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Category: Children

JULY 18, 2016
Library will not host the Children's Museum on its third floor due to structural limitations
With great disappointment, today I announce that the Marathon County Public Library will no longer seek to host the Children’s Museum of Marathon County (CMMC) on its third floor. The final report on the weight capacity for the third floor has been completed by FEH Design, and their conclusions for required revisions are too costly to support having a museum occupy that space. This is most unfortunate, as the partnership between the library and CMMC was full of great potential for providing hands on STEM focused and educational experiences throughout our county.

Although we will no longer be co-located, we share the desire to bring a new level of interactive and fun learning to our community.  The CMMC will do that, and we’ll continue to work with them on cooperative ways for our organizations to bring the STEM focus to Marathon County’s youth. taking STEM activities out into our communities. We do still applaud the efforts of the Children’s Museum of Marathon County, and we look forward to a productive partnership with them in the future. The CMMC Board of Directors remains optimistic that they will secure a location and remain committed to opening the sought-after children’s museum to serve our community.  Please join me in giving them your support and encouragement as they continue their quest to bring a world-class children’s museum to Marathon County.

Ralph Illick
Director, Marathon County Public Library
For more information, visit the Children’s Museum of Marathon County at


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Categories: ChildrenDirector's ReportLibraries


APRIL 21, 2016
Summer Library Program starts May 31!
This year’s summer theme is “On Your Mark, Get Set... Read!” and combines fitness and health with our usual focus on reading and discovery!

Summer Reading Club is an important part of our summer program, and we have great activities planned for children of all ages, plus teens and adults! Register at your local MCPL or online starting May 31 to receive a log to track your summer reading, healthful activities and other challenges. Your completed log may be returned to the library by August 27 for a reward!

We have a full slate of events scheduled, including performers like children’s musician Tom Pease, magician Jim Mitchell, clowns Miller & Mike, juggler Dan Kirk, instrumentalist Bill Kehl, the Soda Pups and others! We also have a variety of craft projects, building activities, science experiments and informational presentations planned for all ages. For a complete schedule of summer events, visit

(from the MCPL Newsletter)

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Categories: Summer Library ProgramChildrenNewsletter


DECEMBER 15, 2015
Director’s Report
As we reflect on the past year, we have so much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to here at MCPL. During the past several months, we have had the architectural firm Engberg Anderson working with us on planning and visioning the future of your library. This has been an exciting project that allowed us to listen to our public, our staff, and our partners in the community. I am very pleased with the results of their study, and I look forward to implementing many of their
suggestions as our board prioritizes their findings.

I am also especially pleased to report the partnership we are building with the Children’s Museum of Marathon County, a well-organized non-profit organization that has expressed its desire to occupy the library’s third floor in downtown Wausau. Their goal is to develop a high-tech experiential venue for children emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that will serve children and families throughout the entire county. The library would then provide facilities at all nine of our locations for traveling exhibits that will inspire children and help spur their interest in meaningful learning that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

As you might imagine, we will need all of the help available from our supporters in the community. Our foundation and friends groups will be helping us greatly in the process of developing our plan and in seeking the funds needed for these much-needed improvements. As we move forward, I respectfully ask that you help us reach our goals by talking with your county board supervisor about the importance of having a library that is able to meet the 21st Century needs of our beautiful community. Tell your friends and neighbors that we need their support as well. Together, we can do something very special at your library.

Thank you in advance for your support!

(from the MCPL Newsletter)

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Categories: NewsletterDirector's ReportChildren


APRIL 29, 2015
Story Time Break
Many of our locations will be participating in a story time break before our Summer Library Program begins to accommodate school visits and prepare for our summer programs.

Athens, Hatley and Rothschild will continue to have regularly scheduled story times. Marathon City will continue to have regulary scheduled story times but will not meet on May 28th.

Wausau will have no story times in the month of May, except for the Family Resource Center’s Play & Learn story time on Fridays. Story times will resume in June, along with Sweet Dreams Story Time Monday nights at 6:30. Some story times may be cancelled due to scheduled Summer Library Program events. See our brochure for these events.

Edgar, Mosinee, Spencer, and Stratford will break at various times in May and resume in September. Regularly scheduled Family Resource Center Play & Learns will still occur. Please visit our story times page for more specific details and times.

