Monday, December 19, 2011

The Indianhead Federated Library System

In the last few months, the Chippewa Falls Public Library has made some changes--mostly cosmetic--that have turned out to be more popular than I would have thought they'd be. We moved the computers to a slightly different location, moved in some new furniture, changed the location of the new books, etc.

But I'd like to take a moment to make clear that the libraries in the MORE system get a lot of help (and indispensable help it is, too) from the staff of the Indianhead Federated Library System. The IFLS staff makes our popular computer services possible (and got us the grant that made moving the computers possible), does most of the legwork involved in keeping the catalog and circulation and material-sharing software working correctly. And, when we have individual computer issues, they are willing to drop everything and work on them. It happened not long ago, actually. Saved us from a virus.

They coordinate workshops, host meetings, patiently explain complicated legal and technical issues to directors (like me) who need information, spread the word about informative articles. They do it all in a friendly, efficient and professional manner, too. Usually, if you deal with an organization of more than 10 people or so, you find the one that makes you think: "Lord, how'd THAT guy get hired?" But I've never met that person at IFLS.

The Indianhead Federated Library System, despite doing all of this for 40+ demanding libraries (at least, I hope they are all as demanding as we are or I'll feel guilty) and having to absorb budget cuts in the coming year, keeps the a good chunk of the northwest corner of Wisconsin neck-deep in decent library service.

I thank them for it and hope you'll keep their contribution in mind when our library serves you well. If anyone ever tells you the state wastes its money, you can look that person in the eye and tell them to visit the Indianhead Federated Library System Offices in Eau Claire, Wisconsin before they say too much more.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Interesting Snippet

I'm finally, after years of putting it off, reading Lewis Mumford's Pentagon of Power: The Myth of the Machine Volume II. It was suggested to me when I was in library school years ago because of its common-sense arguments against allowing information storage and retrieval from ever becoming completely computerized.

Mumford can be thought of as a sort of sociological Luddite: he worried about the societal effects of mechanization on humans and society.

Every now and then, someone asks me if I think libraries are ever going to be shoved aside into irrelevance in favor of Google. My answer is no.

Mumford writes on page 190:

"The National Library of Medicine at Bethesda, Maryland has an information retrieval service (MEDLARS), designed to index the medical periodical literature of 2,800 journals...To compare the results of a computerized search with those made in a conventional manner, two members of the Radcliffe Science Library staff in England compiled a list of references on the same subject, covering the same period as the MEDLARS taped record. Though nine relevant references in MEDLARS were not discovered by the library staff, they dug out thirteen relevant references not included. Alike on grounds of promptness and low cost and qualitative value human agents proved preferable to the automation."

Now, this was years ago and technology has come a very, very long way. But the point that Mumford makes over and over--and a reality that hasn't changed--is that information takes creative thought and contextual ability to understand and that no machine ever, in his opinion (and mine) will ever be able to replace a human being in terms of helping other humans find information.

The Internet in the hands of the average user is, in my opinion, no match for a library lit by wax candles in the hands of a seasoned information seeker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Closings

The Chippewa Falls Public Library will be closed Friday, December 23rd; Saturday, December 24th; Sunday, December 25th and Monday, December 26th.

The Chippewa Falls Public Library wishes all those in our service area a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.

And, parents. Would you do us a favor? Would you consider adding a book or two to the pile of toys and games under the tree? They don't need batteries and they don't shoot projectiles.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Holiday Song

I've said it before: Youtube is one of the gems of the Internet. Here is a good recording of a Christmas song written and published in the 1880s. These musicians found the sheet music in the Library of Congress, arranged it and recorded it.

I just wanted to share.

Superyule Reminder!

Tonight, starting at about 6:30, the library will be presenting a holiday program for the whole family...THE FIRST ANNUAL SUPERYULE! We want to see you and yours there!


--Puppet show (with sign language interpretation)

--SANTA CLAUS in person!

Tell a kid or parent in your life TODAY! Now!

Call 715-723-1146 ext. 109 for more details.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mango Reminder...

Did you know we have a fun, fast and easy language-learning program called Mango Languages?

The best part is that it is free for Chippewa Falls Public Library patrons and it can be accessed with your library card anywhere there is Internet access.

Mango is the easiest and most effective way to learn to speak a foreign language. Mango is available in two versions:

Mango Basic:

Perfect for a foreign language beginner, Mango Basic teaches everyday greetings, thank-yous, goodbyes and helpful phrases in a short period of time. The courses, which each require only two to five hours of time to complete, are currently available in 34 foreign languages and 15 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

You can view all the supported Mango Basic languages and ESL courses here:

Mango Complete:

Mango Complete offers a 100-lesson course that digs much deeper and is designed to provide a more complete understanding of the entire language and culture. It is available in 31 foreign language and 14 ESL courses. Foreign language courses include Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. ESL courses include Polish, Spanish and Portuguese.

To learn more about Mango and get a short preview of what the program has to offer, you can visit the company's website at Even better, you can visit Chippewa Falls Public Library's Mango page and get started on the courses themselves!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Think About Switching to E-mail Notices...

If you are a Chippewa Patron who gets your notices via "snail mail" (or know someone who does), please consider switching over to email notices at some point. Why?

Because next-day mail, which is what mail notices of holds and overdues is predicated on, is going away, it seems.

U.S. Postal Service seeks to end next-day mail

So, the next time you're in the library, make sure to ask about your "Notice Preference" and, if it's set to "mail," have it updated to "email."

We never, ever, ever sell your email address or use it for anything but our purposes. You have our word of honor.

Heck, do it for no other reason than to save a tree...

GIve-A-Kid-A-Book Delivery

Today was the goal date for getting our "Give a Kid a Book" donations over to the Spirit of Christmas Office.

I went and dropped them off and, let me tell you, it impressed me as much this year as it did last year. Piles and piles of clothes, games, puzzles, bikes, sleds, sleeping bags, snowshoes, and BOOKS. It's moving to see, really. One frazzled worker said to me as I left:

"In an economy this bad, the generosity is still OVERWHELMING.

It looked it. I was recruited to carry a bike inside before I could leave.

The Friends of the Chippewa falls Public Library donated 250 brand new books to the effort, with special thanks going to the new BAM! in Eau Claire and the book sale that took place in November at Memorial High School in Eau Claire.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Space...YOUR Space

Watch this:

It's video showing what we've done to the first floor of the library right in front of the big north window. There a new computer set-up, some new chairs, and a new SPACE for people who want to spend some leisure time in the library.

Excuse the shaky camera. I was excited.

The furniture was made by the helpful and attentive Spectrum Industries, based right here in Chippewa Falls; they understood the library's needs and did their best to deliver. The Chippewa Falls Library Board of Trustees, also, seemed excited by the idea of "upgrading," with an emphasis on up. And, of course, as in all our projects, thanks is due to the taxpayers whose money is spent to make improvements a reality.

Thanks. Now come check it out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Recall Petition At Library

Judging from several phone calls received today, there is a rumor in town that the Chippewa Falls Public Library is a place where the recall petition can be signed.

This is untrue. For the record, it is a matter of policy that such political activity would not be allowed on the premises of the library.

