidents:

1. General Evacuation

The building is to be evacuated in any case of fire, no matter how small or large. The building is to be evacuated for bomb threats. The building may be evacuated for water problems, gas leaks, fire or other emergencies.

There are four numbered exits from the building:

1. Main North entrance/exit

2. Staff workroom door

3. Smith Meeting Room door

4. Lakeside South emergency exit to be used if Main North entrance inaccessible.


The following process should be followed:

• Library Director or Department Manager should check to be sure all staff and patrons have exited before leaving the Library building. Do attempt to silence or reset alarm until authorized by Fire Department if applicable.

• Once outside staff and patrons should gather on the northeast corner by the Library at the corner of Highway 50 (Main Street) and Wrigley Drive.

• A staff person should remain with patrons at all times.

• Patrons need to be encouraged to remain in the safe area until authorized by Fire Department or Police to leave.

• Even in the case of a false alarm, no one is to reenter the building unless authorized by Fire Department, Police, or Utilities.

2. Fire

There are eight all-purpose fire extinguishers placed around the building at these locations:

  • Behind Circulation Desk counter
  • Southwest – reference area
  • Basement – foot of stairs
  • Basement – outside furnace room
  • Staff workroom – copier next to door
  • Southeast wall – youth/meeting room wall
  • East – meeting room/office area
  • Southeast corner – staff kitchen

In the case of fire, however small, the following steps need to be taken in this order:

1. One staff member calls 911

2. A staff member may use a fire extinguisher if the fire danger is minimal, however if the blaze escalates, leave the building

3. Another staff member directs evacuation of building

To use a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:

• Stand 8 feet away from the fire.

• Pull out the safety pin.

• Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the flames.

• Squeeze or press the handle.

• Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it extinguishes.

• Monitor the situation and evacuate if the fire escalates.

3. Tornado

If the local warning siren sounds, or if local weather information indicates a tornado warning (not a watch), all staff and patrons in the building must go to the basement for shelter. Sit along the wall away from the basement door in the direction the tornado is coming from. If time permits, staff should lock the front doors and take the portable radio from the workroom. An alternative location for those unable or unwilling to go to the basement is the northeast side of the Smith Meeting Room under the supervision of Library staff.

Patron/Staff Emergency Incident:

1. First Aide – 911 if emergency

• A first aid kit and nonsterile gloves are located in the staff workroom. These

supplies are available for minor injuries to staff.

• Staff are not to administer first aide to patrons

• If patrons request, staff may supply band aids for patrons to use on their own.

Do not move an injured person

• Clear the area for easy access for the emergency responders.

• All injuries, whether to staff or patrons, must be documented on an Emergency Incident Form.


Last updated: November 2017

Social media technology is defined as any website or (mobile) application that allows users to share information. This includes blogging, instant messaging, social networking (on websites like Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr), and wikis.

The Lake Geneva Public Library uses various social media platforms in order to become more accessible to its users and to inform them about library events, services, and resources. The Library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent. The Library is not responsible for enforcing restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor’s user of social media. The Library’s social media policy supplements the Library’s internet use policy.


This policy applies to all Lake Geneva Public Library staff as well as library patrons and guests interacting with the Library on social media.

Rights of the Library

The Lake Geneva Public Library director and/or designated staff reserve the right to monitor content posted
on any of its social media applications, websites, and accounts, and to modify or remove any messages, tags, or postings that are abusive, defamatory, in violation of copyright, trademark right, or other
intellectual property right of any third party, or otherwise inappropriate for the service.

Appropriate Content

  • Library event announcements
  • Library policies and procedures
  • Information about library services, trends, or technologies and continuing education
  • Communication between Library staff and patrons about library resources and services
  • Promotion of the Lake Geneva Public Library and Lakeshores Library System, library associations, or other professional entities related to the Lake Geneva Public Library
  • Photos of library events (programs, events and classes may be photographed or videotaped for library promotional purposes: patrons should notify library staff if they prefer not to appear in photos or videos)

Inappropriate Content

  • Obscene or racist content
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threatening language
  • Potentially libelous statements
  • Copyrighted or plagiarized material
  • Private, personal information published without consent
  • Comments unrelated to the content of the forum (including religious and/or political postings or endorsements)
  • Links to material unrelated to the discussion or the Library
  • Commercial

The Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees is committed to providing a safe and welcoming library environment. Wisconsin State Statutes Chapter 43.52(2) states that the Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees may enact regulations to render use most beneficial to the greatest number. Chapter 43.58(1) establishes the library board’s exclusive control over the library building.  This policy sets guidelines for use of library security cameras (video), as well as access and retrieval of recorded video images at the Lake Geneva Public Library.

