E.D. Locke Public Library provides public library services to the residents of the Village of McFarland and Town of Dunn, as well as the surrounding communities in Dane County. The library is a member of South Central Library System, a consortium of 55 libraries in Dane, Green, Columbia, Sauk, Adams, Portage and Wood counties. 40 of these libraries are LINK libraries, sharing materials through the LINKcat Online Catalog.
In 1997, McFarland Public Library opened to the public at its 5114 Farwell St. address in the McFarland Centre shopping center. The community had previously been served by the Dane County Bookmobile. In 2005, a new library was built at 5920 Milwaukee St., on the site of the old McFarland State Bank. At this time it was renamed E.D. Locke Public Library. See Library History.
The library is primarily funded by the Village of McFarland. Other sources of revenue include reimbursements from Dane County and miscellaneous Fees and Fines. The Friends of the McFarland Library contribute extra materials, equipment and programming through their fundraising efforts. In addition, individuals and organizations contribute Donations and volunteer labor to the library.
The 7-member McFarland Library Board decides library Policies, approves bills, allocates funding, and hires and evaluates the library director.
The library offers a broad-based print and non-print collection of materials of over 60,000 items. Over 7,000 registered borrowers use E.D. Locke as their home library. In 2009, over 227,000 items were circulated.
Other services include Internet access (including wireless), word processing, study rooms, a quiet reading room, a community meeting room, and a variety of classes and programs for all ages. For a comprehensive list of services, please see Library Services.
The library is open 7 days a week, for a total of 61 hours per week. It is one of the few libraries in the system that is open year-round on Sundays. Library staff includes a full-time Director, full-time Youth Services Librarian, full-time Library Assistant, 6 part-time Library Assistants and 6 part-time Shelvers.