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The MCPL Blog: Articles by Ralph Illick

The Top 5 Questions People Ask MCPL Staff

Ralph Illick, Library Director

March 27, 2019

Each year, libraries across the country take some time in April to highlight “the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities,” as the American Library Association’s website notes. Specifically, April 7–13 is National Library Week, and April 9 is National Library Workers Day. While the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) doesn’t have events specifically planned to celebrate the week, one look at our jam-packed events calendar will give you a sense of the unique programming our nine library locations offer throughout the year to engage and connect children, teens, working adults, retirees and more. We don’t want to pat...

Libraries

Director’s Report

Ralph Illick with US flag

December 20, 2018

Good news! The much anticipated interior renovations are now only months away. Soon, we will review proposals from library design firms to refurbish our headquarters and branches. We want to give all of our locations a makeover, while also looking at potential technology upgrades to ensure the very best possible public service to our communities. The Planning and Visioning Project that was completed in 2016 will be used by the design firm as a guide to ensure that the upgrades are comprehensive and relevant. We are very fortunate that our Marathon County Public Library Foundation has agreed to help with this project, and we are all thrilled to see this new chapter at MCPL come to fruition. Also, soon you...

Director's Report Newsletter Facility Improvement

Request for Proposal: Interior Renovations

MCPL Wausau Headquarters

December 17, 2018

The Marathon County Public Library solicits qualified architectural and design firms to submit proposals for interior renovations at its Wausau Headquarters and branch libraries.  Proposals are due for submission to the Marathon County Public Library, 300 North First St., Wausau, WI, 54403, attention Library Director Ralph Illick, by 2:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Further submission details are provided below. Documents: REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) Supplement: Engberg Anderson: Final Report Supplement: Engberg Anderson: Appendices Addendum #1 Addendum #2

Facility Improvement

Director’s Report

Ralph Illick with US flag

August 20, 2018

As children head back to school and the summer days begin to wane, the Marathon County Public Library will be undergoing some much-needed changes! We will be replacing the carpeting in our main library Children’s Department after having endured a sudden break in a water supply line in the dark of night. This unfortunate event was managed and mitigated admirably by the Marathon County Facilities and Capital Management Department, and they have our gratitude for helping to make a potentially bad situation little more than an inconvenience.  We also will be replacing many of the library’s 22+ years old public furnishings. Our intention is to better use our available space, as well as improve your...

Newsletter Director's Report Facility Improvement

Director's Report

Ralph Illick with US flag

March 14, 2018

There is a lot going on at your library! The Friends of the Library have moved into their new digs in the old bookmobile garage, and their first book sale was a huge success. The Friends made the transition very smoothly, and we look forward to their being able to enjoy the new room for years to come as they raise money to help the library provide its programs.  On another note, the LENA Project will be gearing up in February and March of this year. The library will be hosting and facilitating this important community collaboration designed to help parents of children aged birth to three years old with the critical brain development that centers around language. There are multiple community...

Director's Report Friends Of The Library LENA Children Book Sale Community Facility Improvement Uniform Addressing

Director's Report

Ralph Illick with US flag

August 15, 2017

I hope that all of our readers have enjoyed this pleasant, temperate summer season. We have seen a lot of changes at MCPL, and I would like to share some news about more changes you will see in the near future.  To begin, we have been using the new Wausau Community Room on the second floor of our Wausau Headquarters, and the public loves it! There is easy access via stairs or elevator, and the reviews have been very positive. If you have the need for a meeting of your nonprofit group or club, please consider using this meeting room for your next gathering of twenty or more people. Remember that all meetings at the library must be open to the public. Next, I am deeply saddened to announce that our...

Director's Report Friends Of The Library Library Branches Meeting Rooms Facility Improvement

Director’s Report

Ralph Illick

January 9, 2017

I should take this opportunity to shoulder the blame for December’s polar vortex and extreme cold. Foolishly, I was complaining only two weeks earlier about being shortchanged by the temperate weather we had thus far enjoyed. Please know that I have learned my lesson, and will hereafter avoid any such future musings.  With the onset of our much more recognizable seasonal weather, I hope you and yours enjoy a happy and healthy New Year.  Here at MCPL, we are well underway with renovations in the basement garage and on the second floor. The new book sale room for the Friends of the Marathon County Public Library will be completed later in January, providing a new and dynamic space for the Friends...

Director's Report Newsletter Facility Improvement

Director’s Report

Ralph Illick

August 31, 2016

We have so much going on at the Marathon County Public Library! We recently have learned that the third floor of the main library will not meet the code restrictions to allow for the Children’s Museum of Marathon County to reside there. A comprehensive engineering study confirmed that the amount of renovation required for the floor to meet codes for a museum would be exorbitant and unrealistic. This is most unfortunate, as we see a tremendous opportunity for partnering with the children’s museum to bring STEM programming to all the county’s residents. The children’s museum group will continue to seek a viable location for their project, and we will continue to support those efforts. We look forward to...