Call 715-720-4720 with questions regarding the recall petition.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fight Christmas Break Boredom @ the Library!

Thursday, December 29th

Is your child or a child you know a fan of the Big Nate book series? Youth in grades 3 & up or ages 9 - 12 can join the library staff for some creative fun on December 29th.

That day, kids can:

--Make an interactive comic book

--Create an 'All About Me' super-sized poster

--Play Big Nate trivia games

Register at the purple desk in the children's area or call 715-723-1146, ext. 109.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


On Monday, December 12, from 6:15--8pm the Chippewa Falls Public Library will present its FIRST ANNUAL LIBRARY SUPERYULE!

Join Santa Claus HIMSELF and the library staff for an evening of stories, crafts, snacks, and prize drawings! Drop in and choose the activities you want to do in the time frame provided. No registration is required. However, craft supplies & snacks will be available until they run out. Here's how the SUPERYULE event breaks down:

-"The Three Bears See Santa" puppet show with a sign language interpreter will take place at 6:30pm in the large meeting room. If your child or a child you know is deaf/hard of hearing or simply curious about American Sign language, tell her or bring her along!

-Santa will be on hand to talk to children...Bring your camera so you can take a picture of your child(ren) with Santa in our Winter Wonderland Castle Scene. All families will receive a bag of goodies.

-Holiday treats and beverages for the adults and children.

-Drawings for holiday treats and kids' books.

-Make & Take holiday crafts. Crafts will be available for youth in the following age ranges:

3-5 Simple paper crafts
6-10 Tree garlands & ornaments...or make a holiday picture.
11 & up teaching card-making techniques with a local artist in the teen area.

Friday, November 18, 2011

December Holiday Events

December 7th--Holiday Storytime & Crafts--10:30 - 11:30 AM

Ages 3--6

Chippewa Falls public Library invites young children to a fun craft and storytime program. Register in the children's section or call 715-723-1146 ext. 109

December 12th--Santa Visit, Holiday Puppet Show & Crafts--6:15 - 8pm

For families with children 2 - 18
Crafts and Treats While Supplies Last

Try some holiday crafts or make gifts, visit with Santa, eat some treats. No registration required. Ask for more information about this event at 715-723-1146 ext. 109.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are Libraries "Non-Essential"?

Huffington Post Series: Libraries in Crisis

Andrew Losowsky: Why It's Time to Speak Up For Our Libraries

Chippewa Falls and many surrounding areas are lucky thus far; libraries have not become the budgetary whipping-boys in Wisconsin that they are in other places. But library users here would do well to keep an eye on things and be willing to speak up for them.

Our founding fathers would want it that way.

"A library book is not an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men setting out in life, it is their only capital."-— Thomas JEFFERSON

"If you described a city to me complete with warm prevailing winds, painted mansions, tennis courts, swmimming pools, beaches, theaters, and public gardens of great beauty, I would ask: 'Is there a good library?' If the answer were 'No,' I would regard your city as a hell unfit for living."--A. Weiss Mann

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mayo Clinic Needs Volunteers!

Mayo Clinic, that noble network of not-for-profit health providers, needs your help. They are looking for volunteers to be greeters, to help with events and to help with clerical duties. It's one way the clinic keeps costs down, apparently.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, contact Karen Elwood at 715-568-6812 or email her at If a responsible teen in your life needs service hours, this could be a good opportunity.

There are volunteer opportunities at locations in Bloomer, Chippewa Falls and Colfax.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Whole World, Close At Hand

This Saturday, November 12th, be sure to come down to the Chippewa Falls Public Library to meet with some of the foreign exchange students staying in our area this school year.

Students from Serbia, Germany, Brazil, Oman, Ecuador and Norway will be in the large meeting room from 10:30 until 3pm. The students will have informational handouts and will be glad to help you figure out how to write your name or your child's name in their language...

The students have to do this sort of cultural exchange as part of their program, so bring your child/children (and/or yourself) down to meet them. They will learn as much as you do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Give A Kid a book: Bins Out Now!

When you come by the library, be sure to keep your eyes open for the Give a Kid a Book Bins at the front desk. From now until just before Christmas, you can put donations of new children's books (reading level infant through high school) or children's audiobooks in the bins and we'll see to it that the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public library forwards your donations to The Spirit of Christmas of Chippewa County.

Or, if it's easier, you can donate cash or checks to the cause. If you donate cash, just put it in an envelope labeled "Give a Kid a Book" and give it the desk staff. If you donate a check, make it out to The Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library with "GAKAB" in the memo line. We'll take care of the rest.

I know, I know. It's early to think about Christmas. But times are tough this year, and it takes some lead time to get this right.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Erin Go Bragh Or Be Square

Come to the library on Thursday, November 10th to see local dance teacher Janelle Glenna and her students demonstrate Irish dance...The program starts at 7pm.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Man Up: Male Mentors Needed!

Ms. Ashley Yakesh, Program Coordinator for the Chippewa Area Mentor Program, has asked if I would pass along to this blog's readers the need for male mentors. I have been taking part in the program since last school year and have enjoyed it immensely. TELL A FRIEND?

Ms. Yakesh writes:

"Women are wonderful mentors, but some conversations can only happen with another guy.

"Think of the types of important talks you have had with other men. Now, imagine a young boy not having that opportunity. You can provide that for him. The Chippewa Area Mentor Program is looking for male volunteers to be a “guy friend” to one of the 16 boys currently on our waiting list.

"We have a boy named Kyle in our program. Kyle is looking for a mentor to spend time playing and talking with him for only 30 minutes, once a week. He loves remote control race-cars, video games, and trains. He would grow so much from spending time with someone who would just take time to listen and have fun with him.

Contact the Chippewa Area Mentor Program for more information. 715-726-2400 ext. 2516 or

Chippewa Falls Trick-Or-Treating

Bring your kids downtown this afternoon to trick or treat (and don't forget to stop by the library!)

Downtown Businesses: 3 - 5

Neighborhoods: 5 - 7

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Programs @ The Library

This week the library is offering events for Trick or Treaters of all ages...

October 25th and 26th

Halloween Storytime for children ages 3-5.

11 to 11:45am. Call to register at 715-723-1146.

Stories, crafts, snack and more. Costumes are optional.

October 27th

Sub-Par Cinema. Ages 14 and up.

7pm to movie end.

Come and see the movie many have called "The Worst Film Ever Made." Plan 9 From Outer Space is a testament to the tenacity of the American spirit; you'll be hilariously inspired by director Ed Wood's refusal to admit that his cinematic train was derailing!

You know a movie is bad when even the PUBLICITY SHOTS are terrible:

Free refreshments!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sultan Speech a Success

Cathy Sultan came and spoke the evening of Wednesday, October 18th to a gathering of about 30 at the Chippewa Falls Public Library.

She spoke about her experiences being married to a Lebanese national during the Lebanese Civil War and her "outsider on the inside" view of the Arab-Israeli difficulties.

Her talk was well-received by those in attendance, and she offered copies of her three books, Beirut Heart, Israeli and Palestinian Voices and Tragedy in South Lebanon. Ms. Sultan signed copies for those who wished it done.

