Thursday, November 30, 2006


The following is a list of Wisconsin Book Sales that I am aware will be taking place in December. I'll work on getting you more details.

  • 12/2 Madison (Sequoya)
  • 12/7 Ripon
  • 12/8-11 Madison (Pinney)
  • 12/9 Minocqua
  • 12/9 West Allis
  • 12/16 Kewaunee
  • 12/16 Madison (Lakeview)

If anyone is aware of other sales going on in the Badger State in December, please drop me a line so I can post the information.


The Librarian's Internet Index came up with an interesting and varied list of web-sites that they had checked out this week. Among them are:


Monday, November 27, 2006


Just thought I'd share a couple photos of raptors that my wife snapped in the area around Trout Lake on Saturday. There isn't a real lot of wildlife there, as the area we were in is primarily red pine climax forest. However, there were hawks and eagles on alert so there were likely some critters there that we didn't see. We sure enjoyed seeing these birds and they were watching us while we watched them! Simply beautiful creatures!


I'm hoping you had as good a Thanksgiving weekend as my wife and I did. We went North to spend the holiday at our cottage. On Saturday the weather was so great we just HAD to get out in the woods and walk around. BUT it was still deer hunting season. Then my wife thought of the area around the Ranger station on Trout Lake. This is located on Highway M on the way to Boulder Junction. It is state-owned land with some fine trails along the southern shore and the land is posted -- no hunting allowed! So we spent the afternoon there....beautiful blue sky, huge calm lake, no people and no mosquitos! It was great! I'm not sure how many calories we walked off, but it had to have helped.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


On this day of giving thanks for everything that is good in our life, don't forget to give at least a little silent expression of appreciation for the free public libraries that we all too often take for granted. It's not that way in all countries. And give yourself a little pat on the back as well, for your participation in keeping the library an important, essential part of your community.

I hope your turkey looks like this today! (I hope my will too).


Need some last minute instructions on how to have a great Thanksgiving Holiday? Check out these video tips from MSN. As I normally prepare the Thanksgiving meal in our family, I found the tips on making the turkey very interesting. You'll have to put up with a few commercials, but what the hey, we're used to that.

MSN Specials - Happy Holidays

Monday, November 20, 2006


The Tomahawk Public Library has several interesting programs going. Their CIVIL WAR ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSSION GROUP meets again tomorrow, 11/21 at 1:30 PM.

There is also a program called A MORE PERFECT UNION that began on 9/11 and runs through 12/11. The meetings are at 7:00 PM in the Community Room.

The Library Director, Mary Dunn, is currently working to get a Friends group started again in Tomahawk. Other Friends groups in the area will be working to help this fine library to get the program going again. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed. Mary can be reached at 715-453-2455.


Does your family or some individual in your family have an interest in astronomy? I just ran across a potential Christmas gift that would be very helpful in the study of the sky and knowing what to look for on the clear starry nights. Countdown Creations offers a home planetarium where you can project constellations and major stars onto the ceilings in your home for study and recognition practice.
It's called a Star Theatre SE
Take a look at:

You'll find it under "New Items"


I found out today that the Friends group in the Eau Claire area is a very dynamic group. 1.1% of all the residents in their community belong to the Friends! 1% sounds like a small percentage until you begin thinking about the number of people in your own group in relation to the population of your town.

Perhaps your group should set a 2007 goal of trying to recruit 1% of the people in your town to become paying, active members. What wonderful things those 1% could do for the remaining 99% of the residents!

Keep me advised of the progress your groups make toward that membership goal and I'll keep others informed.


I've noticed that several Friends of the Library groups in Northern Wisconsin using the making of quilts as a method of making money for their group and for their library. They report that it is a "fun" project as good conversation and gossip is exchanged when they get together and work on the quilt. Many sell raffle tickets on this year's quilt at their book sales. I bought tickets this year both in Winchester and in Manitowish Waters. No luck!

The Friends of the Winchester Library held the drawing for their quilt on November 7th. The winner was Tina Grabowski of Avon, Indiana! Better luck next year!


I almost missed reporting that the Minocqua Public Library is sponsoring a lecture by environmentalist JOHN BATES at the Lakeland Senior Center. The talk is TODAY at 1:00 PM and is on the subject of WINTER ECOLOGY.

