MCPL logo

Marathon County Public Library

Skip Navigation

The MCPL Blog


Follow our blog for that latest library news, reading suggestions, research tips and more!

The content of our blog is also shared on our social media channels, via our e-newsletter and in our print newsletter.  

The Many Benefits of a Handwritten Letter

woman writing a letter

January 10, 2022

It’s rare these days to receive a personal letter in the mail. Generally, most of us just receive junk mail and credit card offers. Receiving a personal letter or card in the mail can make someone's day or improve their mood, and taking the time to sit and handwrite a letter to someone you care about is beneficial for both the writer and the recipient. It makes us feel good to know that someone is thinking about us, and devoting time and attention to us. Taking a moment to slow down and really focus on writing to someone else is a good practice and good for mental health. Letter writing also helps you practice more formal language, spelling and grammar, and if you’re a creative writer, it can be turned into a...

Adults Writing

100 Books Before Graduation program launches at MCPL!

100 Books Before Graduation logo

January 6, 2022

Teen library patrons now have the opportunity to participate in a new challenge called 100 Books Before Graduation! This challenge encourages high school students to read a wide selection of books before they graduate and head on to further education. Progress is logged using the Beanstack app, which is free on the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store. Rewards are earned for every 20, 50, 70, and 100 books that are read, and rewards include book bags, books, and a gift card upon completion of the program! Any book can count toward the total goal of 100 books! They can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, published this year or 200 years ago. They can be books that are read for...

Books Education Libraries Reading Recommendations Teens

MCPL Staff Members Choose Favorite Books of 2021

Best of 2021 image

December 29, 2021

As another year draws to a close, the staff at the Marathon County Public Libary is reflecting back on the last 12 months and all of the many books we have collectively read over that time. Working in a place where we are literally surrounded by books, most of us have very long reading lists, which can make it difficult to choose a favorite. However, we've done just that! Below, some of our staff members reveal what their favorite read of 2021 is. The books chosen didn’t have to be published in 2020, but rather read at some point in the last 12 months.What’s your favorite book that you read (or listened to) this year? Have you read any of our staff picks? Let us know in the comments. And if you like...

Adults Authors Books Library Staff Reading Recommendations

Animated Movies Aren’t Just for Kids

Coraline doll by tree

December 2, 2021

I recently rewatched many animated films and shows that I had seen as a kid. Seeing them as an adult gives me a new perspective and reinforces my belief that animated shows and movies contain lessons and themes that a person of any age can learn from. Some examples of my favorites are listed below. 

Adults Movies

Ready for read-aloud chapter books? Here are five great series to start!

Boy reading book

December 2, 2021

Recently, my family has started to transition from reading solely picture books to a mix of picture books and chapter books, and my preschooler is loving it! If you have young children at home, here are some great early chapter book series to read either aloud as a family or for early readers to try on their own.All of these series include some illustrations and lots of humor, so they are great for keeping kids engaged and excited for just one more chapter!         

Authors Books Children Early Literacy Reading Recommendations

Changes to MCPL checkout policy begin Nov. 29

checkout policy changes

November 26, 2021

Beginning Monday, November 29, changes to Marathon County Public Library's (MCPL) checkout policy will officially go into effect. These changes include altered lending periods, checkout limits and the fine limit for a card to be considered in good standing.These changes are the result of a system-wide vote by libraries within the Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS) system, with the goal of making MCPL's checkout policies more consistent with that of other libraries in the system. The changes are as follows: Items with a 28-day checkout period have now been changed to a 21-day checkout period (i.e. non-new books, audiobooks and Playaways.)The magazine checkout period has been changed from...

Adults Libraries

Moral Ambiguity in Literature and Film


November 24, 2021

Moral Ambiguity: a lack of certainty about whether something is right or wrongImmoral: not conforming to accepted standards of morality. Knowing the difference between right and wrong, and doing ‘wrong’ anyway.                       In general, I find a morally ambiguous villain compelling, and far more interesting than an immoral one.            In recent years, there has been an increase in morally ambiguous characters in literature and film. Some believe this will cause a blurring of morals in younger generations while others believe it provides a more realistic view of real life, villainy and immorality. There’s the idea that a sympathetic villain will encourage immoral behavior. However...

Adults Books

Celebrate literacy with MCPL programs and resources

girls reading book in library

November 24, 2021

It may seem obvious that libraries—public and academic alike—support literacy. They have books, magazines and other materials people can read, and provide programming like family story times, so that’s all there is to it, right?Yes and no: Yes, the simple act of reading helps keep the brain sharp and literate; and no, there’s more to it than that, at least as far as the Marathon County Public Library is concerned.November marks National Family Literacy Month, which began in 1994 through the efforts of the non-profit National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and “offers an opportunity for practitioners to emphasize the important role that families play in the education of...

Children Early Literacy LENA On-Site Services Online Resources Reading Recommendations Story Times

Marathon County Public Library names new director

Leah Giordano

November 17, 2021

After a months-long nationwide search, the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) has found new leadership.MCPL’s Board of Trustees has selected Leah Giordano as the library’s new director. Giordano accepted the position and officially started in the role on November 15, 2021, following an announcement at the most recent meeting of the Board. Giordano had served as the library’s interim director since May 20, 2021.“Leah brings with her a sincere passion for our library, a commitment to serve the patrons and the community, and has many new ideas on how to move the library forward,” said Sharon Hunter, MCPL Board of Trustees President. “We are very excited that she has accepted the position and is willing to...

Libraries Library Board Library Staff

DIY @ Home Craft: Growing Crystals

salt crystals

October 13, 2021

Are you looking for fun, STEAM projects to do with the family without it feeling like a boring class? Look no further than this science experiment, where you can grow your own salt crystals overnight using simple household ingredients! Supplies:•  Epsom salts•  Glass jars or cups•  Hot water•  Bowl or spoon•  1 pebble or small rock•  Food coloring (optional) Steps:1. Measure out an equal amount of water and Epsom salt and pour just the water into a glass jar or cup. Heat the water for 45 seconds in a microwave, then stir in the Epsom salt until the salt is mostly dissolved (don’t worry if a little salt remains unmixed.)2. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water/salt...

Adults Children Learning Teens Tweens