Ms. Sultan and her husband live in Eau Claire.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Teen Read Week: Turn Over a New Leaf

The Chippewa Falls Public Library will be offering youth between the ages of 7-18 an opportunity to “turn over a new leaf” at the library this fall. This program is a reading incentive to help clear up unpaid fines on library cards. It will cover current library card fines in exchange for time spent reading at the library, allowing young people to re-establish “good credit” on their library accounts.

Turn Over a New Leaf will be held on Tuesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4:30. The incentive starts on October 17 as a kickoff for Teen Read Week and ends on Monday, October 31. During these times participants will earn $0.50 for every 15 minutes of reading that they completed during the designated times. This program applies to overdue fines for returned Chippewa Falls items only, and does not apply to materials from other libraries, lost or damaged items, processing fees, or fines for materials that have not yet been returned.

The library desires all students to have access to the resources that they will need to complete their school assignments and succeed during the new school year, as well as develop their love of reading for pleasure. It is our hope that young people will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to turn over a new leaf this fall.

For information, stop at the Information Services Desk on your next visit to the library, call 715-723-1146 ore-mail the library. For information about other library program and events, check the library’s events calendar at our website.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Judy Moody Friday!

If you read any of the Judy Moody books and enjoyed them, this program if for you. This Friday, we will play games related to the Judy Moody books, and watch the movie: Judy Moody and the not Bummer Summer.

The movie is rated PG, so children under age 10 must have a permission slip signed by their parents or guardians. Pick up a slip at the purple desk or make your own. Just write a little note telling us it's okay for your kids to attend!

Register at the children's information desk. The program may run an additional 5-10 minutes past 3:30.

Best part? Free ice cream.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Ten to Twelve Families"

Well, Food for Fines 2011 is over and I just ran the food over to the Salvation Army food pantry. As we were unloading, I asked the man helping me, Dan, if he thought our load would do any good. The large, very full boxes of canned and non-perishable goods would feed "ten to twelve" families, he said in his quick estimation and he thanked the library.

I, in turn, thank all those who paid off their fines in such a community-friendly way and who helped us to feed others not only intellectually but, for one month, physically as well.

Thank you again, Chippewa Falls.

Below is a quick little video of just part of the food we had. I couldn't fit it all on the table and some was already loaded when I shot the video.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kindle and Overdrive

Word is starting to get out to Kindle owners that Overdrive is now compatible with their e book platforms. The process of getting a library book onto a Kindle, however, isn't as easy as point and click. It's a bit of a...doing.

I thought I'd put up some links to explanations of the process done by other libraries that might make the matter a bit clearer.

River Falls Public Library's "How to Check Out an Ebook for Your Kindle."

The Help Page at the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium

How-to Video:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spirit of Christmas 2011

If you want to really do some good for an organization that serves literally thousands of needy people at holiday time, please consider giving to Spirit of Christmas of Chippewa County, Inc.

Last year the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library collected books and money for the annual Give a Kid a Book drive and made sure that every package of gifts put together for the poorest children in the Chippewa Valley had a book in it.

I remember well some of the books I got for Christmas over the course of my childhood, some of which I still own and still occasionally read. But I digress.

If you haven't already identified a pet cause worthy of your Christmas charity spending, then please consider giving to the Spirit of Christmas of Chippewa County (hereafter SOC).

You can give in many different ways:

1. Gift Donations - Many people are cautious about donating SOC will accept toys, books, puzzles, games, craft items, blankets and bedding, winter hats/mittens, clothing and shoes. Unwrapped gifts are preferred! Your gifts can be dropped off a Central Lutheran Church, 28 East Columbia Street Monday--Friday 8am to 4pm.

2. Monetary Donations--Please make checks payable to:
Spirit of Christmas, PO Box 831, Chippewa falls, WI 54729

3. Gift Giving Trees--Businesses throughout the county display a tree decorated with tags that indicate commonly requested gifts. Staff and customers select tags and provide the gifts.

4. Sponsorship--Businesses or organizations may sponsor a family or families by providing gifts, non-perishable food items and/or monetary assistance.

5. Volunteers--The SOC needs help...our help! You can sit in on meetings of SOC at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of each month here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library.

Give a Kid a Book

If you want to give a gift that has the potential to keep giving throughout a child's life, consider buying books geared at children from birth through roughly 8th grade and dropping them in the "Give a Kid a Book" gift drops that the library will be putting out some time around All Saints' Day. You can also give cash or checks written out to "Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library" with "GAKAB" or "Give a Kid a book" in the memo line.

For more information on SOC call the office at (715)726-0534 or President Cheryl Wirth at (715)271-0256.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Colors

Stop by the library and check out the display of fall quilts, left with us courtesy of the The Chippewa County Piecemakers' Quilt Guild. You'll recall the group left some quilts here last spring and the display was well-received.

The quilts hang majestically above the reference collection, housed in what was once the "lounge."


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kindle & Overdrive

We have such great timing, we should be sponsored by Timex.

Finally, after months of telling people that Overdrive will work with Kindles "some time by the end of the year," the wait is over, to a surprisingly small amount of fanfare.

And we timed this perfectly. Our Kindles just became available last week and now, this week, Overdrive and Amazon make the announcement.

So, if you or someone you know has an Amazon Kindle and they want to read books they don't have to pay for (directly), then tell them about Overdrive...or email them this blog entry.

Here's the Overdrive link for people who live in the MORE service area:

Unclaimed Property Outreach Event

Representatives from the Wisconsin State Treasurer's Office will be here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library on October 21st from 4:30--5:30 pm to help attendees navigate the state's unclaimed property database.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chippewa Valley Book Festival 2011

On Tuesday, October 18th starting at 6:30 pm, the Chippewa Falls Public Library will be hosting author Cathy Sultan, who will be discussing the research and writing she's done about war and peace in the Middle East.

According to the website of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival:

"Cathy Sultan was born, raised and educated in Washington, D.C. In 1969 she moved to Beirut, Lebanon with her Lebanese husband and two small children. She led a tranquil life, immersed in Lebanese culture, until civil war began in April 1975. She and her family spent the next 8 years under the bombs and only returned to the United States in 1983. Cathy’s memoir of her 14 years in Beirut, A Beirut Heart: One Woman’s War, was published in 2005.

"Sultan sits on the Executive Board of the National Peace Foundation. On behalf of NPF she co-leads annual trips to Israel/Palestine with Interfaith Peace Builders. Her most recent trip was June 2010. She is currently working on a book of f​iction about the 17,000 who disappeared during the Lebanese civil war."

Ms. Sultan's talk will be in the large meeting room of the library, off the entrance lobby. Refreshments will be available.


It's a busy week or two here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, so I thought I'd catch up:

1) Kindles--We now have a total of 11 Kindle E-book readers; nine with adult books and two with children's and young adult titles loaded on them. They can only be checked out at our library (no holds can be placed on them) and they must be returned directly to a staff member (and not put in the drops). Also, those wishing to check them out must sign an agreement showing that they have read and understand the Kindle circulation policy. It sounds like a lot, I guess, but it only takes a second. Try one out.

