Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tax Forms Arriving

Heads up, Chippewa! 1040 EZs have just started to arrive. By the middle of the month, most of our federal forms should be here.

When you come into the library, take an immediate right and then a left. We keep the forms under the stairs. State forms haven't gotten here yet, but I'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, if you want tax forms, you can download and print them at these sites:

IRS Form and Instruction Search Page

Wisconsin Department of Revenue--Forms and Publications
--Note: 2011 forms are not uploaded yet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Climate Wisconsin

I got an email this morning from library board member and CESA-10 Media Specialist Jan Adams cluing me in to a great site highlighting the unique (and uniquely mercurial) climate of the Badger State.

Climate Wisconsin
has different sections exploring different types of weather and the impact that climate change has had on Wisconsin's climate. If one clicks on "Birkebeiner," for example, one learns that this famous ski race has been more and more difficult to hold as winters have become warmer, on average, and snow conditions have deteriorated accordingly. If one clicks on "Ice Fishing," one learns that Wisconsin lakes stay frozen for shorter periods than they once did, and the ice is nowhere near as thick as it once was.

The site would be a great resource for teachers exploring climate change with their students, especially if a teacher wanted to put a local spin on it.

If you know a teacher (or student), share the link, would you?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

UW Digital Collections

The University of Wisconsin System has some interesting and educational digital media collections that might make your face time with the Internet a lot more worthwhile. I was handed an information sheet about the collections some time back and, like so much, it kind of migrated to the bottom of my Deskpile. But just a little while ago, I got done taking a look at some of these collections and they are truly something of which we Wisconsinites can be proud.

I want to point out, before I give the links, that each one of these collections represents hundreds of thousands of work-hours put in by real people, mostly students and graduate assistants.

Main Alphabetical Index

The State of Wisconsin Collection

Subcollection: Our Area of the State

The History Collection

Be warned: some of the material in the collection is, by today's standards, wildly politically incorrect. Some of it hilariously so! Take a look at Elizabeth Hale Gilman's Things Girls Like to Do (1917). In that work we learn that girls like "dining-room and pantry work"! Tastes change, I guess.

The Mills Music Library--Sheetmusic, pictures, etc.

Enjoy and learn!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Closings

The Chippewa Falls Public Library will be closed for the Christmas holidays on:

>Thursday, December 23rd
>Friday, December 24th
>Saturday, December 25th

We'll be open until 1:30pm on December 31st (New Year's Eve) and closed New Year's Day. We'll also be closed January 3rd.

The staff of Chippewa Falls Public Library wishes everyone in our area the happiest holidays, and I'm sure that sentiment is shared by the Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Library.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chippewa Falls Public Library: AARP Schedule 2011

Below is the schedule of when the AARP Tax Assistance team will be here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library in 2011. It's sort of early now, so nothing is showing, but if you click "Look For More," it will pop you down to February, which is when the program starts.

This calendar will be published on the library's homepage in the near future, but for now, I'll park it here to make it "Google-able."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Letter From Carl Miller, Treasurer to the Friends of the Library

Dear Friend of the Library,

On Tuesday afternoon, I accompanied Children's Librarians Karen
and Colleen, and Library Director Darryl to Borders to select books
for our Give-A-Kid-A-Book drive...The three of them did the hard work of selecting books; I just carried the Friends checkbook. Later that day, Darryl delivered the Library's contribution of more than 200 books for kids of all ages to the Spirit of Christmas collection point.

Take a bow, member of the Friends of the Library. We kicked in about $566 of our funds to enable the Library to again have a successful campaign for kids of needy families...I hope the warm feeling of helping this worthy cause comes close to the one I had as I wrote out those checks at Borders.

A donation toward our GAKAB drive--anytime during the year--goes into the treasury earmarked specifically for this community program.

And, while I have your attention, I'd like to compare this year's GAKAB expenditure with the past couple years. In 2008 we bought $580 of books; our contribution was $540 of the total. And last year we bought $817, of which our share was about $688...

Carl, Friends Treasurer

Ed. Note: The Chippewa Falls Public Library would like to thank all who gave books and money to Give a Kid a Book in 2010. There is no gift one can give a child with more potential to improve her life than the gift of literacy. More than the simple ability to read, literacy in a larger and more important sense is the desire to read, which is what I personally hope such an effort produces in at least a few of the children who received books. Mark Twain said it best: "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over he who can't read them."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


1. Herb Kohl's Regional Representative Coming December 20th

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl’s Regional Representative, Marjorie Bunce, will be in Chippewa Falls on Monday, Dec. 20th to meet with constituents from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, 105 W, Central Street, in the Large Meeting Room. No appointment is necessary.

"If you are having a problem with a federal program or agency, or have an opinion on an issue before Congress, please let me know by meeting with my Regional Representative, Marjorie Bunce,” Kohl said.

Ms. Bunce can also be contacted at Kohl’s regional office at 402 Graham Ave., Suite 206, in Eau Claire, WI 54701. The telephone number is (715) 832-8424.

2. Christmas Parade
The library's float in the Chippewa Falls Christmas Parade was well-received. I was given helpful tips along the way, as I played the role of driver. People instructed me to:
a) Wave
b) Smile bigger
c) Honk!
d) Put the truck I was driving in first and give it no gas,
e) Turn up the radio.

Next year, I will know from the get-go exactly what is expected of a float driver. That's assuming we put a float in the parade next year. Anyway, kudos to the library staff for giving their own time, money and creativity to come up with a design and make it a reality.

3. Give a Kid a Book

I just returned from Border's Books #138 in Eau Claire where I helped the Friends of the Library buy over 150 books to give away as part of Give A Kid a Book. Children's Librarian Colleen Crowley and Children's Library Assistant Karen Tregoning lent their expert hands, as well. The books we bought today, when added to the books and money donated here at the library, will mean that scores of kids in our area will be opening books as well as gifts on Christmas morning.

4. Remember Pearl Harbor

A few years ago, while hosting a monthly forum for World War Two veterans, I was told by one man in the audience that it pained him, as a veteran of the Battle of Wake Island, that Pearl Harbor and the sneak attack thereupon on December 7, 1941 were fading from public memory, especially since 9/11.

If you know a veteran of World War Two, thank him (or perhaps her) today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December: Safe Toys and Gifts Month

One Christmas morning in the early 1980s, I watched a kid named Kevin try to use a toy called a "Pogo Ball." It was essentially a very firm kickball attached to a platform upon which a child was expected to stand while holding part of the ball tightly between his feet. Then, said child was supposed to hop. This is all true. Picture here.

Anyway, I watched Kevin excitedly run out of his front screen door with it, put it upon the ground, get his feet on it as per the instructions (while leaning against a garbage can), hop once and then immediately land with some force face-first on his driveway. He went back inside far less excitedly than he ran out.

For those of us who have to buy Christmas gifts for children, it's nice to know there are resources out there to help us make decisions that will keep them from doing high speed face-plants on the sidewalk or "shooting their eye out."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a veritable library of toy safety publications. Definitely worth a look for parents. Especially "Toy Safety Shopping Tips" and list of toy recalls.

The Federation of Public Interest Research Groups's Toy Safety Report 2010

Kidshealth.org--Choosing Safe Toys

World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH)--Their list of ten worst toys would be funny if the toys weren't real. My favorite: "Walkaroo II Aluminum Stilts."

American Academy of Pediatrics toy safety page.

Prevent Blindness America's site tells us more about buying eye-safe toys for children.