Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It's not too late to decide to attend the 2006 WLA Conference in Wisconsin Dells. You can register on site! Festivities begin this evening and get into full swing tomorrow morning.

Of special interest to Friends of Library organizations are the WLTA activities at the convention. Wisconsin Library Trustees and Advocates is the WLA branch that Friends activities now fall under. This change is taking place NOW with the demise of Friends of Wisconsin Libraries in April. This convention is a chance to meet WLTA officers and pass on your ideas how best Friends activities should be managed in the new structure.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The headline article in Monday's Wausau Daily Herald was DON'T PASS GO WITHOUT YOUR PASSPORT IN 2007. New regulations go into effect on December 31st which dictate that air travelers will need documents, namely Passports, in order to return to the United States.

If you don't currently have one now is the time to do it. And in the Wausau area, the most convenient place to get one is at the Marathon County Public Library. Places like court houses and post offices are only open during times when most of us are working. The extended hours of the library make it possible for you to get your passport at a time that fits in with your daily schedule.

For details, check out the MCPL website.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


The Friends of the Marathon County Public Library will be holding a Huge Fall Book Sale, November 2nd thru November 5th. The books are actually normal size, it's the quantity of them that is huge. FMCPL will be offering approximately 30,000 books - tapes - DVD's - puzzles etc for sale! Although a few real treasures will be specially priced, everything else will go for $.50! That's right - 50 cents! There is also a section consisting of text books, Reader's Digests, law books, technical books, and miscellaneous other types that are FREE !!

To aid you in finding the books you seek, all hardcover and paperback fiction is sorted alphabetically by author's name. Biographies are sorted alphabetically by the subject's name. There are special sections for mysteries, science fiction, westerns, poetry, nature, travel, hobbies, religion, self-help, large print, the arts, etc. etc., not to mention an inventory of over 2,000 children's books!

The sale is held on the third floor of the Marathon County Public Library in Wausau. (300 North 1st Street). The checkout system is fast and efficient. Friends members continually restock the tables as purchases are made. There are brawny guys available to help you get your books to your car.

The sale schedule is as follows:
  • Thursday 11/2 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Friends Members Only
  • Friday 11/3 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Saturday 11/4 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Sunday 11/5 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM BAG SALE - $4 PER BAG Bags Provided

This is one sale you should not miss! See you there!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


We're only a few weeks away from an important election in this country and in this state. You may have already made up your mind regarding your choices. But if you haven't, there are some great books available at the New York Review of Books that may help you make intelligent decisions. NYRB offers many of these at discounts of up to 40% at this time. Browse "Politics & Current Affairs" and particularly "Special Offers"

Check it out at and

Also, Kris Adams-Wendt of Rhinelander recently advised us to check out for information regarding the election at all levels.


Fundraising is one of the primary functions and activities of Friends of Libraries groups. The September 30th conference in Rothschild focused primarily on Book Sales as a means of raising money to help libraries. However, the last item on our agenda was "Other Fundraising Ideas". Many good concepts were offered by the group. But we all knew that there had to be many other potential gangbuster ideas out there.

There is a web-site which features Fundraising Ideas specifically tailored for libraries. It is well worth your while checking this out for new things your Friends group can do.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The Friends of the Simek Library in Medford are having their annual Fall book sale. Dates and timing are as follows:
  • 10/18 3 - 7PM Members Only
  • 10/19 9 - 7PM
  • 10/20 9 - 5PM
  • 10/21 9 - Noon

The Medford Friends are a very dynamic group and hold many fundraising activites during the course of the year. Come on out and give them some support!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I've survived one more year !! I'm happy to say that I'm still closer to 50 than I am to 100, but the mid-point is not that far over the horizon. Scary !!

I'm having relatives over this evening to share cake and ice cream, and present a few gifts. The teenagers will be whispering " How old IS that dude, anyway? Does the State still let him drive?"

There are a few things that DO get scary when you reach my age. Like about half the stuff in my shopping cart says "For Fast Relief". Also it's scary when my body starts making the same noises as my coffeemaker.

Finally, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.


The Marathon County Public Library has installed free wireless Net, with the service being available to their patrons on 10/02/06. MCPL joins over 100 other Wisconsin public libaries in offering this service. Close to another 100 libraries intend to add the technology in 2007 according to the Department of Public Instruction.

Garrett Erickson (shown in this Wausau Daily Herald photo) is MCPL's Customer Services Team Manager and is at the point of the effort to make the library a "hotspot" in the community. Providing this service allows the library to avoid substantial costs in adding many new terminals to keep up with demand for internet access, as well as the on-going cost of keeping the equipment up-to-date.

