Our library is named after Alice Baker, a long-time local resident, educator, and library advocate.
Alice Baker was one of three children of Francis and Lydia Baker, early Eagle settlers. As a family, the Bakers were dedicated to public service. Alice’s brother Earl Baker was noted for his humanitarian efforts in China, and a bridge spanning the Yellow River in Shensi Province was named in his honor. Alice’s sister Aurel Baker was a Red Cross nurse in World War I, serving in Kiev, Russia. After returning home, Aurel was a long-time public health nurse for Waukesha County.
Alice Baker graduated from Whitewater Normal School, now the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She began her long career in education at Eagleville School in 1910. A temporary move took her to Montana, where she taught botany. When she returned to Wisconsin, she continued her teaching at Whitewater High School, at Lancaster, and at Eau Claire.
When she traveled to China to visit her brother in the early 1930s, she was persuaded to stay and teach for two years at the Kuling School in Peking, where her students were mostly children of American parents. In 1936, Alice returned to Wisconsin and to Eagleville School. Before her retirement in 1945, she also was employed by a school in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. She passed away in 1974.
Alice Baker was a strong advocate for the establishment of a public library in Eagle, and devoted much time and effort to make this possible.
Today, the Alice Baker Memorial Library is a busy, modern facility with a growing collection of books, in both printed and audio form, videocassettes and DVDs, music CDs, and computer software. The library moved into the present building in 1994. We were among the first libraries in Waukesha County to offer internet access to our patrons.
Alice Baker Library automated its circulation and catalog in November of 2001. In August 2005, we joined the CAFE group, sharing a catalog and patron database with thirteen other Waukesha County public libraries. Patron registrations continue to increase, and we are pleased to offer library services to all surrounding communities.