2) Floor-plan Changes--When you come into the library, you'll notice that the place is looking quite a bit different. The reference collection has been moved into what heretofore has been the "lounge." The plan is to use the space in front of the windows as a seating area and move the computers out of the glare. Keep an eye on it.

3) National Sewing Month--September is national sewing month. There are few hobbies more useful or impressive (when the skill is sufficient), and we have a great display of sewing skill in our entrance lobby. Stop and take a look this month!

Friday, September 9, 2011

To Remember

This weekend is the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

The Chippewa Falls Public Library remembers the day and the victims of it with a display under the south stairwell.

We invite you to come by and take a look.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Comprehensive Plan Exhibit

Starting Friday, there will be an exhibit here in the library with the comments from the residential survey portion of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan done by the Chippewa Falls City Government.

The exhibit opens to the public for viewing and comments on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 11:00 AM and continues through Thursday, September 15, 2011. The exhibit will be in the large meeting room on the first floor and events in that room will proceed as usual. When events aren't going on, the room will be open and the exhibit available for public review.

An OPEN HOUSE is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13, 2011 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, at which time the consultant and City Staff will be on hand to answer questions and continue to educate the public on the Comprehensive Planning process; release survey results; receive comments; and provide visual images taken in the City of Chippewa Falls.

For more information, contact Eric Anderson OR 715.836.2918 ext. 15.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Academy Day 2011

A letter from Representative Sean Duffy just crossed my desk, and he is asking us to pass on that Academy Day 2011 is coming up on September 17th at the EAA in Oshkosh.
Parents and students will have the opportunity to meet the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation and learn more about applying to the various U.S. service academies at the event.

Queens of the Library

Be sure, if you get a chance, to pick up the latest copy of Queen of the Castle magazine. This local publication came and visited us last month and spent some time with the friendly and dedicated women of the library.

Pick up a copy at the library or any of the dozens of locations around the Chippewa Valley that make it available.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hang Up On Them

Be sure to put your number on Wisconsin's no call list before midnight tonight, or you'll miss your chance until next quarter. You can do them all: home, cell, office.

Being on the list will keep you from being solicited by telemarketers and, should you be on the list and still be bothered by a telemarketing firm, they are subject to penalties.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Reason to Go Upstairs

In the summer of 2008, Chippewa Falls native Jeff McCabe embarked on an ambitious journey- to photograph all 43 State Parks in Wisconsin. The result was a stunning collection of pictures that will make you question whether all of these places can actually be here in the state.

Throughout the months of September and October a collection of McCabe’s photography, highlighted by his State Parks project, will be available for viewing in the southwest corner of the second floor of the Chippewa Falls Public Library. Postcard versions of some of the photos will also be available; a voluntary donation is asked of those who take one.

On Monday, September 19 from 5-8 pm, McCabe will be available for conversation regarding his work.

Monday, August 29, 2011


AARP Taxaide of Chippewa, Eau Claire and Dunn Counties is in need of volunteers.

Volunteers do not need to be a member of AARP or even retired to participate. Those who volunteer receive free tax training and are reimbursed on a limited basis for program expenses. Those who take part help taxpayers at sites around the three counties.

AARP also needs greeters who answer questions about the program but do not need tax training.

For more information, visit the AARP Website or call 1-715-271-3243 to speak to the district coordinator.

Food For Fines 2011

September is Food for Fines month at the library. This month, the library is allowing patrons who have lost their library cards or who are carrying fines on their accounts to pay some of their debt with non-perishable food items.

Each item brought in will be worth $1.00 and patrons can pay off a maximum of $5.00 worth of fines or their card replacement fee, which is usually $5.00. All food will be donated to the Salvation Army Food Pantry in Chippewa Falls.

The Food for Fines program can’t be used for partial payment of lost or damaged items and may not apply to all MORE libraries. Also, there are some guidelines for what can be donated.

The library will not accept dented or rusted cans, expired or opened items, anything visibly damaged or items that have come from the food pantry.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mystery Patrons and Literacy Tutors Needed

Mystery Shopper, Anyone?

Have you ever fantasized about being a spy or detective? Are you observant and objective?

If so, the Chippewa Falls Public Library is looking for "Mystery Patrons." This is based on the "Mystery Shoppers" that businesses hire to find out how the staff of a business does when they don't know they are being observed. If you're interested, just email the director at

Literacy Volunteers Tutor Training

The Literacy Volunteers of Chippewa Valley are looking for people who'd like to help others with their literacy skills. Those interested have until September 16th to register and the training sessions in Chippewa Falls will be from 5:45--9pm on the following dates: 9/22, 9/26, 9/29. 10/3 and 10/6. To sign up, call Cheryl with LVCV at 715-834-0429.

From Straw to Tunnel

As of this morning, the Chippewa Falls Public Library is on the CINC Network, which means our network just got a lot faster. We went from 1.5 Mbps to 30 Mbps or so. As I am the most "lay" of all laymen, I will explain it as it was explained to me: we just went from sending the "water" of bandwidth through a straw to sending it through a tunnel.

I've been working with it this morning and really enjoying the difference...I'm quite certain anyone who comes in to use our network will be pleased at home much faster the Internet is.

Come in and check it out!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Share Your Story

The Indianhead Federated Library System is inviting library users all over western Wisconsin to share stories of how the local public library has helped them.

The collected stories will help make clear just how useful and necessary public libraries are and how much people depend on them.

Share Your Story!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It's been a very busy summer, and it's been a while since there's been a good, meaty blog entry, so here goes:

1. I just found out that there is a MORE renewal hotline which lets patrons renew books by telephone. Just dial 1-866-MYRENEWAL (866-697-3639) and follow the prompts. Patrons will need their library cards and the bar codes of their library books.

2. The Dedicated Readers Society reading list for 2011-2012 is out. The Dedicated Readers Society Book Club meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30pm.

3. On Thursday, August 25th, from 10:30am--12:30 pm, local author Monica Holtz will be in the library to read, sell and sign copies of her new book, Behind the Zoo, sequel to her popular work Emily at the Zoo. Both works focus on the daily functioning of Irvine Park Zoo, seen through the eyes of a local child. Her reading will begin at 11:15am.

4. The Chippewa Herald just recently ran a well-written article about the first incarnation of the Chippewa Falls Public Library, the old Carnegie Library that stood where Gordy's County Market is now.

5. September is Library Card Sign-up Month. During September the Chippewa Falls Public Library invites those who have never used the library to come and see all of the great things that our library offers.

At the same time we invite library patrons who have lost their library cards to get a new one. The current replacement fee for a new library card is $5.00, but during the month of September we will waive that amount if a non-perishable, non-taxable food item is brought in. All food will be donated to the Salvation Army Food Pantry in Chippewa Falls. See below for acceptable food items.

In addition to the food for card replacement program, we will also be accepting non-perishable food items for payment of fines. Each item brought in will be worth $1.00. Patrons can pay off a maximum of $5.00 worth of fines. This only applies to fines accumulated on Chippewa Falls Public Library items, and can’t be used for partial payment of lost or damaged items.

Both incentive programs can be used once by patrons.