It is reported in the Wausau Daily Herald that "the wireless capabilities will allow library staff members to eventually equip themselves with portable computer tablets. Instead of remaining stationary at an information desk, employees will be able to move throught the building and assist others when needed." Reference librarian Linda Gau said "We want to be where our customers are."

Erickson reports that the Wi-Fi system was an approximate $6,000 investment on the part of the library.

I am an officer of the Friends group at this library and am proud of the progressive approach the library's director, Mary Bethke, is taking toward library technology.

Monday, October 16, 2006


This year's WLA Convention will be held at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, October 31st thru November 3rd. The Convention is being held in consort with the Wisconsin Health Science Library Association, with the theme being MAKING CONNECTIONS. Today is the last day to have your mailed or faxed registration accepted at the "Advance Registration" rates. Take a look at the agenda and you will be sure to find something very important for you, your library or your Friends group.

Thursday noon the WLTA will be sponsoring a luncheon. Since the demise of FOWL (Friends of Wisconsin Libraries) Friends activities are coming under the umbrella of WLTA (Wisconsin Library Trustees & Advocates). Exactly what direction these activities are going to take is still under discussion, so this would be a great time for Friends leaders to get to know the WLTA officers and offer them input.

My wife tells me that the Kalahari Resort is a fantastic place. There will be lots of time for play as well as work at this convention, and the WLA could hardly have picked a better spot. I hope to see you there. I'll be the guy in the red sweatshirt ..... NO ..... that was at the Badger game. Look for my name tag !!


The Wisconsin Book Festival begins its Madison segment on Wednesday, October 18th. The Festival is a tremendous combination of events, even including a USED BOOK SALE at the Memorial Library on the 18th. This outstanding Book Festival is a program of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and is now in it's fifth year. Rather than make a puny attempt at describing the plethera of events, I'm simply going to direct you to the Festival's website which describes everything in great detail.

Sunday, October 15, 2006



I had a great trip to Mad-City to see Wisconsin rout Minnesota 48-12. P.J. Hill is a beast, John Stocco showed great precision, and one of my Wausau East kids caught a touchdown pass.

Going as a guest of a local doctor, I got to attend the Medical Alumni Tailgate Party at the Student Union South. This was much more sophisticated than most tailgate parties I've ever been to. The new head of the medical school, Dean Golden, showed his transition from being a Tarheel to becoming a Badger is coming along nicely, as he ate a bratwurst for breakfast!

The Wisconsin band gave a short pre-game concert outside the Student Union. I tried to find Ben Creagh, the son of a favorite former business associate of mine. Ben is a senior trombone player in the Badger band. But I failed to spot him before the band left for the stadium.

Wisconsin sincerely loves its outstanding band. New UW Chancellor John Wiley is at the focal point of a flap regarding some misconduct by a small number of members of the UW band on a trip to Michigan. When Wiley was introduced at half-time he was soundly booed, not only by the student section but also by adults in attendance. Interesting!

The Pat Richter/Barry Alvarez era has produced a level of excellence in athletics at UW in vitually all sports, male & female, that is unmatched at that fine school. Considering the ancient Greek tradition of the need for balance between activities of both the body and the mind, the University of Wisconsin serves us well.

Friday, October 13, 2006


North Korea is much in the news these days. They are trying to assert themselves as a modern nation and a world power, even though they are incredibly poor, depending on donations of food to keep their people alive. Yet, they have the fifth largest standing army in the world. Apparently, they detonated a nuclear device to attract attention, if nothing else.

This is their official site, as they try to project an image of themselves to the world, that is likely far from reality. I, personally, know little about North Korea. I think we as a nation need to find out all we can about them, if we are to properly deal with them in the family of nations.

Take a look at their site. Be sure to take a look at some of the videos in the second website.

What information does your library have to provide to its patrons about this pugnacious country?


October is Family History Month!

On Tuesdays from 1 - 3 PM, members of the Lakeland Area Genealogy Society will be available to answer questions and help with your genealogy searches. Resources available include the ANCESTORY and HERITAGE QUEST databases. Time to start researching your family tree!

Wednesday October 18th at 4 - 5 PM the TEEN BOOK GROUP meets to discuss Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Refreshments will be available. This is part of the Minocqua Library's observance of Teen Read Week (10 15-21)

Thursday October 26th at 1:30 PM -- Reception in honor of Friends of Minocqua Library in the Board Room. Program speaker is Kari Canfield, Director of MAVW Chamber of Commerce.

National Friends of Libraries Week is October 22 - 28.

