Thursday, September 30, 2010

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's October, and anyone who is female and/or has a mother, sister, wife, girlfriend or fond female acquaintance is asked by activists, survivors and health professionals to spend some time this month thinking more about breast cancer and its prevention. Breast cancer is the second deadliest cancer to which American women succumb (lung cancer is first), but is thought to be more detectable far earlier and, when it is detected, is more vanquishable than many others.

Our society has a strange relationship with women's bodies. I did a Google image search for "woman silhouette" in the hopes of finding something suitable for this blog. I found the one you see above, but had to wade through about 200 times as many silhouettes which looked like they came off the mud flap of a benighted interstate trucker. In broader terms, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time, perhaps, for people (especially us men) to think about women's bodies more in terms of HEALTH and HUMANITY rather than LOOKS which, judging from the magazine covers in the checkout line, gets unfair emphasis.

Anyway, here are some good links for breast cancer self-education:

Breast Self-Exam (BSE)--Has saved more lives than we might suspect. Cancer detection often starts with mirrors and fingertips.

Susan G. Komen Foundation

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Centers for Disease Control: Breast Cancer

Mayo Clinic Breast Health Information Page

What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer (National Cancer Institute)

National Library of Medicine: Breast Cancer Information

American Cancer Society: Men Get Breast Cancer, Too

By the way, those who are survivors of breast cancer, know someone with breast cancer, lost someone to breast cancer or who simply support breast cancer research are encouraged by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to wear pink ribbons of solidarity and to donate to breast cancer research.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AARP Donation

Above you see me accepting a check for $500.00 from Bruce Miller of AARP on behalf of the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library. Mr. Miller says AARP appreciates the library making available the room to help people with their taxes and decided to show their appreciation with a donation. We, in turn, appreciate AARP making such an invaluable service available to the public and doing it here. We look forward to them being here this tax season.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fire Prevention or, Preventing Chippewa Falls

Above you see Chippewa Falls' esteemed Fire Chief, Tom Larson, as he installs "Pluggie" the fire prevention robot/hydrant on our Fire Prevention Week display, which we'll leave up through the entire month of October. The display features safety information brochures on topics of all sorts, such as preventing fires, being safe at Halloween and preventing falls.

An interesting fact he relayed to me as we worked this morning: Wisconsin leads the country in fall-related injuries and deaths. All that ice, I said. And Chippewa County, according to Chief Larson, leads Wisconsin. So I urge anyone reading this, especially if they are in the brittle-bone years, to come by and take a look at the display and take a brochure.

Safety and Fire Prevention Links

National Fire Protection Association: Prevention Week Website by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Consumer Product Safety Commission
and the U.S. Fire Administration.

For Kids: Sparky the Fire Dog

The Center for Disease Control: Preventing Falls Among Seniors's "Falls: How to Lower Your Risk"

And remember: if your home doesn't have a smoke detector, get one. Chippewa Falls Fire and Emergency Services will give qualified applicants one for free, if they call and ask. Try 715-723-5710. Tell them you read it here. And, with furnace season coming on, a carbon monoxide detector is another thing that could save your life. Just a reminder.

Be safe!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Go Sew: Quilt to the Hilt

Okay. I'm posting this kind of late in the game because, frankly, the displays shift around so often and the differences are so subtle that, from a distance, it's hard to tell the change between one and the other. Then, just the other day, I was walking through the "lounge" (where we keep the magazines) and saw that the display case in there had been filled with the cutest quilts, dolls and blankets...

"Hey!" I said to one of my elite library employees, "When did this get here?"

"Oh, about three weeks ago."


Well, it turns out that September is National Sewing Month and Jeannette Miller of the Western Wisconsin Chapter of the American Sewing Guild came by and put together a simply lovely display here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library.

You know, there's something to be said for sewing. Of all the so-called "traditional skills" one can learn or hobbies one can take up, it's one that really comes in handy. In fact, it may be the handiest hobby I can imagine. It isn't limited by season or space or law, like gardening or hunting or winter sports, and there's no risk of falling overboard and drowning, like with fishing. And model railroads are super cool, but you can't wear one to work.

But I digress.

So come by and check out the display and, if you feel inspired, check out one of our hundreds of sewing books. And if you're interested in finding out more about local sewing groups, contact Ms. Miller at 715-720-9458. She may be able to "needle" you into taking up a new hobby.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Watt's Up?

