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Marathon County Public Library

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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.

Wisconsin's Digital Library exceeds 5 million checkouts!

screenshot taken of main page of Wisconsin's Digital Library

January 25, 2019

Have you used the Overdrive or Libby apps in the last year? If you have, then you were one of the millions of people who checked out items in 2018, when these two apps had a record year for checkouts and downloads! Overdrive has reported that, nationwide, about 274 million e-books and audiobooks were checked out via Overdrive and Libby last year. 185 million of those checkouts were for e-books, while 88 million were audiobooks. 43,000 libraries across the U.S. are part of the Overdrive and Libby systems, thus proving their is a strong demand for digital content. Wisconsin's Digital Library (the system that the Marathon County Public Library and its patrons have access to) did spectacularly well, with over 5...

E-books Wisconsin's Digital Library

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 fishing game and a “...

Library Children Early Literacy Learning

MCPL's Highlights of 2018!

Collage of 2018 photos made by Dan R.

January 5, 2019

Earlier this week, the world celebrated the end of 2018 and the start of a new year, and we’re already nearly a full week into January! While everyone here at the Marathon County Public Library is excited to see what 2019 will bring, we can’t help but reflect back on the past year and all of the events, milestones and innovations that we experienced over the past 12 months. While the following isn’t a complete list of all of our accomplishments from 2018, we’ve compiled some of the highlights. Now, we can’t wait to see all that 2019 brings! First LENA Start sessions in Wisconsin held Beginning in February, MCPL Wausau hosted the first two LENA Start sessions in the state of Wisconsin. The...

Library Library History

MCPL and other county departments to close for MLK Jr. "Day On"

MLK image with words around him

January 2, 2019

After the success of last year's first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. "Day On," all Marathon County Public Library locations will be closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In addition, most other county agencies and offices will also be closed. Like last year, this MLK Day won’t be a day off for library staff and other county employees. Instead, the county has put together a  “day on” inservice so that county employees can attend various different educational programs based around the ideals promoted by Dr. King. These many seminars, workshops and talks revolve around Dr. King’s teachings of diversity, non-violence and poverty. Highlights of this year's event include Yengyee...

Community Library Staff

MCPL Staff Picks of 2018!

December 28, 2018

As you can imagine, most Marathon County Public Library staff members love to read. A lot. And when you’re surrounded by books day after day, your “to read” list only seems to grow. At this time of the year, we like to reflect back on the past 12 months and think about all of the titles that we read. Though it can be difficult for folks to pick just one favorite out of numerous others, our staff members got together and each selected their favorite read of 2018. This year’s selections include thrilling mysteries, an autobiography of one of today’s most popular comedians, best-selling historical dramas and more. After taking a look at what we’ve been reading, tell us - what was YOUR favorite book that you...

Reading Recommendations Staff Reviews Books now available with your library card! Library Edition screenshot

December 21, 2018

Starting last October, the Marathon County Public Library began offering access to to its patrons. Owned by, bills itself as the largest newspaper archive site on the Internet, providing its users with access to over 11,000 newspapers ranging from the 1700s through the 2000s, with new issues being added on a monthly basis. The decision to offer to library patrons was made earlier this year by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The site will be used as a replacement for Access NewspaperARCHIVE, a similar resources that the DPI discontinued using earlier this year. is an online resource that many patrons have requested over...

Newsletter Technology Genealogy Online Resources

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 may...

Director's Report Newsletter Facility Improvement

New technology classes in 2019!

woman on phone and laptop computer

December 19, 2018

Are you looking to become more savvy with your personal computer, iPhone or iPad? Is there something you want to sell on Craigslist, but you don’t know where to start? Beginning in January, MCPL Wausau will begin hosting a series of technology-related classes on an almost-weekly basis. Included in the lineup of classes are returning favorites, including Intro to Microsoft Excel, Intro to Libby & E-books, and Facebook Fundamentals. But new classes with a different focus will also be offered, including Intro to Microsoft Word and Resume Building, Basics of the iPhone and iPad, The Wide World of Google Resources and the Basics of Craigslist. Whether you want to get more comfortable with Google, buy and sell...

Newsletter Events Technology Computer Classes

Request for Proposal: Interior Renovations

MCPL Wausau Headquarters

December 17, 2018

The Marathon County Public Library solicits qualified architectural and design firms to submit proposals for interior renovations at its Wausau Headquarters and branch libraries.  Proposals are due for submission to the Marathon County Public Library, 300 North First St., Wausau, WI, 54403, attention Library Director Ralph Illick, by 2:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Further submission details are provided below. Documents: REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) Supplement: Engberg Anderson: Final Report Supplement: Engberg Anderson: Appendices Addendum #1 Addendum #2

Facility Improvement

Handbell choir spreads holiday cheer at our Spencer Branch!

A photo of the Spencer High School Handbell Choir performing, Dec. 2018

December 6, 2018

It’s the holidays once again, and that means an annual visit from the Spencer High School Handbell Choir! This talented group of teens visited our Spencer Branch on the morning of December 4 to spread holiday cheer to a large group of community members who attended. The choir performed for nearly an hour, and performed a wide variety of holiday music, free of charge. A visit from the handbell choir has become an annual tradition, with the group visiting the Spencer Branch every December for the last few years. If you missed the concert, you can get a feel for what it was like by watching the video below, in which the group performs “We Three Kings,” for a delighted audience!

Events Holidays Holiday Library Branches