Suggested Items

* baby food
* cereals
* soup
* canned juice
* canned fruit
* canned vegetables
* peanut butter
* crackers
* rice or pasta
* pasta sauce

Unacceptable Items

* items from the food pantry
* dented cans
* rusted cans
* damaged items
* open packages
* expired items
* homemade foods

Monday, August 15, 2011

MORE on the Go

The Indianhead Federated Library System just went live with the new mobile version of the MORE catalog. Look up items, check your account and place MORE holds all from your device!

If you have a smart phone, just open the browser and go to

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Donating Online

I spoke with Ms. Melinda Haun of the Community Foundation of Chippewa County this morning, and she let me know that credit card donations to the foundation's participating funds are now easier than they've ever been.

For example, if you wanted to donate to, say, the Chippewa Falls Public Library Endowment Fund, you'd just click here and follow the prompts. Under "designation," you'd enter "Chippewa Falls Public Library."

And that would be that. I thought the public might want to know.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I don't golf; twenty-four hours ago, I had no idea what Mulligans were. Apparently, in the game of golf among the very determined, an informal system of "do-overs" has been set up whereby one can purchase the privilege of setting right that last slice without losing a stroke. These "do-overs" are called Mulligans. Genius, I say!

This past week, over at the Ojibwa Golf and Bowl, the Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce had its golf outing, sponsored by Ojibwa Golf and Bowl and Lee Beverage of Wisconsin. For some reason, unprompted by anyone or anything I am aware of, the proceeds from the sale of "Mulligans" at that outing were routed to the Chippewa Falls Public Library. Just a few minutes ago, I was hand delivered a check for $406.00.

I am told this was the idea of Mr. Chuck Wagner, and for his generosity and for the generosity of all those noble souls involved, I extend my thanks to them on behalf of the Chippewa Falls Public Library and the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sign of the (Story)times

Above you see Diane Bergeron, a circulation paraprofessional and our resident sign language expert, interpreting "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" (puppetry and voice performed by the unseen Librarian Colleen Crowley and valued volunteer Kathleen Larson) for an audience including Deaf and hard of hearing children...Ms. Bergeron has worked extensively for the Wisconsin Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and is fluent in this amazing language of gesture.

It's fascinating to watch the two parallel interpretations going on...

If you want to see it first hand, come by on the 21st of July at 2pm; we'll be presenting it again.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Books Relocated

One thing they warn about in business is bad product placement. I once worked in book retail, and the store manager told me that the reason all the new age and religion books were tucked in a quiet corner on the second floor while mystery and romance were next to each other at the top of the escalator was because of the different personality traits of the readers of those respective genres.

Mystery and romance readers tended to be busier, quicker-moving folks while the type of person who wanted to read St. John of the Cross was a more introspective sort...less apt to be "in and out"...and less likely to really browse (and buy) if forced to hang out in a high-traffic area. Magazines and computer manuals were near the coffee shop on purpose; research showed that computer geeks and magazine readers drink coffee. And so on.

With that kind of thing in mind, we've moved the new books--which used to be tucked away in the lounge on the north wall--up closer to the check out.

Now the lounge can be used for its real purpose: a reading area. As it was, there was a good deal of traffic in and out of the lounge, which disturbed the "Sit and Read" library users. Also, the new books are in an area of higher traffic, making it more likely that an interesting new selection will be spotted by someone not specifically looking for that particular book. Before this, new books were a destination. Now they can be more of a wayside, which we hope will expose more people to them.

The Career Collection and Civil Service/Test Preparation books have been moved to where the new books were, by the way. What better place to work on one's resume'?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July 4th Is Coming: Keep Your Fingers

Independence Day is this coming Monday, so I thought I'd put up my yearly blog posting on fireworks safety. Please forward this to anyone you know who might be apt to set a few off.

The following tips are from the National Council on Fireworks Safety.

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.

  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

  • Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).

  • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.

  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

  • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."

  • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.

  • Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

Or, just watch this:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pure Water Days Team Trivia Contest 2011

Sure, it's early, but I want everyone who reads this to have plenty of time to spread the word to the trivia hounds in their lives.

On Sunday, August 14th, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, we will host a trivia contest here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library at 105 W. Central St. The contest is to benefit the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library.

Teams must consist of at least three, but can be no larger than six. Team registration is $25.00. Those who register singly as "free agents" will pay $5.00 each and will be assembled into teams on-site.

The contest will be four rounds long with the questions becoming progressively more difficult as the game continues. If two teams are tied, there will be a tiebreaker round. The questions were written by the staff of the Chippewa Falls Public Library; we did the research necessary to stump the best and brightest of Chippewa Falls.

So, if you think you and your friends are pretty smart and would like to prove it, call 715-723-1146 ext. 111 for more information. Pre-registration is requested for pre-assembled teams, and registration can be done in person at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. Entrance fee is due at time of registration.

Whichever team wins this one will have a year's worth of bragging rights.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Local Author Amelia Kimball

Many of us did a fair amount of resisting when it came to reading in high school; when there are parties and pep rallies to attend, reading Chapter 9 of The Grapes of Wrath by the following Monday didn't seem all that fun.

One local teen, however, has gone one better and written a book before her freshman year of college has even begun.

Amelia Kimball of Bloomer--soon to start at UWEC--has a novel out (just published yesterday) about two students who get their mind/personalities switched into each others' bodies and have to figure out how to switch back. The book is called Inside Out.

Amelia will be here in our young adult section Monday evening at 7pm to do some readings from her book and sell/sign copies. Come sit in the YA Cafe' upstairs and meet some up and coming local talent...

Tell a teen!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Canine Companions

Anyone who has been stuck playing fetch long past the time whenAdd Image they felt like it because their dog was just too cute to say 'no' to knows that dogs are happiest when they are busy and with someone they love.

This Thursday afternoon from 2 -3 pm, the library will present locals who work--and live--with very special dogs. The program will be in the basement of City Hall.
You'll meet Kristi, a local guide dog trainer; Dr. Schneider-a guide dog owner; and someone who works at the Chippewa Falls Humane society.

Together they will share their experiences working with dogs on a daily basis. This is a family program-open to any age and registration is not required. The dogs present may not be available for petting, unless otherwise directed by the presenters.

Presenters will speak from 15-20 minutes followed by a Q&A session.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Chippewa Falls Public Library: Kid Safe, Kid Friendly

Summer is upon us and the public library is a popular daytime (and evening) destination for kids looking to keep their minds sharp and spend some time in front of an air conditioning vent.

We welcome children all the year 'round, and especially when we have as many children's programs and events going on as we do during the summer months...

And, even though we try our best to be as fun as we can, we also need to make sure the children who come in the library are safe. This is why, this past spring, the Chippewa Falls Public Library Board of Trustees wisely clarified the library's Unattended Child Policy. You can read the whole thing here.

The policy basically says:

1. Any child under 8 has to be with an adult or sibling of at least 12 years of age.

2.Children 8 or older who come in alone have to behave appropriately in the library or they can be asked to leave; if the behavior is unsafe or destructive, a child's parents or some other authority may be contacted.

3. Parents/guardians/siblings have to directly supervise their children while in the library...ignoring them while using a computer or going off to browse isn't safe, and we will gently remind patrons if we need to.