Mr. Bates is a well-known author whose nature related columns appear in several Northwoods periodicals and newspapers on a regular basis. I'll give you a thorough posting on him and his work at a later date as he is used as a resource by several libraries and friends groups in the North. My wife and I try to catch one or two of his presentations every year.

In any event if you are in the Minocqua area today and have some free time early this afternoon, the John Bates lecture is the place to be!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


This morning my wife and I will be heading up to our cottage in the Minocqua area to make sure everything is OK and ready for us to spend the Thanksgiving holiday up there. We'll be carting along all the ingredients for a sumptuous feast.

And speaking of feasts, we'll then head over to The Lake of the Torches Casino in Lac du Flambeau to partake of the really good buffet that they offer for a very reasonable price. And then ........... we'll go into the Convention Center and watch the Packer/Patriot game on a screen that's about as big as the side of my house! There's no charge to watch and beverages and food are available (like you needed any more food after enjoying the buffet).

If you haven't been there, check it out. It's well run and well maintained. They put out a very good spread and watching football games there is exciting. You should try to avoid the "one-armed bandits" as you make your way to the exit, although I'll have to admit my bride won $219 the last time we watched a Packer game there.


From time to time I'll post links to book related blogs, blogs about books, about writing, about authors. Hopefully, this will be of interest to you bibliophiles, book nerds, reading fanatics, or whatever else you choose to call yourself. Since there is such a tremendous amount of written material to choose from, I find it useful to get advice in making choices from people who I find have similar tastes to mine. Check out this site and see if you've found a soul-mate.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


The WLTA board met on Friday, November 17th at the WLA headquarters in Madison. The following is a list of some of the actions taken in that meeting:
  • Selected new officers for 2007
  • Developed list of programs to sponsor at 2007 WAPL & WLA Conferences
  • Proposed dynamic participation program in 2007 Legislative Day
  • Promoted "READ-ON WISCONSIN" program
  • Proposed some alternate sites for 2007 board meetings
  • Honored Lowell Wilson for his long term service to Wisconsin libraries
  • Discussed changes in Wisconsin sales tax regulations for non-profits
  • Discussed the September Northwoods Friends of Libraries Conference
  • Reviewed actions taken at the recent WLA board meeting

As reported previously, the Wisconsin Library Trustees and Advocates division of the Wisconsin Library Association is now the organization that Friends of Library members in this state can look to for guidance and help in the operation of their group. Check out the WLTA website for additional information regarding the organization.


There are many lists of internet sites sorted by category. Most sites that you select as your home page have them. There is one site, however, which purports to have sifted through the chaff and lists only sites that you as librarians or library patrons can trust. This is the Librarians' Internet Index. LII is a publicly-funded website and weekly newsletter. Every Thursday morning it sends out their free newsletter "New This Week", which features dozens of high-quality websites carefully selected, described, and organized by their team of librarians. You can subscribe by e:mail or RSS. You can also seach and browse their website.

Additionally, they offer featured collections, such as "The Grapes of Web (a companion to the 2002 California statewide Steinbeck reading program) and such topics as taxes, elections, and September 11th.

Check it out at:

Friday, November 17, 2006


The annual Leonid meteor shower could produce a strong outburst this weekend for residents of North America. A brief surge of activity is expected to begin around 10:45 p.m. Central Time, Saturday evening. The outburst could last up to two hours and at the peak could generate up to 150 shooting stars per hour, or more than two per minute.

So this is the weekend to take a break from viewing astronomy pictures on your computer and go outside and see the real thing. If it's not cloudy just put on your snuggies, your lined jeans, and your down parka - - go outside and enjoy!

Note: the photo is a time-lapse shot from 2002 over Beijing in China.

For more info on the meteor shower go to


I recently received a WEMA list e:mail from Donna Steffan of the Department of Public Instruction regarding "Teaching Books". This is an online collection of multimedia K-12 author and book resources that is freely available to every Wisconsin school, library and resident via a BadgerLink license with DPI's Division of Libraries, Technology and Community Learning. The program is offered by the Founder & Principal, Nick Glass of Madison. If you missed this e:mail you can contact Donna at or They can furnish you with instructions for imbedding their link onto your website. This definitely looks like something that your library should take advantage of it, and the price is right!

