The role of the Beaver Dam Community Library is to help people achieve their full potential by being a leading resource for information, education, culture and recreation.
The library is a dependable source of reliable information and of challenging ideas that enlighten and enrich, and of materials in many formats that enhance leisure time and expand knowledge of current events. The library encourages the love of reading and the joy of learning, and offers the assistance people need to find, evaluate, and use electronic and print information resources that help them live successful and rewarding lives.
In 1884 a group of citizens met for the purpose of establishing a public library for the city of Beaver Dam. Several months later the Beaver Dam Free City Library was opened in one room of City Hall. This was the first library in the United States to have "open stacks" where members of the public could browse for books.
The library was very popular and soon outgrew it's rooms. In 1890 John J. Williams offered the library $25,000 to build and equip a new library. The Williams Free Library opened the next year; the dedication on 15 July 1891 was a principal event in Beaver Dam's semi-centennial celebration.
By the time the Library was 50 years old it had again outgrown its home. Many plans were put forward to either expand the Williams Free Library building or to build a new one. In March 1984 the new Beaver Dam Community Library opened.