Thursday, September 29, 2011



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wausau Room, Marathon Co. Public Library

300 N. First Street, Wausau, WI

9:00 – 9:30 AM Coffee and conversation

9:30 – 11:00 AM WVLS Youth Services Annual Grassroots Meeting

11:00 AM to noon – Ability Awareness Training presented by Shari Brunes, Midstate Independent Living Consultants. Increase your understanding of ability awareness, assistive devices, technology, and local/state resources for library patrons of all ages.

Noon – 1:30 PM: Lunch on your own

1:30 – 3:30 PM Marion Dane Bauer presents “The Power of Story” Bauer is a remarkably prolific author who has received critical acclaim for her ability to step inside the viewpoint of a child, any child or young adult, in a wide variety of circumstances. She has written fiction and nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, young adult novels, writing guides, and much more; she has also contributed stories and articles for periodicals aimed at young people as well as teachers and librarians. Her best-selling novel On My Honor was named a Newbery Honor Book, one of countless awards and citations Bauer has received for her work over the years.

Please RSVP to Kris Adams Wendt 


Young writers and their families are invited to join Marion Dane Bauer at 6:30 PM on October 25 
for a family presentation
“My Story, Your Story: Creating Stories Together.”

John Muir Middle School Auditorium
1400 Stewart Ave, Wausau

A free journal will be distributed to the first 200 young writers attending the event, courtesy of the Marathon County Public Library.

Book sales/signing at afternoon and evening programs provided by Janke Book Store.

Co-sponsored by Wisconsin Valley Library Service, Marathon Co. Public Library and Wausau School District.

Friday, September 23, 2011

ALA Director Keith Fiels At T. B. Scott Free Library October 1, 2011

ALA Director Keith Fiels Highlights Library Volunteer Reception

The public is invited to T.B. Scott Free Library from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 for the annual Volunteer & Library Supporter Appreciation Reception in the library’s Community Room.

Refreshments will be served, compliments of the library’s Endowment Fund.

Library volunteers will be acknowledged at the program, but all library supporters are welcome, including library patrons, taxpayers, library board members, and local government officials.

At 2:30 p.m., American Library Association Executive Director Keith Fiels of Chicago, who has written books on the future of libraries and strategies for library supporters, will give a presentation based on his article “12 Ways Libraries Are Good For The Country.”

Fiels’ talk will explore the many ways in which libraries can make a difference.  From #1, Inform Citizens, to #3, Level The Playing Field, to #10, Offend Everyone, to #12, Preserve The Past, he will make you think about what libraries have meant to America, and what they can be in the future.

T.B. Scott Library volunteers have given about 1,000 hours of their time to the library every year, helping out the Youth Services department, keeping books in order through the Adopt-A-Shelf program, indexing obituaries, maintaining the library’s scrapbook, and helping staff with other projects.

Saturday’s program is also part of the library’s year-long celebration of the centennial of the opening of the historic Carnegie building to the public in August, 1911.

Contact the library at 536.7191 with any questions about Saturday’s program.
(Stacy Stevens, Director - T.B. Scott Free Library)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Free Webinar to Help Job Seekers

Join us for a free webinar!

September 21, 2011 2:00 p.m. EST
"Finding Available Jobs & Internships: Target Your Search!"
With Career Management Expert Heather Huhman

Today's job market is undoubtedly competitive. Learn how to stand out in the sea of competitors, and land jobs and internships with Heather's expert strategies!
The expert tips and tricks Heather covers in this special presentation will help job seekers get hired.
You'll learn:
  • How to create a successful job search plan
  • Where job seekers should really focus their efforts
  • The best way to connect with target companies
  • And much more!
Don’t miss this chance to help your patrons and students work towards their goals!

Please send your questions, comments and feedback on the webinar series to:  
*After registering you will receive a confirmation email from containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited!

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

The Job & Career Accelerator™ team at LearningExpress, LLC
The Fast Track to Getting Hired!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

“Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” — Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education

“Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read” has been observed since 1982 as a reminder to Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year's event is September 24 - October 1.