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Categories: ChildrenStorytimesSummer Library Program


APRIL 2, 2015
Raise Great Kids Parent Survey
If you are a parent, guardian, grandparent, or child caregiver, we would like your input! is a local website put out by a collaborative effort of community partners under the Early Years Coalition. Marathon County Public Library is a member of this coalition, and we need your help completing a survey.

As part of our efforts to make a better site for our users, we need your help. We would like to get both your thoughts and feedback on Raise Great Kids as well as gather more information about how you use the internet to search for information you find valuable about children. Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey. Your feedback will be invaluable in helping us shape the site moving forward.

If you haven’t checked out, please visit the website.

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Categories: ChildrenEarly LiteracyWebsites


NOVEMBER 21, 2014
Holiday Story Time Changes
Many of our locations are taking a break from regular story times over the winter holidays. Here is a list of story time breaks for all MCPL locations. For further questions, feel free to contact us.

MCPL Wausau: No weekly story time from December 21, 2014-January 4, 2015. Play and Learn story time, which is organized by the Family Resource Center, will still occur on Fridays except on November 28 & December 26, 2014.

MCPL Rothschild: Thursday story times will start at 2:30 p.m. effective December 4, 2014.

MCPL Marathon: No weekly story time from December 19, 2014-January 7, 2015.

MCPL Mosinee: No changes.

MCPL Edgar: No weekly story time from December 19, 2014-January 7, 2015.

MCPL Hatley: No weekly story time from December 17, 2014- January 5, 2015.

MCPL Athens: No weekly story time from December 17, 2014-January 5, 2015.

MCPL Spencer: No weekly story time from December 18, 2014-January 6, 2015.

MCPL Stratford: No weekly story time from December 18, 2014-January 6, 2015
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Categories: ChildrenStorytimesBooks


SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
Wisconsin Science Festival: Curiosity Unleashed
The Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration of science focused on curiosity, creativity and community. Based in Madison, but spread out across the state, a variety of interactive science programs will be offered October 16-19, 2014. Visit their website for a full listing of state-wide events.

Here at Marathon County Public Library, we will be hosting two events at MCPL-Wausau in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival. Children in grades K-5 can join us for Grossology on October 16 from 6:30-7:30pm. School-aged children will learn about all of the gross things the human body does with demonstrations and experiments. Then, on Saturday October 18, Colossal Fossils, a Wisconsin non-profit, will bring fossils for children of all ages to explore. Unleash your curiosity this October and join us at Marathon County Public Library, or any of the statewide events put on in celebration of science. {{2015-06-03}}

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Categories: ChildrenWisconsin


JULY 24, 2014
Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead!
Beginning this fall, together with our usual literacy offerings, we are incorporating more S.T.E.A.M. into our children’s programs!

What’s S.T.E.A.M.?  It is an approach to education that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics by providing kids with lots of hands-on activities and experiments. Each program will be designed to engage the imagination and stimulate the curiosity of our future computer programmers, scientists, mathematicians, artists and engineers.

S.T.E.A.M. Exploration Stations are planned for preschool children (ages 3-5) at 10:30am on the second Wednesday and the following Saturday of each month at our Wausau headquarters. Occasionally, other Preschool Story Times will feature S.T.E.A.M experiments and activities, too.

Additionally, monthly S.T.E.A.M. programs are being planned for school-age children (grades K-5), including events for tweens (grades 3-5) specifically.

We are following national recommendations by expanding our educational opportunities for children and providing additional activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.  These free programs are intended to be fun, engaging and beneficial for your children as they grow into successful teens and adults.

(from the MCPL Newsletter, Jul.-Sept., 2014)

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Categories: NewsletterChildrenEarly Literacy


JULY 23, 2014
Make music with your child
Music has many benefits to children of all ages; it gives children an outlet for expression, it breaks down language so children hear the smaller sounds in words (also known as phonological awareness), and music stimulates brain development in specific areas including language and reasoning. So, what can you do so your child gets the most out of music? Encourage your child to make his or her own music with household items. Play music in your home and encourage your child to sing and dance. And, even if you have a terrible singing voice, sing to your child! Your child will not care what your voice sounds like, just be enthusiastic and expressive. Sing nursery rhymes, make up songs that rhyme together, and even sing books. Check out the booklists below for books that can be sung to children and a list of highly recommended children’s music CDS.