You can take a look at the site at and can view reviews of the site at

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The Friends of the Kewaunee Public Library are busy folks. They conduct a BOOKSALE the third Saturday of Every Month at the HILLCREST LIBRARY. Timing for the sale is:

  • 10:30AM to 12:30PM - Members Only
  • 12:30PM to 3:30 PM - General Public

You can obtain a Friends membership at the sale for $2.50 Such a deal!

Help support this very active group


The Friends of The L.E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire will be holding a Fall Book Sale this weekend. The sale takes place from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on both 11/17 and 11/18. Be sure to attend and help this fine group and their library.


Antigo is the home of a Raptor Center which helps large birds who have been injured in the wild to recover. Marge Gibson, the director of this operation, has instituted an education program that teaches groups about these magnificent birds. Some of the libraries in the Central Wisconsin area have engaged the Raptor Education Group to put on programs at their libraries as part of their summer activities. These have been very successful. Adding the Raptor Center program to your own library's 2007 offerings to your patrons would be a great idea, and the sessions provide some income to help the Center remain in operation.

The Wausau Daily Herald recently ran a multimedia clip on the center. You can access it at:

Monday, November 13, 2006


The Friends of the Marathon County Public Library held another very successful book sale the first weekend in November. Although no where near a record sale, they still generated in excess of $5,000 to use in programs to benefit MCPL. That's a lot of books at 50 cents each! Also the organizers of the sale feel very good about the service they provided to the community in supplying books at an economcal price to seniors, children, home schoolers, and book lovers in general. It's very gratifying to see the smile on the faces of patrons as they walk out with their bag of books, eager to get home and go over their "treasures".

The Wausau Daily Herald has done an excellent job of covering the FMCPL book sales over the years and produced a multimedia clip on the latest sale. You can find this at :

Thanks for your coverage and your permission to use the clip!

Friday, November 10, 2006


I spent $4.00 on 2 CDs that contain 100,000 pieces of clip-art graphics. I thought they would add a little spice to my blog. However, I would like your opinion as to whether I should continue to use them or if I should keep the site rather vanilla. Remember, I have about 99,991 pictures I haven't used yet!

You could pass on your opinion via making a comment to this post. It's a very simple process.

Hope to hear from you!


There are a few Friends of Library groups in Wisconsin that will be trying to earn some money for their libraries this month. The following is an overview of November sales I'm aware of. I think you should attend at least one of these sales and buy a few books before you spend all your money on Christmas presents! (Uncle Bill has got enough ties anyway)

  • GREEN BAY 11/7-11
  • WEST ALLIS 11/11
  • EAU CLAIRE 11/17-18
  • KEWAUNEE 11/18
  • OSHKOSH 11/28

If anyone from these groups will e:mail me details about their sale, I'll post the information on this blog. Or you could give the information in a comment to this posting.


One of the subjects discussed at the Northwoods Conference of Friends and Library Supporters on September 30th was what do you do with the books left over after your Friends booksale has finished. There were lots of good ideas ventured by people in attendance. Now, Heather Eldred of Wisconsin Valley Library Service has come up with a website that offers some additional avenues of disposal. A discussion appeared on the "freepint" website that you should check out.

Thanks Heather!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Most library websites and library system websites now have links to get you into the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium site. This is a new service that allows you to "check out" audio books and download them to your computer. There is a time link which negates your access to the book when your check-out period expires. (Just like your check-out period for a hard cover book). It's a great new service that you should definitely check out if you haven't already. It sort of reminds me of the days before television where you and your family would listen to a radio drama together while each engaged in another activity of his choosing. How about listening to a book while you clean up your office. (It probably needs it ---- mine does!)

There is also a web-site that you can access that provides audio books that are in the public domain. Many of these are old classics. This site is worth checking out too. Books can be eaily downloaded as mp3 files. They can also be downloaded as podcasts in iTunes, Juice or whatever. The site gives you links to the Gutenberg project so you can download text. It also links you to Wikipedia entries about the author and the book. They are even seeking people who will read and record books to add to their collection. The site is Your library may want to add a link to this site on their web-site. Check it out with your director.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


It is amazing to turn on the television today and not be bombarded by negative political ads. The boob tube almost seems kind and friendly. Some of the results and subsequent actions that took place are amazing! I hope your candidates won. Many of mine did!

Now we can get back to doing our jobs and hope that the politicians do the same.