Security cameras are used to discourage violations of the library’s code of conduct and provide law enforcement assistance in prosecuting criminal activity. Cameras record video images only and do not record audio.

Cameras may be installed in public spaces where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy (service desks, entrances, seating areas, book stacks, or areas where money is stored or handled). They will not be installed in areas where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms or private offices.

Cameras are not monitored constantly, so public and staff should take appropriate safety measures for themselves and the security of their personal property. The Lake Geneva Public Library is not responsible for the loss of property of personal injury.

Recorded data is confidential and secured in controlled areas. Video recordings are typically stored for no longer than a week. As new images are recorded, the oldest images will be automatically erased. Video recording files saved for law enforcement purposes will be saved by the Library until the matter is resolved. Any footage given to the Lake Geneva Police Department will not be under Library control as soon as it is turned over.

Cameras are not for routine staff performance evaluations and will not be used for that purpose.

Video surveillance recordings may ONLY be accessed by the Library Director, or staff member designated by the Director, as video surveillance data is considered protected public library records. The Lake Geneva Public Library will follow law enforcement directives as permitted by Chapter 43.30(5) and 2007 Act 34. A court order will be required to obtain library records that may indicate the identity of library users, with the following exceptions:

  • “Upon the request of a law enforcement officer who is investigating criminal conduct alleged to have occurred at a library supported in whole or in part by public funds, the library shall disclose to the law enforcement officer all records pertinent to the alleged criminal conduct that were produced by a surveillance device under the control of the library.”
  • “If a library requests the assistance of a law enforcement officer, and the director of the library determines that records produced by a surveillance device under the control of the library may assist the law enforcement officer to render the requested assistance, the library may disclose the records to the law enforcement officer.”



Lake Geneva Public Library
Board of Trustees
January 2018




Trustee Information

The Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees identifies goals and visions for the future of the Library. These goals are supported by plans and policies that are decided by the Library Board. The Board oversees Library operations, including program and collection development, financial management, personnel, and maintenance of the building and grounds. In recent years the leadership of the Board has been important in the expanded use of information technology. The Board members have diverse backgrounds and interests, and they are drawn from the municipalities and townships in our service area. The Board of Trustees is committed to making sure that the Lake Geneva Public Library is an excellent resource for our community.

In 2018, the LGPL library approved a strategic plan for 2019-2021. Progress on this document is reported monthly at board meetings, and the board has committed to reviewing this plan at least annually, if not more frequently.

Library Board Trustees

Fritz Oppenlander, President
Dennis Lyon, Vice President
Larry Kundert, Treasurer
Chris Brookes, Secretary
Barb Dinan
Scott Gelzer
John Halverson
Ron Henningfeld
Wen-D Kersten


Library Services

The Lake Geneva Public Library (LGPL) is able to proctor exams if library staff are able to comply with the educational institution’s requirements for proctoring.

  • A valid photo ID is required for verification of each student taking an exam.
  • A fee of $15 per exam taken must be paid at the Circulation Desk before the exam is taken.
  • Exams to be returned by mail must be accompanied with a postage paid envelope (provided by student or educational institution).

All fees and costs associated with the exam are the responsibility of the student or educational institution issuing the exam. Anyone needing to have an exam proctored should contact the library at or leave a message with the Circulation or Reference Desks (262-249-5299) a minimum of one week in advance.

Exams may be taken when the Library is open if a staff member is available to proctor the exam. The student is responsible for the arranging the delivery of the exam to the library and also meeting any deadlines set by their educational institution. Proctors will not monitor exam takers continuously, and the library cannot provide study rooms or guarantee quiet spaces for exam takers. The library will proctor online exams only with the administering institution’s permission and as long as the student uses their own laptop. Proctors will not sign any forms stating more than they were
able to do. The library reserves the right to reject any or all proctoring requests.

The Lake Geneva Public Library offers public access to computers with various productivity software programs, email and Internet access as an educational and recreational resource to its cardholders. The Library maintains a web site that provides information about the Library, its resources, and the community, and offers first links to other web sites consistent with our collection policies.

The Internet is not controlled by the Lake Geneva Public Library; it is a global entity that constantly changes. The Internet presents ideas and information from around the world that can be personally, professionally, and culturally enriching. However, not all resources on the Internet are accurate, current, or meet an individual’s needs. Users are advised to exercise the same judgment with electronic resources they apply to printed materials.

The Library cannot monitor the information presented on the Internet. As with other types of library materials, it is the responsibility of the user, parent, or care giver to select information suitable for their needs. Library staff assumes that children in the Library have parental permission to utilize all library resources.

