On the second floor of the Stoughton Public Library, patrons can page through newspaper clippings dating back to 1837 – finding obituaries, housing records and tracking Stoughton history.

The library made a “big upgrade” on its microfilm machine and bought new bookends that stand up to the heaviest of books, library staff said, after an anonymous donation.

The $14,485 donation provided the library with new bookends in the children’s section, a monitor, printer, data cable, PC and a Scanpro3000 microfilm machine. A majority of the donation, $12,785, went to the new microfilm machine.

The new machine can zoom, merge clips and, because of a higher resolution, the images are sharper, said Eloise Christensen, an eight-year volunteer at the library. She uses the microfilm nearly every day to create historical files and help others research genealogy, home history, obituaries and kids’ sporting events.

The previous machine, which was more than 15 years old, was bulky and loud, Christensen said.

“The people on the second floor knew when I was using the (microfilm machine) it was so loud,” Christensen said. “It got the job done but (the new one) is much easier.”

The library has a pair of two-inch binders full of newspaper requests from all over the world (including Norway) asking for historical information. There is a large file cabinet near the new machine that houses thousands of filed articles about the history of Stoughton.

“It is a highly used resource and we are thankful to the donor,” said tech services supervisor Klare Girgen.

Children’s librarian Amanda Bosky felt the same way about the new book ends. She said the previous bookends were 10 years old and often broke. They couldn’t support heavy books, so they’d lean or fall over.

“It just looked kinda tacky,” said Bosky.

The new bookends are “fun” colors like blue, purple, green and lime green. They also have a magnet at the bottom so the book ends don’t slide across the shelf.