4. If it looks like a child has been left at closing time, we'll ask if a parent is coming and do our best to get in touch with mom or dad. If we can't get in contact with anyone, we'll call the police and, if this happens, the Department of Children and Families could get involved.

We want to make sure all our patrons, whatever the age, are happy and safe here. We'll need the community's help to make that as certain as we can.

Spread the word to the parents, guardians and big brothers/sisters you know.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Reading Program 2011

Travel is the theme of the Summer Reading Program in 2011, and we invite you to come get your passport at the Chippewa Falls Public Library!

Sign-ups for the children's program (the theme is Read Around the World) begin June 13th--one week from today--and the program runs through July 29th. The program is geared for children from the age of 2 up through the 5th grade. You can look at the full slate of summer reading program events here:

Summer Reading Program 2011 Events

For TEENS, there's READING CAN TAKE YOU PLACES, and teens who complete the Book Bingo are eligible to win great prizes, including bowling passes and restaurant gift certificates. Some readers can also pick new books to continue to feed the love of reading. Reading can truly take one places not just in space, but in time and in the ether of ideas.

NOVEL DESTINATIONS, the adult reading program, is for those adults who have managed tol hold onto their sense of excitement when it comes to the magic of summer...and reading. Adults who read three books over the summer are eligible for a weekly drawing for great prizes redeemable in our community.

So, when you and yours are spending time soaking up as much sun as you can...remember to take some time to soak up a book or two this summer as well.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

They've Got Us "Covered"...

The Chippewa Falls Public Library has its cinder block walls adorned in decently bright and cheery colors but, for the next month or so, we'll have some lovely and even more colorful quilts hanging in the adult reading area in the northwest corner of the building, also known as The Lounge.

The Chippewa County Piecemakers & Beaver Creek Quilters have been kind enough to loan us some of their best-looking quilts to both brighten up the library and to advertise their quilt show, which they'll be having on August 13th and 14th, during Pure Water Days.

The quilts will be displayed up at the Chippewa Falls Area Senior Center, and admission will be $3.00 for a one-day and $4.00 for a two-day pass.

For more information, contact Donna Turbyne (pictured above with her husband) of the Chippewa County Piecemakers at

In Memoriam: Earl R. Melville

In front of the Chippewa Falls Public Library a flagpole stands, and there is a plaque affixed to its base honoring the veterans of the Chippewa Valley.

That plaque was made by Mr. Earl R. Melville, a native and resident of the Chippewa Falls area who just recently passed away.

Mr. Melville's plaques can be found on other landmarks around the city, including the City Hall building and the cannon carriages in Irvine Park, but it is for his lasting contribution to the library that we remember him.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Save the Date! Friends Book Sale Coming Before We Know It!


The Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library will hold their annual book sale on Friday, June 17th and Saturday, June 18th this year. The book sale will be held in a tent in front of the library at 105 West Central St. and will begin at 9am and continue until 3pm on both days.

The Friends expect to do better business than usual in 2011.

“A very nice lady on the West Hill donated thousands of beautiful books to The Friends this year, all at once and all in fantastic shape,” says library director Darryl Eschete. “I think that when the public sees the offerings this year, they’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.”

The books for the sale are either donated by the public over the course of the year or are discards from the library’s collection, Eschete says. The Friends don’t have an exact figure for how many books will be offered this year, but Eschete says it is thousands.

“This is the most books I’ve seen in one of these sales,” says Jan Joas, Treasurer of The Friends. “It’s overwhelming.”

This year, the sale will be part of “Discover Downtown,” a two-day sidewalk sale meant to encourage shoppers to visit the commercial area of downtown Chippewa Falls.
Prices will range from 50 cents for used paperbacks up to five dollars for hardbacks in like-new condition. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library, a non-profit charitable organization that raises money for the library and literacy-related causes in the area.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Catch the Excitement!

When I was a kid I was in Boy Scouts, and I remember working on my "Citizenship in the Community" merit badge. Part of that, as I recall, was to sit in on a local board or council meeting. My grandmother took me to a meeting of the library board of the Scott Township, Pennsylvania library.

I'm not going to lie to you; I remember it as being painfully, skull-crushingly long and dull.

But one lesson I learned is that it's good way to know exactly what is going on with the tax money we pay every time we buy something. We give the government money and we trust them to make good decisions with it. And, if we don't trust them, we can go and keep an eye on them.

That said, the approved minutes of this year's library board meetings are now on the library's website. Find them here:

Library Board Meetings

On that page, you'll see when meetings are scheduled and what has been done at those that have passed.

Tell a scout!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Sale June 17th, 18th--Volunteers Needed!

The Friends of the Library book sale is coming early this year, and volunteers are needed!

People are needed to set up, move boxes, help people carry their items to their cars, etc. If you or someone you know is interested in helping the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library with their book sale, email me, Darryl Eschete, at and I'll forward your interest to the Friends.

Be sure to let me know if you want to work early in the morning; last year, set up began before the sun was up, if memory serves.

All proceeds from the sale benefit the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library, a non-profit group dedicated to supporting the library and other literacy issues in our area. It's really a great cause.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The National Jukebox

The Library of Congress has, for a long time, made digital files of historical recordings available. Up until now, it has been largely hit or miss. Well, we information geeks can now relax. It was pointed out to me today that the Library of Congress has organized its best recordings into a searchable database that it calls National Jukebox.

Some of the thousands of recordings here are downloadable, many aren't. All are available as streaming audio, however, and the wealth of sound here is great for educators and music aficionados alike. The recordings are all from 1929 and earlier, by the way, so don't expect the Beatles.

Take a look!

Just in case you're wondering: Library of Congress Recording: 'On Wisconsin!'

Friday, April 29, 2011

O Captain! My Captain!

A new movie out now--which I have yet to see--dramatizes the travails of Mary Surratt, the sole woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. As I continue to be optimistic about America's intellectual life, I think/hope that we are about to see a resurgence of interest in the Lincoln presidency and assassination and, perhaps, The Civil War and Reconstruction. This year marks the sesquicentennial of The War, after all.

We've set up a display here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library bringing together as much material as we could find in the collection regarding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and we hope you'll come by and browse...If you don't have time and want to learn more about Lincoln, the war that brought him to power, his assassination and the trials that ensued, we've sorted through some good online sources, too.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's Papers at the Library of Congress

The White House's official Lincoln biography. Lincoln

The Assassination

PBS' American Experience: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln--It doesn't get much better than this.

Ohio State University--Thumbnail Biography of John Wilkes Booth

Geoffrey Elliott's Abraham Lincoln Blog--The 145th Anniversary of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

The Trials

The Law Library of Congress has several documents in full-text PDF, all focusing on the trial of Lincoln's assassins.

The University of Missouri at Kansas City's Lincoln Conspiracy Page--huge, fascinating, complete with trial transcripts.

An Analysis of the Proceedings by the University of Pittsburgh's Law School

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cha-Ching Chippewa! 2011

The AARP tax assistance program has crunched the numbers...Those who filed their taxes here at the Chippewa Falls Public Library in 2011 got an average return of $1060.00. The total returns for all those who worked with AARP here total $263,823.00.

The AARP Tax Assistance program is designed for the elderly and low-to-moderate income earners who need some help wading through their income taxes, both state and federal. Be sure to watch this space for announcements regarding next year's tax assistance schedule or check out our website.

