Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From Chippewa to Panama

How did a native Chippawean ever end up living in the jungles of Panama studying snakes? Come to the library on Thursday, July 8th at 6pm to hear the story of Julie Ray, Ph.D.

Dr. Ray is a native of Chippewa Falls who graduated from Chi Hi in 1996 near the top of her class. She began an undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point to study insects, but quickly had to switch fields when she lost a significant portion of her sight.

Now legally blind, Dr. Ray has surprised everyone by completing a Bachelor's degree, Masters, and PhD, specializing in the study of snakes. She conducted her PhD research in the jungles of central Panama and fell in love with the tropical cloud forest and all of its inhabitants. Dr. Ray has worked closely with the local people since arriving in Panama nearly four years ago. She worked to develop La MICA Biological Station, a place where students, researchers, and general tourists could come to learn about and help protect the local environment, culture, and history.

Panama seems like a long way, but there are many more connections than just Julie. Come to the library next Thursday evening to hear about Julie’s adventures and see some amazing photographs!

Friday, June 25, 2010


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bat Program is asking us all to keep an eye out for large groups of bats. Apparently, they're trying to keep tabs on the spread and extent of "white-nose syndrome," a devastating pteropine disorder that affects the types of bats which hibernate.

It's important to keep bat populations healthy, according to the USDA, as they keep the numbers of pestilent and bothersome insects down while having next to no negative environmental impact. A better bet than pesticides all around.

If you know of any large colonies of bats, please contact WI DNR at (608) 266-5216 or email them at so they can keep this useful--if maligned--little animal doing its job in the biosphere.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chippewa Valley Baseball @ the Library

Our resident denizen of the dusty diamond, Reference Librarian Joe Niese, has put together an interesting display here at the library. Joe, a self-proclaimed baseball fanatic, has gathered some uniforms, pictures and books highlighting the proud history of baseball in the Chippewa Valley and in Wisconsin.

Locals donated the artifacts for the display.

Joe has authored several articles on baseball for local publications. A few:

Volume One Magazine, February 2009

Chippewa Herald, June 2009

Chippewa Herald, May 2009

"It's kind of an interesting mix of national history, local history and sports," says Joe of the display. "Baseball, after all, superseded the history of the City of Chippewa Falls by two years; baseball got here in 1867, and the Village of Chippewa became Chippewa Falls in 1869."

The display will be in the lounge area of the library until August.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More About Summer Reading

Just today, I asked Ms. Colleen Crowley, our Children's Librarian, exactly what a child gets for enrolling in the summer reading program. Turns out they get quite a bit.

She emailed me thus:

"When children register in the summer reading program they will receive a bookmark, an age-based reading record to track their reading time, and an activity booklet. Independent readers will be awarded prizes throughout their reading journey and upon completion will receive a book, a fine waiving coupon, and a ticket for a random drawing of a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

"If children want to continue reading they may also receive a new incentive sheet that will, upon completion, entitle them to receive a [free] bowl of pasta at Noodles & Co. Children who finish the reading record activities in the 'Wee Readers' program will receive an envelope with prizes, a state park pass and a book."

Not to mention the satisfaction of having spent at least a little time this summer with the written word.

Come to the library and enroll your little one(s) in the program, especially if you already make reading to or with them a common practice. Let your child be rewarded for reading on as many levels as possible and, please, let us help.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summertime Home Improvement Information

This is the time of year when all good homeowners start looking around to see what might be done to improve the homestead to ready it for the next house-pounding winter season. Or, they may just want to win the "cute off" they are having with the householders down the street who dare to have eye-catching planters in the front yard. Either way, there is plenty of good information and many good ideas on the Internet for the house proud.

Five Summer Home Improvement Projects

This Old House: Installing a Picket Fence

The Learning Channel: How to Paint a House Pick an Exterior Color

How to Pour a Concrete Driveway (Or Walk)

Better Homes and Gardens: Landscaping Projects

National Forestry Service: How to Prune a Tree

How to Correctly Mow Your Lawn: For Dummies

And don't forget the large and useful collection of home improvement, design and landscaping books available at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. Just look it up in MORE!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Clowning Around

Ozseeker the clown spent some time making balloon animals with the children of the Chippewa Falls Public Library today, and it was my pleasure to catch her in action.

Over 70 children signed up for the "Make a Splash" summer reading program on the first day, children's librarian Colleen Crowley tells me, and we could not be more pleased at the response. If you haven't signed your little one up yet, find an excuse to come down and do that.

Summertime Reading: It's All Yours!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Library Advocacy and YOU

Having an impact on Wisconsin libraries is pretty easy. Every time you walk through our front doors and visit the Chippewa Falls Public Library, you make an impact. Every time you check out a book, DVD or CD, you make an impact. Every time you log in and check your Facebook page here, you have an impact.

How so? Well, each year the libraries of the Badger State have to report statistics to the Department of Public Instruction. The level of library usage in relation to all sorts of social measures has an impact on the kinds and amounts of money—federal and otherwise-- Wisconsin libraries may be eligible to receive.

So when you come down and check out a few books and check your email (after passing through our people counter), you do yourself a favor first and foremost, but you also give back to the library with your very presence!

So now that school is out and some of the pressure is off, don’t forget about us. We need you and like to think you need us.

By the way, June 29 is Library Advocacy day, and if everyone within electronic earshot of this message took that day to write an email or make a phone call to a legislator on behalf of Wisconsin’s libraries, it could make a real difference. If you like what your local library or library system is doing, let a person with some power know it.

Wisconsin's U.S. Senators

Wisconsin's Representatives in the U.S. Congress

Contact Information for Wisconsin State Senators

Contact Information for Wisconsin State Assemblymen

Library Advocacy: It's All Yours!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Hours Begin Today

If you come by this evening after 5:30 PM, you'll find the doors locked and the lights low. Today is the day summer hours start.

Here in Chippewa Falls, I've been told, the summer evenings are magic. The breezes blow cool and sweet-smelling and the children play late into the evening twilight, making memories and burning calories like only children can. And, besides that, demand for library services has traditionally gone down when the school year ends. It is something of a frugal measure to be open less during a time of year when reading and studying might be moved to a burner a little further back on the stove.

Of course, there is no better way to spend a summer evening than with a book, so we will continue to be open until 8:00 PM two nights a week for those readers so dedicated that not even summer boat rides and strolls beneath the moon will tear them away for one second from The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Summer hours are as follows:


Don't be a stranger!