Books to Sing
The Seals on the Bus-Lenny Hort
Old McDonald Had a Farm-Jane Cabrera
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed-Eileen Christelow
My Very First Mother Goose-Iona Opie
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star-Jane Cabrera
The Itsy Bitsy Spider-Iza Trapani
Recommended CDs
The Best of The Laurie Berkner Band
Toddler Favorites Too!
Baby Beluga by Raffi
Precious Baby
Songs for Wiggleworms

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Categories: ChildrenEarly LiteracyParents


JULY 11, 2014
Building Blocks Series

The first 1000 days of a child's life will influence his or her future academic achievement greatly. A child's brain is only about 25% developed at birth and develops to about 85% at age 3, or about 1000 days old. Marathon County's Early Years Coalition is taking proactive steps to ensuring parents have information and support for those first 1000 days so they raise great kids. The Wausau Daily Herald interviewed members of the coalition in the hopes of spreading the word about what parents can do to ensure their child is healthy, safe, ready for school, and great! Check out the links to other episodes and information to see how you can raise a great child in Marathon County.

New episodes will air Fridays until August 15. Visit for the latest videos.

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Categories: Early LiteracyChildrenWausau Daily Herald


MAY 30, 2014
Develop your child's self-esteem through reading
Developing self-esteem is important to children because confidence will help them in school and life in general. You start developing your child’s self-esteem at birth by being responsive--talking, singing, reading, and being playful. These are also practices that will set foundations for your child’s reading readiness! By being responsive, your child will start to understand who they are and what they do matters to "the world"-- a.k.a. you, the caregiver! By interacting and responding to your child, he or she responds, and you respond back.  As your interactions continue, the child’s self-esteem and trust in you as a caregiver grows and gains strength. For more information about childhood self-esteem and its importance, visit

Here are some books to share with your child about self-esteem and some parenting titles on how to raise children with positive self-esteem: 

Children’s Books
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle
Hooray for You!: A Celebration on “You-ness” by Marianne Richmond
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont
Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
I’m Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
My Brave Year of Firsts by Jamie Lee Curtis
Learning How to Feel Good About Yourself by Susan Kent

Parent Books
200 Ways to Raise a Girl’s Self-Esteem by Will Glennon
501 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem by Robert Ramsey
Keys to Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem by Carl Pickhardt
Parent Talk: Words that Empower, Words That Wound: How to Talk to Your Children in Language that Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility by Chick Moorman
You Are Special: Words of Wisdom from America’s Most Beloved Neighbor by Fred Rogers
Help Your Kids Get it Done Right at Home and at School!: Building Responsibility and Self-Esteem in Children by Donna Genett

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Categories: ChildrenParents Books


APRIL 28, 2014
Interact With Your Child With Wordless Picture Books

Your child needs positive human interaction to fully develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. Human interaction includes simple tasks such as talking, singing, playing, writing and reading; the five suggested practices to get your child ready to read! Through human interaction, your child’s brain will develop to its fullest potential and he or she will feel loved and be more willing to learn, listen and grow.

How can you interact with your child? Below are a few ideas:

  • Play with your child outside, or play make believe inside
  • Talk with your child about his or her day, favorite color, or anything you can think of!
  • Sing favorite songs, sing sentences in books, or make up silly songs that rhyme together
  • Write your child's name, allow him or her to scribble with chalk, or draw pictures together
  • Read books together, point out the letters in different signs you see outside, and read even more!

Wordless picture books are a great way to promote parent-child interaction. Books without words may seem intimidating and strange, but have your child tell the story based on the illustrations and ask different questions as you move through the story. Using wordless picture books will encourage your child to talk, interpret pictures, and use his or her imagination. Below is a list of wordless picture books (or books that contain very few words) that will encourage interaction through talking:

(from the MCPL Newsletter, May-Jul., 2014)

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Categories: ChildrenParents Early Literacy


APRIL 23, 2014
Summer Story Time Changes
Summer is fast approaching, and as usual, there will be some changes to the regular story time schedules at most MCPL locations. Most branches will take a break from their story times to focus on Summer Library Program events. At MCPL Wausau, we'll be taking a break from story times in May to focus on school tours, and we've added a unique, summer-only story time ("Sweet Dreams").

Additionally, special children's events will supersede concurrent story times (particularly "Tales for Tots" at Wausau), but don't let that stop you from visiting the library -- there will be plenty of fun and learning for your child in either case.