Censorship is a red flag word for librarians and members of the other professions represented by the Banned Books Week co-sponsoring organizations listed below. In a democratic society it is our job to make different types of literature and information covering the widest possible range of viewpoints on different subjects available to the general public.

Reading, thinking, and voting citizens are expected to consider available information and make choices. As Dolly Parton once said, “I don’t need advice. I need information. I’ll make up my own mind.”

Everyone has opinions. No two people think exactly alike nor are required to do so. Under the US Constitution, the viewpoint of a particular person or group cannot be forced on all the other persons in society. No one has the right to say, “Nobody else can read this just because I say so.”

Book banning promotes the thought that different ideas and the people who believe in them are to be feared and eliminated. While a tolerant attitude is difficult to maintain when viewing, reading or hearing something that makes one’s toes curl, the concept is essential to guarding a place for our own ideas.

One of the reasons librarians have long been vigorous protectors of the first amendment right to intellectual freedom is because there is no universal agreement among library borrowers on what is objectionable. Throughout the history of libraries, almost every classic work of literature has been objected to at one time or another, including the Bible.

A library does not function as a controlled information source presenting only sanitized or “safe” ideas. Guided by a thorough book selection policy, librarians purposely seek to challenge readers with choices along a broad spectrum of human thought and experience.

If someone thinks a particular book is absolutely the worst thing printed since Gutenberg cranked up the first press, librarians will defend both his right to hold that opinion and express it. However, if the same person goes on to demand that book be permanently banned from library shelves, then he is treading on the constitutional toes of others who have an equal right to make choices, read and form opinions of their own.

Who knows, but that the next person to check out that same book might think it’s the best thing she ever read? Next Person might also be of the opinion that the ideas held most near and dear to First Person should be erased off the face of the earth and take steps of her own!

When books are challenged, restricted, removed or banned we all lose part of our birthright as American citizens in the resulting atmosphere of suppression. An author may make revisions, less for artistic reasons than to avoid controversy. The editor and publisher may alter text or elect not to publish for economic or marketing reasons. Staff in bookstores and libraries may find published works too controversial and choose not to purchase those materials for fear of reprisal. Unexpressed ideas, unpublished works, and unpurchased books are lost forever.

All of which is why librarians think it is better to add viewpoints to a public collection of books rather than subtract any. There are as many ways of looking at the world as there are grains of sand on a beach. Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone was the same? Wouldn’t it be frightening if everyone was forced to read and think as though they were?

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors. An ALA press release with links to websites of organizations listed above is here.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events, Ideas and Resources, and the new Banned Books Week site. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or

Monday, September 12, 2011

NOW WHAT? Life after MOE/MOMS and Local Relationship Building

Thanks to successful lobbying by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, maintenance of a three year average funding for public libraries (MOE) is no longer a condition for maintenance of membership support (MOMS). What we have come to think of as MOE/MOMS is gone.

The ability of DPI/DLTCL and individual systems to hold loss of system membership and system services over the heads of our local elected at budget time as incentive for doing the right thing by their libraries is also gone. The likelihood that MOE/MOMS will be restored to state statutes any time soon could make the Labors of Hercules look like blowing dandelion fluff.

The next two years are uncharted territory. Towns, cities, villages and counties are operating under a 2% levy limit cap. Shared revenue and road aids have been reduced. There are many aspects of the 2011-2013 state budget that will impact local expenditures in ways yet to be determined.

Library relationships with funding bodies will not be well served in the long term by threats of DPI/DLTCL and system sanctions, even if that was possible. There is value in working through this next year with a non-combative “we’re all in this together” attitude, allowing plenty of room for everybody to do their best under unique conditions.

Because local politics overlay the decisions made by municipal officials dealing with the fiscal here and now, there is potential for focused influence by citizens who need, appreciate, and depend upon services provided by their local public library. If the impetus to eliminate MOE/MOMS truly percolated up to League leadership from the front line ranks of municipal officials, then the key to changing that organizational dynamic rests with individual efforts of trustees, friends and librarians city by city, town by town, and county by county.