I attended many good sessions at last week's WLA conference. But perhaps the session that had the most immediate effect was the one on LIBRARY THING in a meeting sponsored by the Technology Group. I had heard of this software at the WAPL conference in spring, but it was one package among many that we were introduced to in Wisconsin Rapids. An entire program on LIBRARY THING was amazing.

This software is a wiki type of package which enables you to catalog your library on line. Typing in the ISBN number calls up an astounding amount of information about your book from sources such as the Library of Congress or data that has been logged in previously by other users of the system. There is security in the system so that you can remain as private as you like or you can open up portions of your data to share with others. The system is free up to your first 200 books. After that it is $10 per year or $25 lifetime. Such a deal!

There is a tutorial on the site that will walk you through all the features. You owe it to yourself to see how this system can make cataloging your own library a treat.

LIBRARY THING is being used by some small libraries who are not attached to some large system, as their cataloging device. Try it at

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Today is an extremely important day for our National, State and Local governments, as well as for YOU as an individual citizen. It is the day that YOU get an opportunity to express your approval or disapproval of the way our governmental officials are administering their sworn duties.

People who use, fund, and support libraries have much at stake in this election. Make sure that you vote for the candidates that represent ideas and legislation that is library-friendly.

But above all, BE SURE TO VOTE !!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


There is another site that I visit virtually every day that would be of definite help to you if you decide on a Winter Astronomy Project. In addition to great astro-photographs the site gives you super explanations and countless links to other sites with information bearing on the subject at hand. The site is The Astronomy Picture of the Day. It's really worth a look.


Winter is fast approaching. As the winds begin to blow and the snow begins to fall, many of us dread looking forward to several months being cooped up in our homes.

Well, in addition to attacking items on our "Must Read" list, how about tackling a new project this winter: learning about Astronomy.

NASA has committed to another repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope that will keep it functioning until at least 2013, sending us back more of those fantastic photos, and enabling our scientists to continue to learn more about our Universe and how it works. We are all interested in knowing what happens in our neighborhood, our town, our state ---- how about finding out what's happening in our little corner of the galaxy?

But before you run down to Walmart and buy a $40 telescope you should learn a bit about Astronomy. There is tons of information in your library and on the internet. However, before wading through all this technical printed material, how about listening to some people talk about Astonomy and determine if you are really interested?

There is a new podcast site on the web called This enables you to listen to very neophyte-friendly broadcasts on Astronomy which will enable you to get started properly and in a cost-effective manner. You can even sign up for an RSS feed which will load the programs onto your computer automatically. Give it a listen! --- particularly Episode 7 which deals with getting started in Astronomy. Never listened to a podcast before? Well, this is a good opportunity to get started!

Because of all the free materials available, an overview of Astronomy could be a very low cost project to add to services your library or your Friends group provides to your patrons this cold wintery season.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Congratulations to WLA President David Weinhold for staging an excellent Annual Conference. Organization of the event was first-rate from the publicity which brought in over 1,200 participants to the closing President's Luncheon as well as the myriad of activities in between. Intervals between events allowed time for visiting the exhibit hall, the food was excellent, and the area "excursions" a lot of fun. The only regrets expressed by many was having to make choices among the many excellent programs which were offered.

Great job Dave! You'll be a tough act to follow!

P.S. Your 1957 VW is a beauty!

Friday, November 03, 2006


The Main Library located at 800 Main Street in LaCrosse is holding the Fall version of their Bi-Annual Book & Craft Sale this weekend. Timing of the sale is as follows:
  • Friday, Nov 3 - 6:30 to 8:30 Members Only (You can join on-site)
  • Saturday, Nov 4 - 10am to 4pm
  • Sunday, Nov 5 - 1pm to 4pm - $5 bag sale!!!

Carole Edland was promoting the sale down at the WLA conference in Wisconsin Dells.

Good luck , La Crosse ---have a super sale!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It's happening! I'm making this post from the Internet Cafe of the Kalahari Convention Center, site of the 2006 WLA Conference. I've attended my first session, one on promoting your rural library. The informative meeting was led by John DeBacher of the Department of Public Instruction. John was aided by two small town librarians who gave interesting presentations on challenges rural libraries have to provide up-to-date services to their patrons. It was a great start to my convention.

The biggest problem I've seen is the choices you have to make regarding which sessions to attend. The biggest pleasure is seeing old friends.

It's not too late. You can come down for a one day session. It's definitely worth the time, effort, and the expenditure of a little "U.S. federal spending cash".