As always, the story time schedule is viewable at, but we've also copied it below with the forthcoming changes underlined and colored red. 

Family Story Time
  • MCPL Wausau — Saturdays, 10:30am (year-round) (no meetings 5/4 - 6/7)
  • MCPL Athens — Tuesdays, 10:00am (year-round)
  • MCPL Edgar — Thursdays, 9:30am (Sep.-May) (ends 5/8/14; resumes 9/?/14)
  • MCPL Hatley — Tuesdays, 10:30am (year-round)
  • MCPL Marathon City — Thursdays, 10:30am (Sep.-May) (ends 5/15/14; resumes 9/11/14)
  • MCPL Mosinee — Wednesdays, 10:00am (Sep.-May) (ends 5/7/14; resumes 9/10/14)
  • MCPL Rothschild — Tuesdays, 10:30am (year-round)
  • MCPL Spencer — Wednesdays, 10:00am (Sep.-May) (ends 5/21/14; resumes 9/10/14)
  • MCPL Stratford — Wednesdays, 10:15am (Sep.-May) (ends 5/14/14; resumes 9/10/14)
"Sweet Dreams" Story Time

  • MCPL Wausau — Mondays, 6:30pm (Jun.-Aug.) (starts 6/16/14; ends 8/18/14)
"Play & Learn" Story Time

  • MCPL Wausau — Fridays, 9:30am (year-round)
  • MCPL Hatley — Thursdays, 10:00am (year-round)
  • MCPL Mosinee — Wednesdays, 10:30am (year-round)
Preschool Story Time
MCPL Wausau — Wednesdays AND Thursdays, 10:30am (year-round) (no meetings 5/4 - 6/7) -- Note: During the summer (Jun.-Aug.), we welcome children of all ages to this story time, effectively making this a "Family Story Time."

Tales for Tots
MCPL Wausau — Tuesdays, 9:45am AND 10:30am (year-round) (no meetings 5/4 - 6/7; due to concurrent children's programs, this story time will only meet 6/10, 7/1, 7/29, 8/5 and 8/12.) -- Note: During the summer (Jun.-Aug.), we welcome children of all ages to this story time, effectively making this a "Family Story Time."

Book Babies
MCPL Wausau — Mondays, 10:00am (year-round) (no meetings 5/4 - 6/7) -- Note: During the summer (Jun.-Aug.), we welcome children of all ages to this story time, effectively making this a "Family Story Time."

Daycare Story Time
No meetings will be scheduled June-August.

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Categories: ChildrenProgramsStorytimes


APRIL 7, 2014
Potty Training Booklist
Are you trying to tackle the task of potty training your child? Check out the titles below to share with your child. The Family Resource Center is also available to answer questions and provide support while potty training. 

No More Diapers for Ducky 
On Your Potty, Little Rabbit
Caillou: No More Diapers
Calliou: Potty Time
Dinosaur vs. the Potty
Have You Seen My Potty?
Ian's New Potty
My Big Girl Potty
The Prince and the Potty
My Potty Book for Boys
Pete's Potty
Duck Goes Potty
A Potty for Me!
Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Tot: The Toilet Training Songbook
You Can Go to the Potty
Your New Potty
Once Upon a Potty: Boy
Once Upon a Potty: Girl


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Categories: ChildrenBooksParents


FEBRUARY 17, 2014
Show Your Child Affection, Especially While Reading
Make an extra effort to show affection to your child, especially while reading. Kids need a nurturing, healthy relationship to prosper academically. When your child feels loved, he or she is more willing to learn, listen, and grow and will therefore do better in school! Visit for more information.

Reading is a great way to show your child affection. Have your child sit on your lap while you read, read and snuggle before bedtime together or, if your child is a baby or toddler, attend a lap-sit story time. All of these activities promote parent-child bonding and early literacy.

Check out these picture books about affection that you can share with your child:
1, 2, I Love You by Alice Schertle
Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug by JD Lester
Do You Love Me? by Joost Elffers
Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug by Susan Musgrave
I Love You, Little One by Nancy Tafuri
Count My Kisses, Little One by Ruthie May and Tamsin Ainslie
I’ll Always Love You by Peaony Lewis
I Love You All Year Long by Steve Metzger
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Hug by Jez Alborough

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Categories: ChildrenReadingStorytimes


JANUARY 24, 2014
2014 Early Literacy Calendar

Helping your child get ready to read is easy! Just do one fun activity from this calendar each day. Plus, sign up for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Ask your children's librarian for more tips and ideas to promote pre-reading skills in your child.


