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Marathon County Public Library

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The MCPL Blog: Learning

Who Was It? - Kids' Biography Book List

Girl reading a book

August 11, 2021

Do your children want to learn more about those who have made substantial contributions to history, and the world?  We've put together a reading list of biographies for kids, arranging them by length - short, longer, and longest. We've also included links to two podcasts that also may interest them - Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and The Past & the Curious.  For additional recommendations, call the children's desk at the Marathon County Public Library's Wausau Headquarters at 715-261-7220.  

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MCPL purchases new materials on East Asia thanks to grant funding

East Asia in Wisconsin Library Program sign

July 22, 2021

The Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) recently purchased over 60 new items for its collection, thanks to a $1,000 grant from the East Asia in Wisconsin Library Program.  The program was created in fall 2020 by the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Library Association, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The goal of the program is to provide public libraries with the funds to purchase East-Asia-related materials to their collections, or to plan programs and events related to East Asia.  MCPL was one of 38 public libraries around the state to be awarded a...

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What’s a “Bildungsroman”?

man reading book on a bench

April 15, 2021

Recently, I came upon a word I’ve never seen before; I discovered it while doing a bit of research on a book I was about to read. The word seemed so odd, so I switched my attention to finding a definition for it. The word is Bildungsroman. It is a literary term for a genre describing a protagonist’s formative growth, both physical and psychological, often through painful or trying life experiences. The word itself originates from the German word “bildung” meaning “education” and “roman” meaning “novel.” So a “Bildungsroman” translates to “a novel of education” or “a novel of formation.” Though stories and details vary, the Bildungsroman often has a particular structure. According to masterclass.com...

Adults Books Learning Teens Tweens

DIY @ Home Craft: Bottle Planter

example of a plastic bottle planter

March 19, 2021

Get some things planted indoors by making this quick and easy decorative bottle planter! Please note that this craft is designed for adults, as plastic bottles can have very sharp edges after you cut them.  To get started, you'll first need to gather a few common supplies: Supplies needed: Plastic bottle (preferably 2-liter - the larger, the easier to work with) Marker Scissors Acrylic paint and brushes Sand paper Sealant Cotton string (optional) Decorative supplies (optional)   Steps: 1. Wash and dry your bottle, then lightly sand the surface to prep it for paint (paint will flake off if not prepped). 2. Using a marker, trace your desired bottle design...

Adults Learning

More Fun For the Family!

Jen T. reading a children's book

March 4, 2021

Our MCPL staff is back with another fun mix of stories, play and crafts! For this occasional series, staff from nearly all of our nine locations contributed a mix of fun videos that we've pieced together for you to enjoy! We have stories, a couple of interactive segments to get you up and moving around a bit, and you can follow along as we make a fun polar bear craft! You'll also find on this page a link to directions to make an equally fun penguin craft using egg cartons! We hope you enjoy it, and feel free to watch as many times as you'd like!​  

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Winter Fun for the Family

melted snowman craft example

January 6, 2021

The Marathon County Public Library staff is back with more fun for the family and this time, it's all about winter! We've put together a series of stories, crafts and fun facts into one video for you to watch from the convenience and safety of home! We also have instructions for the melted snowman craft you'll see in the video, some ideas for healthy snowman snacks and a sheet for the "Five Little Snowflakes" fingerplay that you'll want to print so you can follow along in the video!

Books Children Early Literacy Education Learning Story Times

Fall Fun for the Family

example of a handprint owl craft

November 12, 2020

Many of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but it's still autumn according to the calendar! To celebrate, and to give parents and families some fun things to do and see at home, we've put together a special "Fall Fun for the Family" video with stories and fun facts about animals that can be watched anytime! (Or, like our other virtual stories, multiple times if you really like it!) Before you watch the video, you'll want to download the "Animal Play-Along" sheet included below, and either print it or have it ready to view on your screen, so young ones (and adults) can follow along with Miss Lisa (we'll also tell you in the video when it's time for that part of the fun!) Also available to download...

