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The MCPL Blog: Articles by Amy Ryan

"To Kill a Mockingbird" wins Literary Smackdown

August 19, 2013

In the final Literary Smackdown of the summer, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee beat "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank to be named the most influential book in Marathon County. More than 100 people voted for Lee's classic novel of a young girl embroiled in a bitter war of race in violence in 1930s Alabama, compared to more than 50 people who voted for Anne Frank's diary of her time in hiding from the Nazis in World War II. The MCPL Literary Smackdown began in June and pitted eight fiction books against eight nonfiction books in a March madness-style competition with library patrons voting for their favorite books in weekly pairings. Other books in the Smackdown include "Jane Eyre," "I Know...

Summer Library Program

"Mockingbird" Top Fiction Book

Winner: To Kill a Mockingbird

August 5, 2013

In a sweeping victory, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee beat "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte to take the fiction title in Marathon County Public Library's Literary Smackdown.  Lee's classic novel of racism and violence in the South beat Bronte's story of an impoverished orphan turned governess by almost 80 votes. "To Kill a Mockingbird" will next face the winner of the final nonfiction smackdown, with Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" going up against Maya Angelou's memoir, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."  

Summer Library Program

Keep cool at the library

July 17, 2013

With temperatures expected to reach in the 80s and 90s, local officials are urging residents to protect themselves from heat related illness. One way to do that is by coming to the library. All Marathon County Public Library locations have been designated as official cooling centers, places where residents without air conditioning can get relief from the extreme heat. We also will have bottled water available.  According to the Marathon County Health Department, most heat-related illnesses involve the elderly, individuals who have chronic illnesses, children, athletes and outdoor workers.  To prevent risks from excessive heat, the health department suggests people do the following: ...

Libraries

"Mockingbird" takes Week 3 Fiction title

Winner: To Kill a Mockingbird

June 21, 2013

In a sweeping victory, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee beat out "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger by more than 100 votes to take the Week 3 Fiction title in the Marathon County Public Library's Literary SmackDown competition. Although Salinger's only novel has become the gold standard narrative of the adolescent mind, Lee's epic story of a young girl caught in the middle of a racially-charged and violent court case had more impact on Marathon County readers.  Our next pairing pits "The Prince" by Machiavelli against "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote. Don't forget to vote on our website, at any MCPL location or on Facebook.   

Books Summer Library Program

Orwell takes "1984" vs. "Fahrenheit 451" Smackdown

June 14, 2013

In a very close victory, "1984" by George Orwell beat out Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" 56 to 53 to take the week two fiction title in the Marathon County Public Library's Literary Smackdown. Although both books take a hard stance against censorship and personal freedom, it was Orwell's dystopian look at government spying that resonated with Marathon County readers. Still, Bradbury's tale of book burning resonated strongly with library patrons making this race almost too close to call.  Wondering who won previous weeks? Visit our Smackdown page at www.mcpl.us/events/slp/literary-smackdown-voting. Keep filling in those brackets and don't forget to vote in our week two nonfiction contest! It's...

Summer Library Program

"Jane Eyre" takes Week 1 Fiction Smackdown Title

June 7, 2013

In a stunning upset, "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte schooled "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and won the first round of fiction competition in MCPL's Literary Smackdown.  Despite the recent popularity of Fitzgerald's iconic and decadent Jazz-age novel, a plucky and intelligent young governess took the first victory in this summer-long competition to determine the most influential book in Marathon County.  Voting is now open in the first nonfiction matchup of the competition, so don't forget to vote for your favorite between "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank and "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan. 

Books Summer Library Program

Sierra: Our New Library Catalog!

Sierra logo

January 23, 2013

On January 9, 2013, the Marathon County Public Library transitioned to new library catalog software as part of an upgrade coordinated by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service. The new software looks different from what patrons are used to, but has many more features that will help patrons more easily find the materials they need. The new software, known as “Sierra,” offers simplified searching options that allow patrons to search for an author, subject or title from the same search box, much like how Google works. Patrons also do not need to know exact spellings of author names or titles to find books; Sierra offers search suggestions that will help patrons find exactly what they’re looking for. Sierra also...

Newsletter Technology

New library catalog coming soon!

Sierra logo

December 31, 2012

On January 9, 2013, the Marathon County Public Library system will begin using new library catalog software as part of an upgrade coordinated by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service. The new software will look different than what patrons are used to, but will have many more features that will help patrons more easily find the materials they need. The new software, known as “Sierra,” will offer simplified searching options that will allow patrons to search for an author, subject or title from the same search box, much like how Google works. Patrons also will not need to know exact spellings of author names or titles to find books; Sierra will offer search suggestions that will help patrons find exactly what...

Libraries Technology

Books for a Homemade Holiday!

November 16, 2012

Looking for a simple idea for a homemade gift? A new cookie recipe? A creative way to decorate your home? We have books for that. Check out some of these titles from our collection. Christmas All Through the House by Gooseberry Patch www.mcpl.us?isbn=9780848734541   Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook www.mcpl.us?isbn=9780470874035   A Hanukkah Holiday Cookbook by Emily Raabe www.mcpl.us?isbn=978-0823956265   Yule by Dorothy Morrison www.mcpl.us?isbn=9781567184969   A Kwanzaa Holiday Cookbook by Emily Raabe www.mcpl.us?isbn=9780823956296   (from the MCPL Newsletter, Nov. 2012-Jan. 2013)  

Newsletter Food Books

Check out MCPL's new app!

September 18, 2012

Access the catalog and resources from your mobile device.   Smart phone and tablet users can finally download a free mobile application and browse the library’s collection on the go!   Search for books, ebooks, DVDs, CDs and video games; request and renew items; browse our newest titles; locate our branch libraries and check out current events. You also can follow our blogs, Facebook and Twitter streams or contact us.   Compatible devices include: Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Google Android-based smart phones and tablets Kindle Fire tablets Once you download the app, enter your library card number and PIN for...

Technology Newsletter

Your local library is an emergency cooling center!

July 3, 2012

Due to the extreme heat and heat indexes forecasted to be above the 105 degree mark on July 5, 2012, Marathon County is taking a proactive approach and making the area libraries available for cooling centers for persons needing that service. Cooling centers are locations which allow residents without air conditioning to get relief from the extreme heat. "Staff at each of our locations are prepared to help people without air conditioning weather the heat," said library director Ralph Illick. "We also will have (bottled) water available at each location." City and county officials are working with the libraries to make sure vulnerable populations can find relieve from potentially dangerous heat. "We are...

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