Newsletter Director's Report Children Facility Improvement

Library will not host Children's Museum due to structural limitations

Children's Museum logo

July 17, 2016

With great disappointment, today I announce that the Marathon County Public Library will no longer seek to host the Children’s Museum of Marathon County (CMMC) on its third floor. The final report on the weight capacity for the third floor has been completed by FEH Design, and their conclusions for required revisions are too costly to support having a museum occupy that space. This is most unfortunate, as the partnership between the library and CMMC was full of great potential for providing hands on STEM focused and educational experiences throughout our county. Although we will no longer be co-located, we share the desire to bring a new level of interactive and fun learning to our community. The CMMC will...

Children Director's Report Community

Director’s Report

Ralph Illick

December 15, 2015

As we reflect on the past year, we have so much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to here at MCPL. During the past several months, we have had the architectural firm Engberg Anderson working with us on planning and visioning the future of your library. This has been an exciting project that allowed us to listen to our public, our staff, and our partners in the community. I am very pleased with the results of their study, and I look forward to implementing many of their suggestions as our board prioritizes their findings. I am also especially pleased to report the partnership we are building with the Children’s Museum of Marathon County, a well-organized non-profit organization that has...

Newsletter Children Director's Report Facility Improvement

Planning and Visioning

sun rising over Earth from space

August 24, 2015

A letter to our friends and neighbors about our Planning and Visioning from the Library Director Over the coming weeks we will be hosting listening sessions at the main library in downtown Wausau. These sessions will be conducted by Engberg Anderson, an architectural firm based out of Milwaukee that specializes in libraries. We want to learn how we may best serve the public during the next ten years to ensure that your library is relevant and useful to you. They will solicit your ideas about services, facilities, and resources that you want to see at your library. Please take a moment if you can, and attend a session or write down your thoughts so that we may collect them and then implement those...

Director's Report Facility Improvement

Planning and Visioning

August 24, 2015

A letter to our friends and neighbors about our Planning and Visioning  from the Library Director Over the coming weeks we will be hosting listening sessions at the main library in downtown Wausau. These sessions will be conducted by Engberg Anderson, an architectural firm based out of Milwaukee that specializes in libraries. We want to learn how we may best serve the public during the next ten years to ensure that your library is relevant and useful to you. They will solicit your ideas about services, facilities, and resources that you want to see at your library. Please take a moment if you can, and attend a session or write down your thoughts so that we may collect them and then implement those...

Libraries Facility Improvement

Director’s notes

Ralph Illick

January 20, 2014

We’ve had a very busy year here at the library, and it has been a pleasure for all of us at MCPL to serve the community. As we move into 2014, I want to wish everyone a happy and safe winter season with friends and family. I would like to personally thank all of those who work here, as well as the countless volunteers, members of the Friends of the Marathon County Public Library, and the MCPL Foundation for their tireless efforts to make this library such a wonderful asset to Marathon County. This fall we asked you to help us to better serve you by answering a survey about the services we provide. Those responses have given us great input for furthering our mission to connect people with information, ideas...

Newsletter Director's Report Facility Improvement

Director's Report

November 16, 2012

So ends another beautiful Central Wisconsin summer. We at the Marathon County Public Library want to wish everyone a safe, warm winter and holiday season. We will continue to offer a wide range of programming for all ages at all of our locations, so be sure to regularly check our website for updates as you continue your journey of lifelong learning. We are in the process of modernizing our branch locations and updating the collection throughout the organization. If you are looking for items that you do not see available, please let a staff member know so that we can get you what you need. Remember that we have various resources located throughout the county,...

Director's Report Newsletter Facility Improvement

Summer Greetings from Your Library!

May 22, 2012

It’s that time of year again! While we are all making our plans to enjoy a beautiful Wisconsin summer, I invite everyone to visit the library for plenty of fun learning adventures!   We will be continuing our ever-popular Summer Reading Program at all nine MCPL locations, featuring events and reading encouragement for children (through 5th grade) and teens (grades 6-12).   It’s easy to get started with summer activities such as travel, home repair and remodeling, outdoor sports and recreation, or reading a paperback novel. Just check out the resources at your local library!   Don’t forget that we have many online tools to make your life easier. For...

Newsletter Summer Library Program

Change is Good...

woman reading e-reader

January 11, 2012

Change is good. We hear this mantra often, but is it really good? The late Carl Sagan would likely remind us that change is the only constant in the universe, so we might do well to accept change if we hope to keep our personal world balanced. On that note, we will be making some very healthy changes at the Marathon County Public Library this year, and we believe that those changes are going to help us to help you get the very best use from your libraries. Many of you are migrating to smaller information devices such as notepads, Nooks, Kindles, and similar handheld units. Remember to make use of our Overdrive digital download service that allows one to download e-books, audio books, videos, and music to...

E-books Technology