By the way, the AARP tax assistance program is all-volunteer. If you or someone you know has any experience preparing taxes or is good with computers, the AARP looks for volunteers and will train those who participate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Second Annual Pure Water Paddlers Exhibit

Above you see Mr. Mark Vincent of Chippewa Falls putting the finishing touches on his (animal-product-free) baidarka, which is now on display here in the library. Mark is a member of the Pure Water Paddlers, a local group of...well, paddlers, who enjoy taking canoes, kayaks and rafts out on the lovely lakes and rivers in this part of the country.

Along with the boat display, we have gathered all the material we could find in our collection on kayaking, canoeing and rafting.

Contact the Paddlers today, if you want to learn more. The link to their website is above, and they have a Facebook page.

MORE Catalog Search: Kayaking in Wisconsin

MORE Catalog Search: Canoeing in Wisconsin

MORE Catalog Search: Build a Boat

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't Panic! You Got an Extension!

The tax deadline is April 18th in 2011, not April 15th, because today is Emancipation Day, and workers in the District of Columbia have today off.

The Chippewa Falls Public Library has the tax forms you need, both state and federal, and you can pick them up tomorrow until 4:30. We're closed Sunday, though, so I thought I'd better let you know in case you were thinking about waiting until then to get your forms.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Space Needed...Tell A Friend About A Unique Charity Opportunity

I've gotten some questions about this, and I've decided to re-word it so that the intent is clearer. The Friends aren't looking to have a building donated to them...they just need the space for a while. So, let's try again:

Do you or does someone you know have some extra space in a storage unit or building that could be temporarily used until mid-June by the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Library, a 501(c)3 organization ? You may be able to deduct rent as a donation “in kind.”

Space is sorely needed for the storage and sorting necessary for the annual book sale, to begin June 17th.

Email me at if you can help and I'll pass the information on to the Friends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Volunteer Week 2011

It's National Volunteer Week this week and the Chippewa Falls Public Library, like most libraries, has several volunteers who help us keep running. In fact, we have more volunteers, at times, than we have projects for them to work on. Our regular volunteers, however, have regular niches in which they work, show up consistently, work hard and are pretty uplifting presences, every one. I'd like to recognize some of our stalwarts here in this blog entry.

Lucas Endres--The library's resident computer expert, Lucas comes in for several hours per week to work on our computers and computing issues. He is a de facto member of the staff in many ways and never disappoints when it's time to keep the eLibrary alive.

Matt Lyberg--We check thousands of DVDs out each week. The cases lock and unlock for the protection of the material inside. Double checking the discs inside and messing with the locks is, from what I've seen, tedious and time consuming. Each Tuesday and Friday, Mr. Lyberg comes in and takes care of the DVDs--locking and shelving--to keep our most popular commodity moving smoothly in and out.

Beverly Michels--Ms. Michels comes in on Wednesdays to straighten the break room and shelve Young Adult books. She's been doing this for years and we really notice when she is out.

Jean Liedl--Recently moved to the area and shelves books on days when the staff is overwhelmed. Loves the library and really bends her back to the task; we appreciate her contribution.

Kaitlyn Kampion--Ms. Kampion is a high school student who helps out with storytime preparation and other craft and repair projects in the children's department. An upbeat young lady with a forthright manner and the work ethic of a sure future success.

Judy Monarski--Ms. Monarski shelves and straightens and is always willing to do the extra tasks we can't get to. She is an asset indeed.

Karen Grothe--Ms. Grothe was employed by the library for years and retired in 2010. She still comes in to use her still-sharp skills on her own time to keep the library running the best it can.

Sue Elstran--If a book gets damaged enough to be noticeable but is in good enough shape to be used again, we repair it. Ms. Elstran has the skills to mix the glues, bind the spines and press the pages. Her efforts over the years have surely saved the library thousands of dollars.

To these volunteers and any I have let slip my mind: THANK YOU. Thank you so much. You make the library a better place, truly.

We have had other volunteers come and go over the years and applications still arrive regularly. If you or anyone you know is interested in doing some volunteering, contact our volunteer coordinators, Sue Rada & Joe Niese.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Library Event

We had a good turnout tonight, and the music was phenomenal. Honest, clear, bright, a good feeling to it.

Thank you to the Friends of the Chippewa Falls Public Library and to all who showed up. Oh! And thanks to the musicians, too.

National Library Week: NPR'S Blogger Gets It

Check out this great blog entry by National Public Radio blogger Linda Holmes. She really seems to understand what public libraries are about and what we're trying to do.

The Library Card As A Pop-Culture Fiend's Ticket To Geek Paradise

In that blog she writes this insightful tidbit:

"The point I'm trying to make is that as a pop-culture-adjacent person, you may think that public libraries are not particularly relevant to you. But I felt like since we've talked about movie pricing, e-book pricing, and a lot of other business models, it was only fair to bring to your attention my experience with this bizarre business model that's so crazy it just might work."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Visual Poetry: Judging Underway

Above you see local photography expert/photo contest judge Drew Kaiser and our own Librarian to the Stars Joe Niese discussing most earnestly the photographs entered by Chippewa County teens into our Visual Poetry Photography Contest. The results of the judging will be posted here. The winner will receive a certificate, a free Take and Bake Pizza from Papa Murphy's and the right to note the win on their college entrance forms.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Visual Poetry Photo Contest Entries

Below you'll see the entries in our Visual Poetry photography contest. All the photos are original creations of Chippewa County's very talented teens and tweens.
The slide show below shows the titles of the photos and their creators. The photos will be judged by Drew Kaiser of Iris Photographics in Eau Claire. Mr. Kaiser's work has been featured in Rolling Stone and other magazines. I do not envy him the task.

Click here to see the photographs in an album. Click on an image you like to see it larger and to see the name of the creator.

Resume' Seminar: Save the Date!

Press Release

Free Resume Seminar on May 4

Chippewa Falls, Wis. – (April 7, 2011) – A free resume and cover letter seminar will be held at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, 105 West Central Street, on Wednesday, May 4, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in the large meeting room.

The seminar is being led by Tim Solinger, owner and operator of Great Impressions Resume & Career Services, LLC. The seminar will consist of a presentation on effective resume and cover letter practices and tips followed by a question-and-answer period.

Solinger holds the Certified Professional Resume Writer credential, and he is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches and the Career Masters Institute.

Pre-registration is requested and space is limited to thirty.

To pre-register or for more information, click here or contact the Chippewa Falls Public Library at (715) 723-1146.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

National Library Week is Coming!

Next week is National Library Week, and this year's theme is "Create Your Own Story@ Your Library." Many, many libraries have some sort of fine forgiveness during this week and people appreciate it. We're going to do this, too, but we've decided to ask something in return.