If MOE/MOMS has been the centerpiece, the Do Not Cross Line if you will of annual discussions between the director of the AnyTown Public Library and AnyTown Council members, then that director and library board may very well anticipate serious difficulties negotiating the 2012 budget now that the yellow tape has been ripped down. “Maintain this or we will lose that” will need to be replaced with a more comprehensive approach focused on the way library services change people’s lives in AnyTown on a daily basis.

Most Wisconsin public libraries have already been actively engaged in relationship building with the elected local officials who hold sway over their budgets, by showcasing the success stories of citizen library advocates alongside program publicity and statistics as part of their annual presentations. It’s time to step it up a notch.

As the state budget process unfolded earlier this year, library community advocacy efforts to save MOE/MOMS directed at state legislators also raised the consciousness of community advocates, who can now be redirected to pay attention to budget decisions made by officials at the local level. These citizen advocates should be asking: “We lost the MOE/MOMS fight in Madison; will our municipal council and board members now take advantage of that loss and to what degree?”

Having familiar trusted faces in the audience to speak up for libraries during monthly municipal meetings as well as budget hearings can make a tremendous difference. But it’s the informal conversations that are the most effective. Local lobbying is built on pre-existing relationships between library supporters and elected officials forged in neighborhoods and workplaces, Legion halls and beauty parlors, golf courses and bowling alleys, coffee and bridge clubs, church and civic organizations.

Each community is different; the keys to success for one library will not fit the strongbox locks in the community down the road. Networking citizen supporters is crucial to successful library advocacy in any year under any circumstances. For starters, check out these timely suggestions from WLA Legislative Committee chair Paul Nelson.

Libraries: A Renewable Resource - 2011 WLA Conference

 Libraries: A Renewable Resource

The 2011 WLA Conference is a Chance to Renew YOU!

You work hard, and you deserve a chance to recharge your batteries! Renew YOU by participating in the WLA Annual Conference, Libraries: A Renewable Resource, November 1-4, in Downtown Milwaukee.  Conference features include:

·         Dozens of breakout sessions to refresh your perspective, plant new ideas, solve problems

·         Exhibitors to share the latest products and services your library users need

·         Keynote speakers to make you think, create, laugh and learn

·         Receptions, parties, tours and awards to help you relax and renew your energy

Register by October 3 to get the best registration rates and a chance to win a free registration!

            Here’s what past conference attendees say:

“Always worth the time and expense away from my desk.”

“My first WLA conference, very high quality compared to those in other states I have attended. J

“I have never attended a WLA Conference that wasn’t top notch.”

To learn more about the conference, including hotel accommodations and registration, go to Or, contact the WLA office at (608) 245-3640.

See you November 1-4  at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and Frontier Airlines Center!
Contact: Brigitte Rupp Vacha, Conference Committee Liaison, or Lisa Strand, WLA Executive Director, or (608) 245-3640

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

"Human kind cannot bear very much reality." -- T.S. Eliot

A decade has passed since live television broadcast of the second plane striking the south tower reduced a nation to numb incredulity and wounded our collective imaginations in unprecedented ways. That instant became the defining image of the new century.

There was no television at the library that morning. I streamed National Public Radio coverage off my desk computer, imagining horrible scenes cast against the fictional movie backdrop of “Towering Inferno.” When I finally viewed the real thing on CNN at lunch time it turned my insides to water.

The images defied verisimilitude, the mind disconnected. I’d only visited NYC once, as member of a church youth group tour in1969, three to four years before the World Trade Center towers were completed. Surely Godzilla would emerge from that rolling cloud of debris chasing New Yorkers down the street after the WTC towers collapsed. But it wasn’t a budget flick. It was real.

Events acquired a face when I received an email from a close friend. On that Tuesday morning, Sherry was walking along the fence enclosing the White House grounds on her way to the Commerce Department from her office building within the two block extended security zone.

When she reached LaFayette Square in front of the executive mansion, people suddenly began pouring out of its doors and from adjacent buildings like gerbils out of a shoebox. Secret Service agents armed with automatic weapons ran through the square yelling at everyone to evacuate the area. Additional heavily armed guards and anti-aircraft weapons appeared on the White House roof.