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Categories: ChildrenEarly Literacy


JANUARY 20, 2014
Parenting series

Starting in February, several Marathon County Public Library locations will host programs aimed at promoting positive parenting skills, Internet safety and encouraging quality family time.

Our MCPL Parenting Series begins with a presentation by Aaron Ruff of the Marathon County Health Department about The Real Happy Hour, a multi-agency effort to share resources and ideas that promote and encourage families to spend quality time together.

Other programs cover safety, both online and at home. The “Raising Safe Kids” program, held at both the Rothschild and Wausau MCPL locations and presented by staff from Marathon County Social Services, covers personal and traffic safety, and tips on how to stay safe when home alone. Angela Diener of the Boys & Girls Club of Wausau will present “NetSmartz for Tweens” at our Wausau and Stratford locations, which covers cyberbullying, safe use of emails and instant messaging, identity theft and other online security topics.

Becky Mroczenski of the Marathon County Health Department will lead a presentation on childhood vaccines in March, and in April, Linda Salzman from the Family Resource Center will share ways to communicate with and discipline children without yelling.

Call 715-261-7220 for more information, or watch for updates.

(from the MCPL Newsletter, Jan. - Mar., 2014)

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Categories: ChildrenNewsletterPrograms


DECEMBER 11, 2013
Holiday Story Time Break
Due to the holiday season, all MCPL locations will be taking a break from all regularly scheduled story times. The Edgar branch will start this break the week of December 16, and all other MCPL locations will break December 22, 2013-January 4, 2014. All regularly scheduled story times will resume the week of January 6, 2014.

Even though there are no story times, there are still plenty of things to do at the library! You can do puzzles, play games, read books, and check out book bundles to put on your own story time at home. Book bundles come with a set of themed books and an early literacy sheet with suggested songs, fingerplays, and activities to get your child ready to read.

Happy holidays and we will see you story timers in 2014!


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Categories: ChildrenStorytimes


NOVEMBER 18, 2013
December marks one year for the Phyllis Donner Aquarium!
In December, MCPL Wausau celebrates the first anniversary of its 650-gallon, saltwater aquarium filled with tropical fish and other sea creatures.

The aquarium officially opened on Dec. 5, and was funded through a generous donation from the estate of Phyllis Donner. Las Vegas-based aquarium company Acrylic Tank Manufacturing built the aquarium, which is home to dozens of fish, crustaceans, coral and other aquatic life typically seen solely through the lens of a scuba mask.

Over the past year, some fish have more than doubled in size, and several species of coral have taken hold and started to create reefs. Darren Letner of Wausau maintains the aquarium and said he’s happy to see so many fish flourishing because they come from all over the world – and sometimes don’t survive the journey to the United States. Letner also said the aquarium’s popularity is obvious, especially among the library’s youngest patrons.

“When the kids see it, they just get lost in it,” he said.

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Categories: ChildrenNewsletter


SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
Traveling Tales Story Kits are Back!
Traveling Tales kits are new, improved and ready to use! Now stored in clear, easy to carry bags, our kits have endured a makeover and are available for checkout. Located in the children’s department in Wausau, Traveling Tales include themed books, CDs and in some, a puppet. These kits are a great tool for parents, homeschooling families, and daycares. Traveling Tales help promote early literacy and reading readiness for little ones in a fun and exciting way. Check out a kit or put one on hold today!

Find "Traveling Tales" in the Library Catalog (V-Cat):

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Categories: ChildrenBooksReading


SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
"Exploration Station" offers hands-on learning!
The library wants to help preschoolers get a jump on learning with its monthly Exploration Station classes. Preschool-age children and their caregivers can work together on interactive activities designed to build skills in reading, math, science and writing on the second Wednesday of each month, 10:30–11:30 a.m., at the library’s Wausau Headquarters.

There is no cost to participate, but class sizes are limited. To register or for more information, call 715-261-7220.
  • Math / Oct. 9 & Feb. 12
  • Science / Nov. 13 & Mar. 12
  • Reading / Dec. 11 & April 9
  • Writing / Jan. 8

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Categories: NewsletterChildrenParents


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