These days, a big part of the average person's "story" is told through social media such as Facebook and blogs. So, we're asking our patrons to do things like "Like" us on Facebook and Follow this blog. A study I read recently by Penn State's Wharton School of Business found that there is a real correlation between a nonprofit's Facebook popularity and its viability. So, in order to make the Chippewa Falls Public Library more visible during National Library Week, we're offering up to $3.00 off the fines (on Chippewa items only) of any patron who:

1. Likes the Chippewa Falls Public Library on Facebook (this means you'll get our updates and others will see what high regard you hold the library in)

2. Officially follows this Blog--just click Follow on the right

3. Says something nice about the Chippewa Falls Public Library in a Twitter feed

Earn an extra dollar off by doing all three things OR by posting a picture of yourself at the library (with a good caption) on your Facebook page!

All you have to do after you do 1, 2 or 3 is send an email to with the Subject line "Facebook," "Blog" or "Tweet".

In the body of the email, just include your first and last name, library card number and the screen name you used. If you post a picture of yourself in the library or put out a Tweet, include a link to it!

That's it! We'll take care of the rest!

And, for those who don't use social media:

If your total fines are eight dollars or less--most Chippewa patrons who have fines only have between 10 ¢ and $2.00--you just have to check out 10 or more items between the 11th and 16th to have up to $3.00 worth of the fines removed. Be sure to return them on time so we don't have to forgive you again next year, huh?

And if you don't have any fines and decide to do one of these things anyway, you'll be entered in our PATRON OF THE MILLENNIUM contest. If you win, your picture will be framed and hung in the lobby with the words "Chippewa Falls Public Library Patron of the MILLENNIUM!" under it.

Tell a friend! This offer expires on April 16th!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Is National Poetry Month!

"Let me surrender with a rhyme
My long and lovely lease of time;
Let me be grateful for the gift
To couple words in lyric lift;
Let me song-build with humble hod,
My last brick dedicate to God. "

--From Rhyme Builder, by Robert Service.

I love the poetry of Robert Service. His story poems are, by poetry standards, pretty macho stuff and sometimes downright politically incorrect. He wrote about war, binge drinking, climbing mountains, hunting, arguments settled with pistols. His poems were lilting, simple and to-the-point, often melodramatic. I spent several weeks of my sixth grade school year lying on my grandmother's floor and reading poems about World War One in Service's Rhymes of a Red Cross Man.

Poetry is that way, though. A sort can be found for all types of people. There is romantic poetry for the lover, funny poetry for the mirthful, sad poetry for emo kids. There are even some poets who specialized in horror writing. Poetry, they say, evokes emotion easier that prose, and I believe it. Anyone who can read "Gunga Din" all the way to the end without choking up just a LITTLE is tougher than I am.

I just recently learned to run circulation reports, meaning that I can see what checks out and what doesn't. It's sad to say, but poetry seems simply to not be very popular anymore. There aren't Robert Frosts or Carl Sandburgs visiting talk shows or doing appearances on BookTV, and poetry has a bit of a bad reputation as being the pursuit of cultural elitists... But poetry isn't completely passe' yet; America still has a poet laureate and newspapers still run poetry contests occasionally. But the light is a bit dimmer than it once was.

So, this month, consider reading or writing some poetry. The Chippewa Falls Public Library has a fine collection of poetry, new and old, and the MORE system has, well...more!

Here are some quick links:

American Poetry, Many Types


Within those two links, one can follow other links all over the face of the subject. Also, be sure to tell a student or teacher about the Library of Congress' Poetry 180 Project. It's an effort to get English students to read a poem per day throughout the school year.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How Much is The Library Worth?

If you use the library, you're getting your money's worth. If you're curious about just how much it's worth, you can find out.

Chippewa Falls Public Library Value Calculator

If you go to the above link, all you have to do is enter how many times in the past week, month or year you did each library-related activity, and you'll see about how much it's really worth to you. The results are based on the approximate market value of each item (book, movie rental, children's theater ticket, etc.)

Take a look. You may be surprised.

AARP: One Month Progress

John Spaeth, area coordinator for AARP's tax assistance program, just popped into my office a second ago and told me in his enthusiastic way that between February 2 and March 6, they processed 204 returns and got the people of this area about $141,000 worth of tax returns.

The AARP volunteers get training to help people find the deductions, exemptions, etc. they may not know about and do their best to help people get them. Mr. Spaeth emphasized that not everyone will get a return--some people DO have to pay--but if a return is due, they try their best to find it.

By the way, the help is free, though they do accept donations from the grateful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

FAQ: Governor's Budget Bill & Libraries

The library staff and I have been getting quite a few questions about what the new budget bill will mean for the Chippewa Falls Public Library. I have been trying to wait a while so that no one could accuse me of being unduly alarmist, but when I was asked this past Saturday by a local gentleman if the budget meant the library's membership in MORE was going to be cut, I told him I doubted it but that everything, frankly, was on the table if things got tight enough.

His advice was to make sure the public was warned and informed so that they weren't caught off guard by any changes.

So, I'll try to answer a few of those Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here:

If Passed, What Does the New Budget Have in Store For Wisconsin’s Public Libraries?

Not much is known just yet. The budget bill recommends the elimination of maintenance of effort funding requirements for belonging to a library system and a 10% cut to the budget of the Department of Public Instruction, the state agency that oversees public libraries and Badgerlink. The budget bill calls for a 10% cut to Badgerlink as well.

What does “Maintenance of Effort” mean?

Maintenance of effort has been a legal requirement for libraries that belong to a library system. The Chippewa Falls Public Library, for instance, belongs to the Indianhead Federated Library System, which administers MORE. The requirement states that a municipality must fund a library at a level that is at least the average of the past three years.

Theoretically, this keeps libraries from being unduly targeted for cuts during sudden power shifts in local government or economic downturns and ensures that libraries in a consortium all contribute a fair share without relying too much on other communities.

So far, Act 150 requirements have been left intact. Act 150 requires that counties pay municipalities for the library service rendered to those living in areas without libraries at about 70% of the actual value of the transactions. In other words, Act 150 requires that Chippewa County reimburse the City of Chippewa Falls (or Bloomer or Cadott) 70% of what it costs the city to provide library service to someone living somewhere like Jim Falls or Eagle Point.

What Could Cuts Mean For The Chippewa Falls Public Library?

The City of Chippewa Falls values its library and knows library service needs to be maintained. However, if the new budget entails large cuts to municipal aid, then the entire city government will need to spend that much less. Changes to services could be possible, depending on the changes in the budget.

No matter what, we will do our very best to avoid any inconvenient changes to or interruptions in service.

How Much Money Does it Take to Run the Chippewa Falls Public Library?

The library budget for 2011 is just over $1 million. Of that, salaries and benefits make up about 74% of the expenditures. The rest is operational, including purchase of books, CDs, magazine subscriptions, databases, MORE membership, utility bills and building upkeep.

Who Oversees the Library?

The library's daily operation is overseen by me, the library director. As a department of the City of Chippewa Falls, the library has a Board of Trustees made up of seven people appointed by the Mayor. The board oversees and has final say over the usage of the budget and monitors the administrative competence of the director.

Because the library receives a sizable amount its budget from the County of Chippewa, we also have two board members from adjacent communities in the County nominated by the County Board Chairperson who report, as needed, to the County Board.

What Can I Do to Speak Up For My Library?

Communicate with government. Let your state legislators and local representatives at the county and city level know that you care about your library, use it and want it to be a funding priority, even in a lean year.