The device you see pictured above is a watt-usage meter provided to the Chippewa Falls Public Library by the folks at Xcel Energy. Patty Darley, the coordinator of Xcel Energy's conservation education projects, dropped them off to us last Thursday and they are now ready to be checked out. These are in addition to the "Kill A Watt" meters provided to us earlier in the year by CESA-10.

These "Power Check Meters," as they are called, allow one to plug an appliance into them to see just what the "draw" of that appliance is. Then, one can plug the meter into a computer and see a readout of roughly how much it costs one to run that appliance each month. In times like these, every dime counts and it's nice to be able to arm oneself with the knowledge necessary to save as many dimes as possible.

Just come to the circulation desk and ask for one, if you're interested. They check out for seven days (just like our AV equipment) and come in their own carrying cases.

Friday, September 17, 2010

U.S. Constitution & Citizenship Day

It was 223 years ago today that the U.S. Constitution was signed and began its first trip around what was to eventually become the United States of America for ratification in each state's assembly.

I'm a bit of a zealot when it comes to the subject, so I hope the reader will indulge me a moment...

The Constitution is a unique document historically, politically and intellectually, as it made workable law out of over two thousand years' worth of philosophically abstract and disparate ideas about citizen/subject self-rule, democracy and republicanism in the strictest sense of the word. The very idea that all citizens, regardless of wealth, property or social standing had certain rights that were not subject to the whims of a ruling or royal class (chattel slavery notwithstanding) without some sort of public process was, quite literally, revolutionary. If one ever gets the chance, it's interesting to really sit and read it. It's online here.

This is also the day when we are encouraged to strengthen the muscles of our citizenship by learning as much as we can about our country or reminding ourselves of what we may have forgotten.

Here are some helpful links:

Chippewa Falls Public Library Catalogue Search: Citizenship one's country doesn't have to be done in fatigues. is the government's page cataloguing service opportunities for Americans of all ages.

Could You Become A Citizen?--
Suppose you just got "off the boat." Could you pass the test?

Center for Civic Education Glossary

Glossary of Congressional and Legislative Terms--A bit more advanced than the above. Defines all those words they so casually throw around on "Meet the Press."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Library Display

In the upstairs display case (the one right at the top of the stairs) here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, we're featuring some fascinating items on loan from Mr. Eric Jensen, of Jensen Player Piano of Eau Claire. The Jensen family--former owners of C&D Player Piano of Chippewa Falls--has a long and fascinating history of building and repairing pianos and is sharing some of that history with us. The display will be up until the end of September. Stop by and see it, if you get the chance.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Great Library Story

Christine Byerly, esteemed Director of the Frederic Public Library, tells this great story:

"Wednesday morning we received a call from Delta Airlines in Georgia. Agent Susana said they had found a carry-on duffel bag with no identification in it, except for a library book with the Frederic Public Library stamp! She must have traced our address to find a telephone number and contact us in order to unite the lost luggage with its owner. We took it from there - looked up the book, called the Ladysmith patron, and she was delighted to learn the bag had been found, since her carry-on held all her traveling essentials. This is yet another example of how important libraries are to our everyday lives! BTW, in yet another kind gesture, we waived the 10-cent overdue fine on our book and renewed it for the patron.

"Wave the banner, go forth, fellow colleagues in libraryland,

I just wanted to share. This is the kind of thing libraries do all the time, and we don't blow our own horns enough.

Now you know.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Food for Fines/Library Card Sign Up Month

All during the month of September, we'll waive the fines patrons owe the library provided they bring in food items for local food banks. In economically unsteady times like this, there is always a surprising number of people in any community who have a tough time making ends meet all the way around...including at the dinner table.

Here's how it works...patrons bringing in non-taxable food items will be credited at a rate of $1.00 per item up to a maximum of $5.00 worth of fines. Food items cannot used for partial payment of lost or damaged items or to pay fines owed to other MORE libraries. Patrons can also take care of card replacement fees this way. What better way to pay a debt?

Speaking of cards, September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. If you don't yet have one (or know someone who doesn't have one), now's the time to come and get one or talk someone else into it. To help convince you, maybe, here is a list of some of the 52 things you can do with a library card, courtesy of the American Library Association:

  • Research new job opportunities

  • Pick up voter registration information

  • Pick up a DVD

  • Prepare your resume

  • Pick up tax forms

  • Connect with other people in the community

  • Find a quiet spot, curl up with a book and enjoy

  • Read a newspaper from another country

  • Download a book

So...what are you waiting for?