Books Children Early Literacy Education Learning Story Times

Library Learning Lab opening postponed at MCPL Wausau

student laptop learning math

September 30, 2020

In recent weeks, the Marathon County Health Department has reported a record number of positive COVID-19 cases. With the number of positive cases continuing to rise locally, and out of an abundance of caution, the Marathon County Public Library has decided to postpone the opening of its Student Learning Lab until further notice. The lab was originally set to open October 5. Students in need of high-speed Internet access can still make an appointment to use a computer at any of the nine MCPL locations across the county. For more information on making a computer appointment, click here. Do you have a child that needs a quiet place to study? Or do you have an unpredictable internet connection...

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New Materials for Homeschooling Families at MCPL!

new homeschooling materials in Aug. 2020

August 21, 2020

If you’re one of the many families that have considered – or who have already committed to – homeschooling your child this fall, you may be wondering what you can use to facilitate your teaching. Or, maybe you’ve homeschooled your children for years but are looking for some new supplemental materials to take your lessons to the next level. Either way, the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) is here to help. As we get closer and closer to starting a school year unlike any other before, many parents have been filled with questions and concerns over their kids’ education. If your children will be homeschooled this year, or learning completely virtually, MCPL has a slew of newly-purchased materials that will...

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New at MCPL: Playaway Launchpads!

Playaway Launchpads and tablet

August 15, 2020

Found in a bright orange case, you may have checked out Playaways or Playaway Views in the past, which are similar to audiobooks. Or maybe a Playaway Book Pack, that allows children to listen to a book while following the worlds on the page. Now, MCPL is offering a fun new technology from Playaway: Playaway Launchpads! Similar to a tablet, Launchpads contain pre-loaded apps on a variety of subjects, including math, animals, puzzles and logic, learning foreign languages and more. These apps contain a mixture of learning-based games and activities, helping your child learn important concepts while having fun at the same time. Each Launchpad is geared for different age ranges and grade levels, which helps make...

Children Early Literacy Education Language Learning Learning Technology

Prepare for the ACT online!

ACT test sheet

July 6, 2020

Even though its summer, now is a great time to prepare for the ACT, PSAT or the SAT! The Grandview Heights Public Library in Ohio will be offering a fast paced ACT prep course on July 11 form 12-4:30 (CDT). Taking a test preparation course is a great way to prepare for these tests. Even though this course will focus on the ACT, this prep course will help prepare you for both the PSAT and the SAT.  Follow the link below to register for the course, and GOOD LUCK!   ACT CRASH COURSE Date: Sat, July 11, 2020  Time: 12p-4:30p ONLINE, Central time  For: High school students. Cost: FREE Length: 4 hours of online instruction (plus 30-minute break midway through the...

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Explore the Great Lakes from the comfort of home!

Google Earth-type view of the Great Lakes

April 19, 2020

Living in Wisconsin, you're probably very familiar with the Great Lakes (or at least with Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, which border our state!). And, if you recognized H.O.M.E.S. as an acronym for the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior), you are one step ahead!  Now, you can explore the Great Lakes and learn more about their ecosystems, the creatures that live in them, and about the animals that live around them with a series of online webinars and videos curated by the Sea Grant Michigan. By watching this content and engaging in some interactive livestreams, students can beocme Great Lakes Junior Scientists and even earn a certificate that will be sent to them in the...

Children Learning

Learn in isolation with Gale Courses!

gale courses logo

April 4, 2020

Hundreds of free, instructor-led courses on a variety of subjects are available to patrons of the Marathon County Public Library! New classes start April 15! If, as you read this, you are one of the many folks currently at home due to precautions over the COVID-19 pandemic, you're probably looking for options for keeping yourself occupied and keeping your brain active. Through the Wisconsin Valley Library Service consortium, MCPL patrons have access to hundreds of online courses with Gale Courses. These are instructor-led, six-week classes on subjects ranging from business and finance to computer programming and law to writing and photography. In 2019, I gave the screenwriting course a try because, why...