(Note: The President of the Friends of Minocqua Public Library is Mary Louise Hansen. The Treasurer & Membership Chair is Barb Edwards. Barb did an excellent job as a " discussion facilitator" at the Northwoods Conference of Friends & Library Supporters on 9/30/06)


I'll be taking the day off tomorrow as I'll be travelling to Madison to watch the UW Badgers battle the Minnesota Gophers for Paul Bunyan's Axe. I formerly did statistics for the Wausau East football team and therefore regard Mark Zalewski (starting middle linebacker) and Andy Crooks (starting tight end) as "my boys". Both had outstanding careers at Wausau East.

I have a great T-Shirt that lists across the back "Ten Reasons I Didn't Go To Minnesota". Unfortunately, tomorrow will not be T-Shirt weather.

The game will be covered on ESPN at 11:00 AM. Look for me on TV. I'll be the guy in the red sweatshirt!



There is a great site I've located called "Future Tense". It is touted as "Public Radio's daily journal of the digital age". Of particular interest is an October 6th posting regarding Web 2.0 If you are uncertain as to what Web 2.0 actually means, this posting includes an audio clip of just over 3 minutes that makes it quite clear. The site is

What does your library participate in regarding Web 2.0 (or Library 2.0) ???


The Information Institute, an organization based on the Florida State University campus has done an interesting study on Internet Usage at public libraries. It is well worth spending some time on as we enter this age of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

You can find it at

What role does your Friends group play in Internet accessibility at your library?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


What would you guess to be the biggest best-selling novel of all time?

Which author would you guess has sold the most books, all time, totalling up all of her novels?

The answers might surprise you! Check it out at


Feeling lonely? Not getting enough e:mail in your in-box?

The Shorewood library is highlighting a service called "Bookletters". At their site you can sign up for one or several of a long list of book related e:mails. They cover a wide variety of subjects related to books, even one that gives the schedule of author interviews on the weekend Book-TV broadcasts. Another gets you to WPR's Chapter-A-Day, which you can listen to at your leisure as a podcast rather than having to listen to it on the radio at a specific time.

Check it out at

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Seventh Annual Chippewa Valley Book Festival - Eau Claire
It looks like a great event. Many authors making presentations

10/15 - 10/22

Check it out at

It would be great if those who have the opportunity to attend would add some comments on their experience (at this post) for the edification of those of us who won't be able to participate.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I've found much interesting "stuff" on the Wisconsin Law Library Newsletter. (On occasion some of it is even pertinent to me and my life). Take a look at:


I'm back on-line after taking the weekend off. It was probably the last really great weekend of the season, weather-wise. My wife and I enjoyed most of it outdoors. She is an avid birder and we saw and photographed tons of coots, ducks, Canada geese, and a few huge mute swans. We saw lots of shorebirds on sandbars and mudflats as well. Many arctic species are migrating south and we photographed terns, sandpipers, and plovers. One of the plover species was a first on my wife's life-list. I've included one of her photos. It's a Black-Bellied Plover in winter plumage.

Heather Eldred of Wisconsin Valley Library Service issued an e:mail pointing out a "support kit" for rural libraries on the ALA website. Check out

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friends - Websites

Do you ever check out other Friends group websites to see what the heck they are doing? Periodically, I'll give you some internet addresses of group sites I've found, for you to review and perhaps get some new ideas from. Check these out:


The Friends of Libraries - USA organization (FOLUSA) has set it motion a new celebration called NATIONAL FRIENDS OF LIBRARIES WEEK. This will be commemorated 10/22 - 10/28 this year. Information as to what it is about and how your group can join in the celebration is listed on the FOLUSA web-site. This includes press releases and program suggestions. This would appear to be a good opportunity for a membership drive. Check it out at:

Thursday, October 05, 2006


There will be several Used Book Sales taking place in the next few days. Here are the ones that I am aware of:
  • Madison - Main Library: 10/5 - 7
  • Madison - Sequoya: 10/7
  • Neenah: 10/12 - 16
  • Racine: 10/6 - 7
  • West Bend: 10/12 - 14
  • Wisconsin Rapids: 10/5 - 7


As Friends groups and their respective libraries puzzle over how they are going to have to "Do More With Less" the prospect of receiving every Grant that they possibly can becomes increasingly important.

I've located a blog that contains a lot of "opportunities" to investigate, perhaps some you have not hear of before.

Check out


This posting is to solicit information.


With budgets getting tight, postage always increasing, and printing costs expensive, what does your group think is the best approach to get your message out to your Friends membership.

