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The MCPL Blog: Wisconsin

Ugandan Chimps to Chimney Swifts: Q&A with Charles Hagner

Charles Hagner

September 8, 2020

The Central Wisconsin Book Festival will take place Sept. 21-27, 2020. Before it happens, we want to share a bit about some of the guests, so we've asked a few to answer some questions from festival organizers about themselves and their work. Below is a back-and-forth from Charles Hagner and CWBF committee member Chad Dally through email. Charles will join us virtually at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 to tell us why Wisconsin is a great state to look for birds, and share some tips and techniques to identify birds. He’s the director of Bird City Wisconsin and author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin.   What's your background and how did you get involved with...

Authors Books Central Wisconsin Book Festival Community History Nature Wisconsin

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 Live! James P. Leary: "Folksongs of the Upper Midwest" (video)

screenshot of folk songs presentation showing a band of musicians

March 1, 2016

On Feb. 25, MCPL Wausau hosted author and folklorist James P. Leary for an entertaining musical lecture on folksongs recorded in the Midwest in the 1930s and 1940s. Leary spoke about his book "Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946," published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Leary was even nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best Album Notes category, though he lost out to none other than Joni Mitchell! Below is the video of the entire program, and we're thankful to James for sharing his musical knowledge (and a few tunes from the book) with us!    

Books Events Wisconsin

"Making a Murderer" and Other Wisconsin True Crime Stories

January 12, 2016

If you follow current events, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” docu-series, or have seen the show yourself. Released in December, the series has since transcended beyond the attention of Netflix subscribers and into the national spotlight, finding its way into headlines and both primetime and cable news programs. For those unfamiliar with the subject matter, “Making a Murderer” looks into Wisconsin native Steven Avery, who was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985, resulting in Avery serving 18 years in prison. After being exonerated of those crimes Avery, a Manitowoc County resident, was tried and convicted in 2007 for the murder of Teresa Halbach and...

Books Wisconsin Reading Recommendations

Cheap Chirps: Library resources for birders!

birder eating at a feeder

December 10, 2015

This year is the National Audubon Society’s 116th annual Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest (if not the largest) citizen science initiatives in the nation. Volunteers from across the country will count and identify the birds that visit their home feeders sometime between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, and the Audubon Society compiles all that information to track trends in bird populations, migrations and other data. If you are participating (or thinking about participating) in the bird count, the library is a great place to start. We have dozens of different field guides – covering all of North America down to birds of Wisconsin – to help identify the birds you see in the backyard and beyond! You...

Wisconsin Nature Online Resources

Learn More About Penokee Hills Wetlands

May 7, 2015

On Thursday, May 14, residents in our community have the opportunity to learn about and discuss an area of the state many have heard about in the last few years, and an area that is near and dear to me personally: the Penokee Hills region of northern Wisconsin. Tracy Hames, executive director of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, will be at MCPL Wausau to talk specifically about wetlands scattered through the roughly 25-mile Penokee-Gogebic range that stretches through Ashland and Iron counties. Hames will show photos, maps and other graphics and discuss the important ecological role these wetlands play in an area brimming with forests, lakes and streams. The talk begins at 6:30 p.m. If the area sounds...

Wisconsin Nature

Introducing Thursday Walk-In Passport Application Services

January 22, 2015

Good news for anyone who needs to apply for a passport! At our MCPL Wausau location, we now offer walk-in passport application services on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To ensure that we have enough time to assist you, please arrive by 3:30 p.m. Review some common questions and learn how to avoid application mistakes and delays here. We will still offer appointments every other Saturday, (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and on the first Tuesday and third Wednesday (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) of each month. Call 715-261-7200 to make an appointment, or if you have any passport-related questions.  

Passports Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Digital Archive: Get Connected to State Government

December 16, 2014

Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief now that election ads and coverage are over for this election cycle.  If you are like me, maybe you wondered how accurate those statistics you saw in the ads were.  How can one politician claim jobs were added when another claims the exact opposite?  Maybe you were curious where the news anchors get their information on the economy, job growth or government agency spending.  I have the perfect link for you news junkies:  The Wisconsin Digital Archives.    The Wisconsin Digital Archive provides one stop shopping for all those reports you hear about on the news.  Curious about job growth, school achievement scores, roadway safety...

