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Marathon County Public Library

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The MCPL Blog: Director's Report

Director's Report

Ralph Illick, Library Director

July 2, 2020

As we are all well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we are all conducting our daily activities. Here at MCPL, we are focusing our efforts to seek a balance between ensuring the safety of our staff and the public, and still finding ways to connect our communities with information and ideas. This has been, to say the least, a daunting challenge. Most of us I’m sure have friends, neighbors and loved ones who are very much at risk of serious impact or even death should this virus infect them. I include myself among those at risk, as well as many members of our staff. We also serve a large number of patrons who cannot dismiss the potential for catastrophe should they be exposed to the virus....

COVID-19 Director's Report

Library to remain closed through June 15, 2020

Ralph Illick with US flag

May 19, 2020

In order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its impact on members of the community and our staff, the Marathon County Public Library’s headquarters in Wausau and its branches throughout the county will remain closed to the public through June 15, 2020. We will continue to provide important library services such as contact-free curbside pickup, free Wi-Fi outside of our buildings, online programming and reference phone calls and emails. In addition, due dates and fines are suspended during this time. We are working with county officials, statewide library leadership, and our library system on developing a multi-phase reopening plan that prioritizes public health. We will be...

Community COVID-19 Director's Report Government Information Health Resources Library Board Library Branches

Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns 'Safer at Home'

Ralph Illick

May 14, 2020

In light of the recent news that the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has overturned Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order, the library is gathering information and resources to determine our next steps.  As a county agency, we will be guided by our County Administration and County Health Officer. Keep watching the library's website and social media channels for updates. UPDATE (5/15): Marathon County has published "MARATHON COUNTY COVID-19 ORDER #1." Thank you for your support during these unusual times!   In the meantime, we are still happy to provide a variety of services during our COVID-19 (coronavirus) closure, including the following: Patrons may...

COVID-19 Director's Report Government Information Laws And Legal Issues Libraries Library Branches Community Events On-Site Services Wisconsin

MCPL planning to offer curbside service

Ralph Illick, Library Director

April 24, 2020

As you know, the offerings provided by MCPL for the communities we serve have been limited by the Governor’s "Safer At Home" orders[1][2] over the last several weeks. Fortunately, we are now authorized to begin the reintroduction of some services on a limited basis in the coming days. Our staff are looking forward to the opportunity to do so with limitations designed to protect everyone – staff and public alike. Our intention is to develop a schedule and a process at each MCPL location that will allow for curbside pickup of materials with a start date of Monday, May 4, 2020. Currently, we are awaiting finalization of the expected capacity for our consortium to provide delivery services that...

Director's Report Community COVID-19

Director's Report

Ralph Illick with US flag

December 19, 2019

With the holiday season upon us, I would like to share some exciting news for our library users around the county. You may have noticed that we are currently on hold with our interior upgrades, and there is now a plan for the county’s facilities team to complete the roof repairs in the spring. The repairs were attempted last year, but unanticipated structural issues prevented the completion of those repairs. Currently, Marathon County is looking at renewing the project in the spring, after which the interior enhancements will proceed. Also, I am pleased to report that the library’s board has formed a task force to review MCPL’s library system membership. Currently, we are members of the Wisconsin...

Facility Improvement Director's Report Newsletter Library Board

Director’s Report

Ralph Illick with US flag

August 23, 2019

We are making good progress at MCPL with several important matters of interest.  The library’s new interior public furnishings are being designed by Engberg Anderson Architects, and we will add more information online for you once they complete those designs. The library’s foundation has agreed to grant substantial funding for the addition of new technology that will be used to enhance our STEM programming as part of this redesign, and we will be customizing our programs to best serve our communities.  We are hopeful that the ongoing roof repairs at MCPL Wausau will be completed during the coming months, but we may need to proceed with caution in order to limit any complications that might...

Director's Report Facility Improvement Friends Of The Library Newsletter

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

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 Library Board

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

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