  • Printed mailed newsletter?
  • A posting on your library website?
  • E-mailed newsletter?
  • Member choice of mailed or e-mailed?
  • Blog or Wiki?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The Frank B. Koller Library in Manitowish Waters will again be sponsoring the Northwoods Festival of Trees. The event will be held on December 2nd at the Manitowish Waters Community Center. The Festival is currently enlisting area businesses, organizations and residents interested in decorating a Christmas tree. You provide the lights and decoration; the Festival provides the tree. There are a variety of awards that will be given out. The trees will be raffled off at the end of the Festival, with all the proceeds going to support the Koller Library.

The deadline for decorator registrations is October 27th, 2006. Contact Teresa Schmidt at the Library 543-2700 or visit the Koller Library's website at


Some folks have reported problems posting comments to this bog. I checked the situation out and you DO need to have either a Blogger ID or a Yahoo ID. This is very simple to establish. You then use this ID and password when adding a Comment to the blog. The system does not allow anonymous comments.

Sorry I did not make this clearer sooner. (The truth is, I didn't know) It's often said that we best learn by making mistakes. With the blunders I've pulled in my lifetime, I should be a genius!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I am working on figuring out how to attach a calendar to this blog. As Libraries and Friends groups inform me of upcoming events, I'd like to add them to a calendar so you have one spot to see all the things happening regarding libraries up here in God's Country. I'll either work hard on this project myself or find some 11 year old kid to do it for me.

And speaking of calendars, there's been a technology breakthrough at the Marathon County Public Library. They used to issue a monthly newsletter outlining events at their library for that month. They've installed new software on their website that will be updated DAILY showing what's happening in Wausau as well as all nine of their branch locations. Check it out at


The September/October 2006 issue of SENIOR STYLE magazine (which claims to Capture the Spirit of the Northwoods) carries an article on Barbara Young of the Minocqua Public Library. Barbara is the Outreach Coordinator in Minocqua and heads up a program called "Library to You". It is a form of a Bookmobile program where Barb carries library materials to homebound people in Oneida County. There are currently 87 people in the program who receive books, audio books, videos, magazines and music on CDs. She sets up shop at four group locations and two senior citizen sites. Using a laptop and a scanner she brings library technology to the user as she checks out materials. Barb also distributes donated books to her patrons frequently moving them from one site to the next. SENIOR STYLE reports "the free Library to You service is not limited just to seniors, as any homebound person, for instance due to illness or recuperating from surgery or because of a long-term medical condition, can also receive the service." For more information call the library at 715-356-4437 or email Barbara at

Monday, October 02, 2006


Mercer Public Library's 9th year in their new building is being noted with a weeklong celebration.
  • Monday 10/2. Hands-On Computer Classes. How to use e:mail
  • Tuesday 10/3. Volunteer Appreciation Day. Have some cake at noon and meet the volunteers.
  • Wednesday 10/4. More Hands-On Computer Classes.
  • Thursday 10/5. Knitters Group (Afternoon & Evening) and "Dance Revolution" for kids - after school - compete and play games with your feet.
  • Friday 10/6. Wine & Hors D' Oeuvres Celebration & Fundraiser, put on by the Friends of the Mercer Public Library. The Friends social event of the year. Silent Auction, Door Prizes, Mystery Prizes. Musical Entertainment (The Pinetones).

The Friends of the Mercer Public Library also hold a "One Chance In A Hundred" monthly raffle. Tickets are $1, and may be purchased at the library. The October item is a wood burning of a loon and chicks by artist Rose King. Ms. King owns Gallery 51 in Manitowish Waters. The November item is a lined hand woven basket by GiGi Shukes. The reeds are imported and hand-dyed by Shukes.


I would like to thank the 60 library supporters who participated in the September 30th Friends Conference in Rothschild. You were an active, vocal group who volunteered many good ideas and comments about how your library handled various problems and opportunities. I was totally impressed by the wide geographical base of the attendees. You ranged from Brookfield & Germantown up to Washburn; from La Crosse up to Land-O-Lakes; from Chippewa Falls over to Algoma & Door County. Tremendous!

I would also like to thank Heather Eldred and Marla Sepnafski of Wisconsin Valley Library Service. These ladies run one of the best library systems in the state. Heather was the primary "idea" person behind the conference. Marla was the person who did all the detail work behind the scenes. She did all the logistical, clerical, and financial operations that made the conference work. My hat is off to you ladies!

I'm a bit disappointed that there have not been any comments posted yet to this blog. Well, the weather has been great. Maybe when it starts to rain again you'll be driven indoors and on to your computers to check it out.

You can add your "two-cents worth" to this blog by clicking on the COMMENTS at the lower right of each posting. If you don't want to make a public statement, but want to contact me by e:mail, you can find my address by clicking on the "more information on my profile". Plus, I might as well give it to you right now. It is