Government Information Wisconsin Websites

Winners of the Six Spooky Words Contest

October 31, 2014

This year, we asked you to create a scary story using just six words. We received a ton of creative and truly terrifying entries, which made judging difficult. Here are the winning entries. Library staff will contact the winners to make arrangements for picking up their prize. 5. “I am watching you right now” – Ann Seliger 4. “Dismembered demon wanders through macabre masquerade” – Shereen Siewert 3. “Finally alone, then the floor creaked” – Amber Edwards 2. "It’s Here. Don’t look. Don’t scream" – Kali Kaiser   And the winner..... 1. "And Then the Lights Went Off" – Steve Weinkauf Honorable mentions: “Open shades, pale face staring in” – Miriam Gustafson “Scary, spine-tingling,...

Awards Writing Wisconsin

Create Your Own Urban Legend: The Mill

October 20, 2014

Earlier this month, teens had an opportunity to create their own urban legends using materials found in the library. This terrifying story was inspired by a picture of the Island Mill in Wausau (c. 1900-1919) from the Marathon County Historical Society, found in the Central Wisconsin Digitization Project.   The Mill By Damian Wendorf   My best friend, Devon, was talking to me about a story his dad told him. The story concerns three boy who were murdered in the 1960’s. The murder occurred on the Wisconsin River by the old saw mill.  First, the police found a bloody saw blade and a pool of blood on the floor of the mill. In the pool of blood lay a body of a fourteen year old boy...

Wisconsin Teens

Upcoming Author Visits: Ilsa J. Bick & Wisconsin Romance Writers of America

October 3, 2014

Mark your calendars for these two exciting opportunities to meet several Wisconsin authors! On October 7, author Ilsa J. Bick will visit MCPL Wausau at 7:00 p.m. Ilsa J. Bick is an award winning author of YA titles like “Draw The Dark” and her latest, “White Space,” which received accolades from VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) magazine. Bick will read from her latest books, sign copies, and discuss how she became a writer. This event is for teens, but adults are also welcome to this event. For more information on Ilsa Bick, please visit her website. Fans of romance novels and aspiring authors are encouraged to attend our romance writers roundtable on October 16 at 6:00 p.m. Members of the Wisconsin...

Books Writing Wisconsin

Wisconsin Science Festival: Curiosity Unleashed

Wisconsin Science Festival

September 22, 2014

The Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration of science focused on curiosity, creativity and community. Based in Madison, but spread out across the state, a variety of interactive science programs will be offered October 16-19, 2014. Visit their website for a full listing of state-wide events. Here at Marathon County Public Library, we will be hosting two events at MCPL-Wausau in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival. Children in grades K-5 can join us for Grossology on October 16 from 6:30-7:30pm. School-aged children will learn about all of the gross things the human body does with demonstrations and experiments. Then, on Saturday October 18, Colossal Fossils, a Wisconsin non-...

Children Wisconsin

Curious about writing or self-publishing?

July 28, 2014

Do you have a few chapters of your first attempt at a novel on your flashdrive or buried in a shoebox in your closet? With the demands of work, family, or school, it might seem impossible to start writing, not to mention finish writing a novel. However, authors Kourtney Heintz and B.C. Kowalski proved that it can be done, and they will share their experiences with you during these special events at the Marathon County Public Library. This Thursday, Kourtney Heintz will host a productive part-time writer workshop at MCPL Wausau at 6:30 p.m. Heintz wrote two novels while working full-time, and she will share her tips for setting deadlines and managing the distractions of real life. You may have heard of...

Writing Wisconsin Books

NYT-bestselling author Michael Perry visits the Wausau headquarters

May 19, 2014

On May 15, author, humorist, and singer/songwriter Michael Perry visited the MCPL Wausau headquarters and discussed his latest book, answered some audience questions, and signed books. Perry is the author of best-selling titles such as "Population 485, "Truck: A Love Story, and "Visiting Tom." The library has many of Perry's titles available for check-out. The library also live-tweeted the event, and some memorable tweets from Twitter are curated via Storify below.    