Education Learning Online Resources Technology

Dinosaurs in the Early Literacy Center!

photo of dinosaur toy puppet in ELC

November 6, 2019

Dinosaurs have taken over the Early Literacy Center (ELC) at MCPL Wausau! Follow the T-Rex footprints in the children's area and begin to explore the magnet wall, flannel board, volcano, activity play mat, puppet stand, and more. Pretending to play is an important part of your child’s development. Let your child’s imagination run wild as they explore the dinosaur world play mat with the realistic dinosaur action figures. Your child can also put on a show with dino puppets and create their own story from beginning to end! Imagine how the world looked back when dinosaurs roamed the earth by arranging the dinosaurs within the volcanic scene on the felt board! Playing with felt characters builds hands...

Children Early Literacy Learning

Fall harvest in full swing in MCPL's Early Literacy Center!

fall harvest veggies

September 11, 2019

Autumn has arrived at the Early Literacy Center (ELC) in the children’s area of MCPL Wausau, complete with crisp apples, colorful leaves and plump pumpkins! Visit us and enjoy fun, interactive autumn harvest learning with the young child(ren) in your life. Together at the felt board you can put apples, leaves, and acorns on the tree; compare the shapes and colors of leaves and make a pattern. Recognizing patterns and creating patterns help your child pay attention to details.The ability to notice simple patterns in colors or shapes prepares children to find patterns in letters and words when they’re learning to read. Try on an apron and pretend to sell fruits and veggies in the harvest market area....

Children Early Literacy Learning Books

Launch into outer space in the Early Literacy Center!

Photo of astronaut helmet on the

June 8, 2019

This summer, blast off with your child in the Marathon County Public Library's Early Literacy Center (ELC)! Throughout the summer months, you can help your child build his or her pre-reading skills in a fun, interactive outer spaced-themed environment!  Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before learning how to read and write. Early literacy skills include background knowledge (how the world works), vocabulary, phonological awareness (knowing the smaller sounds in words), letter knowledge, narrative skills (telling a story), and print awareness (knowing that print has meaning and how a book works). In the months of June and July, visit MCPL Wausau for a space-themed...

Children Libraries Early Literacy Learning

Under the sea in the ELC!

photo of a tang unicorn fish taken by MCPL staff

January 8, 2019

Under the sea is an exciting place to be, so bring your young children to MCPL Wausau to experience the ocean-themed activities and books in the Early Literacy Center (ELC) during the months of January and February!  Some of the activities we have available include puzzles for learning colors and matching animal shapes, a fish felt board featuring the Dr. Seuss book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (you can read the book together, too) and felt ocean animals paired with their names. Our magnetic boards have ocean animals and words kids learn together, too.  And, of course, there are a few nets, fish bowls with toy fish and other animals to play catch-and-release with! A fun...

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Get All Your AP Study Books at MCPL!

April 12, 2018

Spring is here and, in spite of the great weather, the season also brings with it the time for AP testing. Sudents have spent their entire school year focused on improving their skills and learning content, trying to get a 4 or a 5, which equals college credits for them. But sometimes you need a little boost to get that elusive high score, and the library is here to help! Our collection development specialist and young adult librarian have gotten together and created a list of all the AP study materials available at the Marathon County Public Library's Wausau Headquarters. Students can visit the library here in Wausau to pick up materials or can request them to be sent to another one of our branch libraries...

Books Teens Learning

Take Time to Read with Your Kids!

October 20, 2016

It’s mid-October and the school year is well underway, with teachers handing out homework to reinforce the skills they teach their students in the classroom. Reading homework is just as important as homework in any other class and is a skill used time and time again throughout a person’s life. Most adults have likely been reading so long that it’s hard to remember what it was like to struggle through a sentence. Carolyn Wilhelm at the website Cult of Pedagogy has some great tips for parents when it comes to reading homework. Reading homework often requires a parent to listen to a child as he or she reads aloud. For older children, reading homework may consist of reading for a number of set minutes each day...

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