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The MCPL Blog


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A National Library Week Like No Other

2020 National Library Week logo

April 22, 2020

The week of April 19–25, 2020, is National Library Week — a time when libraries across the country typically celebrate their myriad offerings and show appreciation for the patrons they serve.  However, that celebration is drastically different this year due to precautions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Marathon County Public Library’s (MCPL) Board of Trustees voted to close all 9 MCPL locations to the public beginning March 17, 2020. A "Safer at Home" order from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers went into effect on March 25 stating, “Libraries shall close for all in-person services, but may continue to provide on-line services and programming.” The...

COVID-19 E-books Events Facility Improvement National Library Week Wisconsin's Digital Library

Feeling stressed? Try Zentangle art!

zentangle art

April 21, 2020

As we are staying Safer At Home and “flattening the curve,” some of us may be feeling stressed or anxious. Some may be feeling depressed or frustrated, or perhaps even frightened. In times like this, one needs to find a way to relieve some of these negative feelings. I'd like to share with you one of my favorite creative and meditative hobbies. It's called Zentangle art. Zentangle is an easy-to-learn and relaxing method of drawing using structured patterns called “tangles.” Plus, the only supplies you need is pencil and paper! There are formal ways to tangle, but I prefer the informal method of just drawing. I start Zentangle-ing by picking a tangle or pattern, then start drawing. As I draw a pattern...

Arts and Crafts

Create with Me: Spring Bunny Banner

spring bunny banner craft table

April 21, 2020

Spring is here, and you can give your home some seasonal flair by making a simple banner using standard craft supplies and items found around your home, like cotton balls and paper lunch bags! Watch our video tutorial below, or follow along with the included written instructions, and you'll have a completed banner in no time!           Supplies: Paper lunch bags (paper grocery bags or scrapbook paper work, too) White pompoms (cotton balls or white circles of paper can be used, too) Green pipe cleaners (or strips of green paper) Orange marker (or an orange crayon, color pencil, or paint) Twine (or yarn or ribbon) Pencil Scissors Scotch tape Hole punch Glue (tacky or Elmer’s)...

Arts and Crafts

This Earth Week, Become Eco-literate!


April 20, 2020

Did you know Earth Day is turning 50 this year?

“Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, realized that if he could infuse the energy of anti-war protests with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast...

Reading Recommendations Books

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 mail (along...

Children Learning

Cope with trauma and mental health through creative nonfiction

adult journaling

April 17, 2020

Writing can be a cathartic, therapeutic way to process negative emotions of grief or trauma, or to cope with mental health. Our Rothschild Branch had organized an event on this very topic that was originally going to be held last night, but that event has since been rescheduled for October 15.  For those who planned on attending the event today, we wanted to explore the idea of using writing to process negative or traumatic events, and offer some tips and tools that will help get you started and feeling inspired. Before you get started writing, you'll want to think about your intent. What is the intent of your writing? Will be just for you, or do you plan to share it publicly? Either way, the...

Writing Community

Tween Book Talks

Elizabeth L with The Little Gentleman book

April 16, 2020

Everyone needs something new to read from time to time, even tweens!  Occasionally, we'll post tween book talks right here on The talks will cover a wide range of novels aimed at late elementary and middle school-age kids. The talks can be experienced in two different ways. Tweens can either watch the YouTube video discussion associated with each book below, or can download an MP3 file of the talk to their computer, tablet or smartphone and listen to it podcast-style! The Little Gentleman by Philippa Pearce Available from the library as a book (see link below)     Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee Available from the library as a book (see link...

Books Reading Recommendations Tweens

DIY @ Home Craft: Jelly Bean Creations

jelly bean and toothpick cube

April 14, 2020

This time of year, you might see an abundance of jelly beans at the store. Not only can these make for a sweet treat, but you can also use them to build and create! If your family is looking for a creative STEM idea to engage in while at home, try building with jellybeans! This craft requires simple supplies found in most homes and can be adapted as needed. Just follow the steps below and, before you know it, you'll be a jellybean architect! You will need jellybeans (preferably large jellybeans, though small ones work, too!) and toothpicks. If you don't have jelly beans or toothpicks on hand, you can use dried spaghetti noodles and marshmallows instead. Carefully, poke the jellybean with one end of a...

Arts and Crafts Children

Passin' More Time with Pop Culture

collage of Dan's pop culture picks with photos from V-Cat/Content Cafe and Pixabay

April 13, 2020

Whenever I find myself home for long periods of time, one of my favorite ways to unwind is in front of the TV. While I love going for walks, reading and other hobbies, there's just something about settling in for a good movie or binge-watching a series I can't get enough of. The past few weeks have been the perfect time for that, with many of us finding ourselves with an overabundance of time at home. During this time, I've gotten engrossed in several series, documentaries and movies, and below are a few of the highlights. Each item on the list is available on one of the major streaming platforms - Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+, and some of them are available on DVD from the library.    “High Fidelity” on Hulu:...

Library Staff Reading Recommendations

DIY @ Home Craft: Rubber Band and Yarn Stamping

completed example of rubber band stamping

April 13, 2020

Today's craft comes from an event we originally had scheduled for March 26 at our Rothschild Branch, where kids could make their own rubber band or yarn stamps. This craft requires simple supplies found in most homes. Just follow the steps below and your family will be making art in no time! Rubber Band Stamping Supplies needed: Cardboard tubes Rubber bands Paper Paint/paint daubers Steps: Wrap rubber bands around tubes Apply paint to the rubber bands Roll tubes on paper to make different designs   Yarn Stamping Supplies needed: Cardboard Yarn Glue Paper Paint   Steps: In pencil, outline any design you choose for your stamp image onto a piece of cardboard...

Arts and Crafts