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!