Sherry stood open-mouthed, momentarily transfixed by the scene around her until one of the agents shouted in her face, “What are you – stupid??!! RUN!!!” As she turned and sprinted down a side street a fighter plane flew over at a low altitude, scaring her witless. She made it back to her office by a circuitous route just in time to learn the building was being evacuated. Her eleven mile drive home to Maryland took two hours.

The last shred of protective detachment I’d been able to maintain as a shield against reality shattered as I read my friend’s message and realized what might have happened to her. Then I thought of the friends and family of the thousands who were injured, killed or missing – many of them simply blown to bits – and burst into tears.

Local author Vicki Houston was scheduled to be the featured speaker at the Rhinelander District Library’s first author series program the evening of September 11. We debated whether to cancel as the day wore on, finally deciding to go ahead out of the conviction that those who would come needed a touchstone of normalcy in a country turned upside down.

There were rumors of panic lines at gas stations as I phoned radio stations to confirm the program would be held. An angry call from an anonymous someone who labeled our decision disrespectful and dangerous added to the general tension. Hyper-vigilant, I kept an eye on two unfamiliar roughhewn men in the back of the room, only to learn during the question and answer period that they were fishermen, fans of Houston’s mysteries.

The forty-five people who attended observed a few moments of silence in sympathy with the victims’ families, as well as in recognition of our freedom to assemble, speak our minds and read what we choose. Our democracy rests upon a foundation that includes the free exchange of ideas without fear of reprisal. Libraries are an important part of that and not allowing the terrorist acts we had witnessed to shut our doors that night represented a small act of defiant patriotism.

Thousands of books have been published about 9-11. New information and opinions about events leading up to that day and its aftermath still swirl around us like gray ash floating out of the New York sky.

Among our freedoms is the ability to ask questions, check facts, and challenge the slogans we hear over and over again. Information and reason are key weapons in the arsenal against terror. Knowledge triumphs over fearful imagination. Librarians are the arbiters of knowledge and purveyors of the power it provides.

The Washington Post: New books about 9-11

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wisconsin Library eBook Checkouts Go Over 1,000,000

Wisconsin Library eBook Checkouts go over 1,000,000 

Congratulations to the L.D. Fargo Public Library in Lake Mills for having the 1,000,000th digital checkout from the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium Digital Download Center

The Digital Download Center is a collection of audiobooks, e-texts, music and video distributed through OverDrive, which is available to all library patrons in Wisconsin through the cooperative efforts of the state's 17 library systems. Library patrons have used the service more and more each year since the collection was formed in 2005.

How library eBooks work:
Library users with a valid library card are able to download eBooks directly to their mobile eBook readers and MP3 players, in addition to downloading to their computers. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees. 

About the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium:
The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) was created in 2000 among Wisconsin public libraries and Wisconsin public library systems to provide all Wisconsin citizens with access to a collection of electronically published materials which they may access from home, work or school or from any library in the Consortium.

About OverDrive:
OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video. It delivers secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers serving millions of end users. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.  

Patron comments:
"My tax payer dollars at work and I APPRECIATE it"-- Cathy, from Waukesha

"Be able to check and read books without ever leaving home. How cool is that??"--Paula, from Prairie du Sac

" I love using  your system." Carol, from Richland Center

" Overdrive is such a wonderful feature....I love it!!!" Angie, from Brown County
(WPLC Press Release, August 2011)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Science Kits For Public Libraries Grant From IEEE

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Chicago Section is pleased to announce the creation of the IEEE Science Kits for Public Libraries Grant. This Grant is made possible through the generous support of the IEEE Foundation and the IEEE Life Members Committee.

The Grant will provide funding to up to 20 public libraries for the development of math and science collections for pre-university students (K-12) through the creation of science kits - especially kits that provide prepared experiments for use by students and educators including parents, teachers, club leaders, and/or librarians.

At this time the grant is only open to libraries located in the territory of IEEE-Region 4 (Midwest including all or parts of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin).

For more information, I invite you to review the attached press release, visit the website: (, and/or email me at

(Amy E. Killebrew IEEE Science Kits for Public Libraries)