Little Free Library in Wildwood Zoo a Replica of Public Library

Structure Provides Free Books to Zoo Visitors

This article is part of a series on the passionate people behind the Little Free Libraries in Marshfield. A list of locations can be found here.

If the Little Free Library at Wildwood Zoo looks a little familiar, it should: the mini library is actually a replica of the new Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library building, commissioned by Friends of the Marshfield Public Library (FOMPL).

The idea to install the Little Free Library began in the spring of 2014.

“I was on a bus ride to Tomah when I spotted one in their public park, and that got me thinking,” said Ali Luedtke, board of directors. “I presented the idea of putting up a Little Free Library in a local park to our FOMPL group, and they loved the idea.”

She also presented the project to the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Committee, of which she is a member. The committee agreed to provide the concrete, pole, and installation, while FOMPL would be responsible for filling the library with books and acting as caretakers.

The playground at Wildwood Zoo was selected as the location initially, but because of rising vandalism in the area, it was moved to the Core Zoo near the bear exhibit.

“Wildwood seemed to be a perfect spot since we feel it is one of the most visited parks in our community,” said Luedtke.

With the idea in place, the organization only needed someone to donate the time and materials to make the library. For this, Luedtke asked her father, Mike Trudeau of Trudeau Construction. A FOMPL member, Loretta Veers, suggested that the library could be a replica of the new Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library, which was set to open in 2016.

“Needless to say, we all loved that idea!” she said. “Now we had a plan in place, a builder secured, and the support of the Park, Recreation & Forestry Board, we were on our way to make this a reality.”

The library took shape in April 2016 and was installed at the zoo location in August of that year and received an official charter number in September. The opening was planned to coincide with the temporary closing of the public library while all the materials were moved to the new building.

During the summer months especially, the library is a hot spot. Luedtke and her children took up the task of checking the library this past summer, and said that over 100 books went in and out.

The Little Free Library is one of many such installations popping up around Marshfield in recent years. A map of registered libraries can be found on the nonprofit organization’s website.