Writing Wisconsin Books

LIFE in Marathon County Report Available!

LIFE Report cover

February 19, 2014

All Marathon County Public Library locations now have copies available of the latest LOCAL INDICATORS FOR EXCELLENCE (LIFE) IN MARATHON COUNTY Report. As with previous editions, this 9th edition provides information and statistics on community strengths as well as identifying challenges and opportunities facing the community. The goal of the LIFE Report is community improvement.  The LIFE Report serves as a call to action for everyone in Marathon County. Request a copy of the LIFE Report via the Library Catalog (V-Cat). View a summary of the report here.

Wisconsin Government Information

Sources of Grant Funds in Wisconsin!

June 11, 2012

Among the databases available at the Marathon County Public Library, FOUNDATIONS IN WISCONSIN is a first choice for grant writers seeking funding sources. This easy-to-search database offers up-to-date information on over 1,300 Wisconsin foundations. The database offers various search keys including Foundation Name, Location, Keyword, Grants Divided by Amount Given, Foundation Officers/Directors, New Foundations and, most importantly, Area of Interest which indicate the prime purpose of the foundation. Some foundations, for instance, concentrate on grants related to Aging. Others emphasize grants on Alcohol and Drugs, Building, Children and Youth, Mental Health and so on. ...

Online Resources Wisconsin

New Book on Notable Wisconsin Women!

November 8, 2011

Marathon County Public Library, 300 N. 1st Street, recently added copies of Wisconsin Women: Celebrating Their Contributions to its collection. WISCONSIN WOMEN profiles over 90 Wisconsin women who have made significant contributions in the arts, education, business, law, government, sports and other areas. Area women profiled in the 600-page book include Rita Crooks, Suzy Favor, Diane Postler-Slattery, Jean Tehan, Sonja Ackerman, Bao Vang, Tammy Baldwin, Donna Seidel, Sue Becker, Ginger Alden, Waltraud Karkar and others. Each entry features a three-seven page interview and accompanying photographs. WISCONSIN WOMEN is the latest oral history volume produced by the D. C. Everest Oral...

Books Wisconsin

John Dillinger Rumored to be Hiding Out at Marathon County Public Library!

April 21, 2011

During the 1930s, nationally-known criminals like John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Al Capone were out-and-about in Wisconsin. Sometimes they came to rob banks. Sometimes they only wanted to hide away from the forces of the law in isolated northwoods resorts. Want to learn more? This Saturday at the Wausau Library, noted author Chad Lewis will present a travelogue program on "Wisconsin Gangster Hot Spots."  Lewis will take the audience on a guided tour of Wisconsin locales associated with Dillinger and other infamous criminals. The program starts at 1:00 in the Wausau Room. Everyone is welcome. Lewis will have copies of his new book WISCONSIN ROAD GUIDE TO GANGSTER...


Wausau On Camera!

January 26, 2011

If you missed the recent premiere of WISCONSIN HOMETOWN STORIES: WAUSAU at the Grand Theater, you can now view it at home. The Marathon County Public Library recently added several copies of the WAUSAU DVD to its AV collection. WISCONSIN HOMETOWN STORIES: WAUSAU traces the history of Wausau from its lumber mill days to today. The DVD tells the story of Wausau's early settlement, its growth and development through the efforts of the Wausau Group, the city's cultural history, the Hmong immigration and current developments. The DVD uses archival film, photographs and interviews with local historians and residents to tell Wausau's rich history. Copies are available at the Wausau Headquarters:...

Wisconsin Movies

The State of Wisconsin Digital Collection

State of WI Digital Collections screenshot

June 9, 2007

If you haven't yet discovered the State of Wisconsin's Digital Collection  you are in for a huge treat.  And if you glanced at this resource a while back, please re-visit it.  It is well worth your time. The State of Wisconsin Digital Collection includes about 29 collections of materials in a variety of formats relating to the history and development of the State of Wisconsin. Books, manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, letters, maps, and other materials were put in a digital form so that they could be easily shared.  It is a part of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. Of particular interest to those of us who live in Marathon and Lincoln...

Wisconsin Online Resources