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Saturday, May 28 and Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day.

Milwaukee Public Library Hours & Locations



Tippecanoe Branch Now Open!

Milwaukee Public Library is pleased to announce that Saturday hours will begin at Tippecanoe on June 11, 2016. Hours will be 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Designed by Engberg Anderson
Reconstructed by Creative Constructors

Be a part of Tippecanoe’s history; consider a gift to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.


  • Community Room, Study Room/Small Conference Room
  • Express check-out with self-check stations
  • 24/7 check-in with automated book drop
  • Dedicated spaces and collections for Adults, Children and Teens
  • Laptop kiosk for in-library laptop check-out
  • Free WiFi
  • Coffee vending machine
  • Green landscaping, including: New trees and perennials, Rain garden swales in parking lot and along south side of library, Raised beds for community gardens, Permeable parking lot surface to reduce storm water runoff

Surface parking lot with entrance on Howell Avenue.

The Milwaukee Public Library service in the Tippecanoe neighborhood dates back nearly 100 years to 1916 when this area was a part of the Town of Lake and the library was providing service to suburban communities. Exact locations of this early service are unclear, but several references have been found to a collection being housed in a school house, a room adjoining a private home and the offices of the Tippecanoe Building and Loan Association.

In 1931, after this portion of the Town of Lake was annexed to the City of Milwaukee, a branch of the Milwaukee Public Library was established in rented quarters at 3835 S. Howell Avenue. In 1960, the former Town of Lake firehouse/town hall at 3600 S. Howell was remodeled to accommodate the library and also retained garage space to park a bookmobile.

This building was demolished to make room for a new building on the same site. While this building was under construction, the library service was first provided by a bookmobile and then housed in the lobby of the Water Tower at 725 W. Howard Ave.

The new building at 3912 S. Howell was opened for service November 17, 1969 and served the community until January 30, 2015 when it closed for renovation. During the renovation temporary quarters were established across the street at 3933 S. Howell, in the banquet hall of the Copper Kitchen restaurant.

The library’s name was derived from the area in which it is located. Research disputes any claim linking the Native American tribe or the famous historical battle of the same name to the local area. The most popular explanation of the name is offered in Paul Gauer’s book, “The Gauer Story: A Chronicle of Bay View.” According to Gauer, there was “...Tippecanoe where the Savelands and The Sandersons had a lake and the young swains of their day would go canoeing. That was how Tippecanoe got its name.” It would seem that the name Tippecanoe was derived from the fact the young men of the time could go “tippe” (canoeing) in the nearby lake.

The library boasts a large metal sculpture created by artist Guido Brink, which highlighted the modern industrial and computer technique of the late 1960s. The sculpture represents the ancient Indian god spirit Manitou as inspired by the Native American origins of the name Tippecanoe.

Guido Brink (1913-2003) settled in Milwaukee in 1953 following life and studies in Germany and Paris. He is known worldwide primarily for his metal sculptures, brightly colored abstract compositions of reds, yellows, dark blue and black, that decorate public and commercial buildings. Guido taught at the Layton School of Art from 1955-1974. He was instrumental in founding the Milwaukee School of Arts (now the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design), and served as its first president.

During construction, Tippecanoe Branch staff placed a time capsule filled with historical and everyday library items in the walls of the new library. The time capsule is registered with the International Time Capsule Society at Oglethorpe University.

In tribute to City Librarian, Paula Kiely, through a generous gift from Barbara Stein, a “secret” garden embellishes the newly renovated branch. Inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 book “The Secret Garden,” an outdoor space for children and for the telling of stories opens in spring 2016 and is accessed from the children’s area.

Upcoming Events at

May 25
Drop-In Tutoring for Adults
3:00 PM

Tutors are available to help with literacy skills, such as…

May 26
Active Adult: Working Out with Baby
10:30 AM

Work out with your baby to strengthen your body while enhancing…

May 26
History Buff Book Club
5:00 PM

Enjoy engaging and diverse books from different points of view with likeminded patrons! 

May 27
Playgroup With Stories
10:30 AM

A 20-minute story time for children and their parents or…

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