Library patrons who access the Internet bear their own responsibility in terms of suitability, reliability, copyright and other legal applications. The Library cannot guarantee patrons will be able to complete their desired task due to the limitations of the hardware, productivity software and security systems of the Internet computer stations. In addition patrons cannot expect complete privacy. The Library reserves the right to make on the spot decisions about particular sites that may be deemed inappropriate in a public setting. In such cases, Library staff does their best to apply library collection and behavior guidelines in a thoughtful and consistent manner.

Computers will normally be available from the time the Library opens until fifteen minutes prior to the closing of the Library although exceptions may occur (with or without notice to patrons). Patrons may not sign up for computers later than thirty minutes prior to closing time
No one may use the Internet computer stations without first signing up at a station, the Self-Service Reservation Station or the Circulation Desk. To sign up, a patron must present a valid library card, or be a temporary visitor to the Lake Geneva area and have suitable identification. The Lake Geneva Public Library makes available Express Computers specifically for the use of temporary visitors. Minors under the age of 18 may not use the Express Computers unless they have a valid SHARE library card.

Internet stations are limited to one person sitting at a computer at a time. Two people are allowed at one station if one person is assisting another with computer operations.

Patrons are expected to have basic computer knowledge including how to use the mouse, the keyboard, the toolbars, menus, Internet searches, Internet addresses, and printing commands. Printing is available at a cost from all computers.

Your use of the Lake Geneva Public Library’s Internet services indicates your acceptance of this policy and your responsibility for the equipment provided and your actions while using it. Any attempt to bypass or to defeat the security or reservation systems used with the public Internet computer stations is prohibited. Any attempt to alter or reposition the computers or any attached equipment is also prohibited. Failure to comply with this policy may result in, but not be limited to, suspension of computer privileges at the Lake Geneva Public Library.

The following actions will be taken by the Lake Geneva Public Library for violations of the Public Internet Policies;

First Violation – Patron is warned of violation with a copy of the Public Internet Access Policy.

Second Violation – Patron receives letter from the Library Director which cites the date of the first warning and advises that computer and/or borrowing privileges at the Lake Geneva Public Library are revoked and access to the Library public Internet area denied.

Recognizing that exhibit space is limited in the Library requests to donate permanent works of art are at the discretion of the Library Board of Trustees.

All requests for temporary exhibits and displays must include a photograph of the artwork with the application to receive approval of the Library Director.

Temporary exhibits are typically limited to three weeks unless otherwise arranged.

Library Initiated Programs

The Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees recognizes the need to provide quality programs for all ages that support the mission and goals of the Library. Library initiated programs are a library resource and may include, but are not limited to, speeches, discussion groups, lectures, community forums, and live or media presentations that meet educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs within the community. Library initiated programs utilize staff expertise and library collections to promote the power of reading and to offer access to information in a group setting.

Library initiated programs may:

  • Promote appreciation of books, reading and the humanities.
  • Introduce library services
  • Enhance the use of the Library’s collections
  • Improve access to information
  • Encourage community dialogue and involvement

All Library programs are free of charge and are open to the general public. Authors or programming partners may autograph and sell books at the discretion of the Library Director provided that such sale shall not discourage program participation by appearing to be an attendance fee. The Library may participate in cooperative or joint programs with agencies, organizations, institutions, or individuals in order to further Library goals.

Reference Services

The Lake Geneva Public Library Board of Trustees believes that the Library is a vital resource for meeting educational and informational needs within the community. Therefore, the Library:

  • assists all individuals, regardless of age, need, or background in obtaining the information they request for personal or professional use
  • selects and maintains a reference collection suitable to the evolving needs of the community in appropriate print, non-print, online, and
    Internet formats
  • assists patrons in using the online catalog/microfilm reader and instructs users in simple research strategies that can be employed independent of Library staff
  • gathers, creates, and familiarizes patrons with resources in the Lake Geneva Public Library Local History Collection
  • increases awareness within the community of the reference resources and services available through the Library
  • facilitates information requests that cannot be answered within the scope of our resources through referrals to appropriate agencies or libraries
  • requests items not found in our collection for patrons through the interlibrary loan process and handles similar requests from other libraries


Lake Genevans take great pride in their Library as volunteers as well as patrons. In a municipality of over 7,000 citizens and a service population of over 17,500 people, LGPL is supported by three active groups: the Foundation, Friends of the LGPL, and volunteers who assist around the library every week.

The Lake Geneva Public Library Foundation is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1992. Its purpose is to create a long-term supplemental funding program to assist in providing services not available through traditional tax-based funding. The Foundation offers an opportunity for tax-deductible donations to its endowment fund and provides many resources and services that enhance library offerings. Persons wishing to join or contribute to the Foundation should contact the Library Director.