Mission of Eastern Shores Library System

The Eastern Shores Library System (ESLS) is established as a federation of public libraries and member counties which has as its mission: to improve library materials and services for Library System residents, to promote and implement resource sharing among its member public libraries, to extend library services to residents of its member counties who do not have a local public library, and to promote uniformity and excellence in library service at the Library System’s public libraries.

ESLS operates under Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Brief History of Eastern Shores Library System

In April 1977, the Mead Library Board requested funds from the Division for Library Services for a demonstration of county-wide library service.  After a successful project year and with the approval of the municipal bodies the Sheboygan County Federated Library Service was established under the direction of the Mead Public Library Director E. R. Kunert.  Ten years later in 1987, after a demonstration year in Ozaukee County, the system evolved into the Eastern Shores Library System, a multi-county federated public library system. There are thirteen member libraries in the System — 5 in Ozaukee County, 8 in Sheboygan County. Mead Public Library, in Sheboygan, serves as the resource library for the System. Director Kunert was responsible for both the System and Mead Public Library until his retirement in 1991.  At that time the System selected David Weinhold as the new Director of ESLS. Director Weinhold retired in June 2012 and was hired as a consultant and Interim Director in September 2012.

Description of the System and Services

The System covers 741 square miles, and serves a 2010 estimated population of over 201,902 persons. The services provided by Eastern Shores and its member libraries are for all persons in Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties to enjoy. Any person in the two counties has the right to use any of the thirteen libraries.

A delivery service between the libraries and the System office allows customers to return books and other materials to any convenient member library. Interlibrary Loan makes it possible for customers to receive materials and information from other Wisconsin Libraries. In addition, Eastern Shores has reciprocal agreements with other Wisconsin public library systems, allowing customers to check out materials at other libraries when on vacation.

During 2001, Eastern Shores implemented EasiCat, an online shared catalog of all of the items owned by all of the libraries and the bookmobile. Customers can go to any library and view all of the items, place holds on items, and have them delivered to the library that is the most convenient. Customers with Internet access can perform the same functions at home, school, or place of business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

And finally, Eastern Shores operates the Bookmobile, which serves many of the communities in Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties that do not have libraries.

Brief History of Wisconsin Library Systems

Library systems are organized under Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes, which also outlines the services they provide and lists the requirements for membership in a library system. Public library system funding from the state represents the state’s commitment to preserve and improve local public libraries.

Many library system services are provided to member libraries rather than directly to patrons. Member libraries are independently governed and funded.

Wisconsin Public Library System Directory