Marathon County Public Library

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Category: Newsletter

MAY 26, 2016
Meet our new manager!

My name is Matthew Derpinghaus, and I’m the new Library Support Services Manager for the Marathon County Public Library. I oversee the areas of Circulation, Shelving, Support (new books, ILL, cataloging, etc.) and technology.

Speaking of technology, did you know that the library commissioned me to purchase and install 138 new Dell computers? The computers were purchased because of the increasing need for patrons and staff alike to have speedier, more reliable machines.

Along with purchasing the new hardware, I also acquired some new software to help with timing and printing. The new software, called CASSIE, simplifies the login and printing process. Although the initial session time has changed from a 2 hour session to a one hour session, it is now possible to extend sessions on the computer sessions indefinitely (provided there is no waiting list).

There are going to be many changes in the technology field at the library for the foreseeable future as we try to accommodate our patrons by keeping up to date with the community’s needs. I’m very happy to have been welcomed so nicely into the Marathon County community and look forward to servicing our community for years to come.

Thank you!

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Categories: Newslettertechnology


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


MARCH 21, 2016
Staff Book Reviews

As you might guess, many of the library's staff are avid readers!

If you'd like to read our opinions of a variety of books – from children's picture books to adult nonfiction – check out our regularly-updated Staff Reviews webpage, follow us at or subscribe to our Staff Reviews e-newsletter.

Read Staff Reviews:

(from the MCPL E-Newsletter)

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Categories: NewsletterBooksReading Recommendations


MARCH 2, 2016
Join the National Library Week celebration!
Have you experienced first-hand the transformative power of a library?

It’s a big question, and one we hope many of you can answer with an emphatic “yes.” In April, library staff across the country – and the patrons we serve – will celebrate National Library Week. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Libraries Transform,” and our staff has been busy planning a wide range of programs and other activities, some related to that theme and others just for the fun of it.

Sure, National Library Week is a chance for our library staff to pat ourselves on the back, and to accept more pats from our patrons (we love to hear how we’ve helped transform your lives for the better!) But it’s also a chance for us to celebrate and thank you – because, let’s face it, we’re all in this together! 

National Library Week events:

(from the MCPL Newsletter)

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Categories: National Library WeekNewsletterLibraries


FEBRUARY 25, 2016
Staff Profile: Heather Bain
Meet Heather Bain, Branch Assistant at MCPL Rothschild!

Q:    What is the best part of your job?
A:    The interactions I have with patrons of all ages. I love kids, so being able to lead story time and do some of the program planning has been great!

Q:    What is your favorite movie quote?
A:    If I had to choose: “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it.” Rafiki from “The Lion King.”

Q:    What has been your favorite project at MCPL?
A:    The programming and decorations at the Rothschild Branch. I love seeing patrons’ reactions when they see a new passive program or see the selection of books that have been put on display for the month. As for programming, being able to connect the library with various organizations since I’ve started has been great! It’s great to get feedback and reactions, whether good or bad, to help improve what is happening at the library!

Q:    If you could witness any historical event, what would you 
    want to see?
A:    If I could take my husband with me, I would love to go back to when The Beatles did their Abbey Road photo shoot.

Q:    What’s playing in your car right now?
A:    The audio book for “Game of Thrones: A Dance with Dragons” by George R. R. Martin.

Q:    What is one thing you want patrons to know about MCPL?
A:    MCPL is open to everybody and tries to have multiple events and activities going on each month at all MCPL locations. MCPL is a great place to just relax and unwind by exploring everything that we have to offer; from books to movies to programs to computers, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Q:    What is your favorite place to eat?
A:    Matsu-Ya Sushi Bar and Grill in Stevens Point or 
Panda Express.

Q:    What is one thing you’d like to do before you die?
A:    I would love to be able to travel the world and visit some of more well-known or obscure libraries!

(from the MCPL Newsletter)



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Categories: NewsletterStaff Profile


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


DECEMBER 15, 2015
Creative events for adults!
Each month, library staff make efforts to provide hands-on craft activities for children at all nine MCPL locations. But in 2016, we’re planning to give adults more opportunities to get creative as well!

In Wausau, this includes our monthly “Knit Night” and “Inside the Lines” coloring parties, as well as other, one-time craft activities. Many of our branches are offering craft events for adults as well, such as Hatley’s “Needle Arts Night,” Stratford’s  “Quilting in the Afternoon,” Spencer’s “Crocheting 101” and additional “Inside the Lines” events at Mosinee and Stratford.

We will, of course, continue to offer craft events for kids, and we don’t expect anything at these adult craft events to be inappropriate for young ones. But sometimes it’s nice to leave the kids with a spouse or a sitter and enjoy some adults-only time.

Finally, if you have an idea for an interesting craft event, please share it with your local library staff!

(from the MCPL Newsletter)

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Categories: NewsletterArtPrograms


DECEMBER 15, 2015
Staff Profile: Chad Dally
Meet Chad Dally, Library Specialist, event coordinator and adult event planner at MCPL Wausau!

Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: The variety of information sought by our patrons and connecting them with that info, and the freedom to try a wide range of adult programs.

Q: What is your favorite movie quote?
A: “Everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is ... maybe he didn’t?” - Eli Cash (Owen Wilson), “The Royal Tenenbaums”

Q: What is your favorite place to eat?
A: At home with my wife, and The Delta Diner in Delta, WI.

Q: What has been your favorite project at MCPL?
A: The 2014 double-feature screening of “The Lumberjack,” a 1914 silent film shot in Wausau, and the 1983 documentary “When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose” about the discovery of The Lumberjack.

Q: If you could witness any historical event, what would you go see?
A: I should probably say the Moon landing, the signing of the Declaration of Independence or something like that. But I think I’d use my time machine to go to old rock, soul and jazz concerts.

Q: What’s playing in your car right now?
A: Thin Lizzy - “Live and Dangerous.”

Q: What is one thing you want patrons to know about MCPL?
A: It’s not just about books on the shelves. We have a staggering amount of information, tutorials and other resources available online, free and accessible from anywhere with a library card.

Q: Finish this sentence: “Before I die, I would like to ______________.”
A: Travel through Spain.

(from the MCPL Newsletter)

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Categories: NewsletterStaff Profile


JULY 24, 2014
Reference services
As summer winds down and your thoughts turn to more studious matters (whether you’re going back to school or starting a new project), don’t forget the library offers these useful resources!

Online databases

Your library card gives you online access to product reviews and comparisons from Consumer Reports, stock reports from Value Line, foreign language learning tools from Mango Languages, repair manuals from the Auto Repair Reference Center, and many other helpful research databases. Visit any of our locations and use one of our public computers or connect to our free Wi-Fi to access these databases at You can also access most of these databases from home.

Genealogy resources

Research your family history using Ancestry: Library Edition and our microfilm collection. Accessible only while you are in the library, Ancestry: Library Edition is a special version of, a popular subscription-based site which offers access to a large collection of resources about family histories. The Wausau headquarters also offers access to the microfilm records of The Wausau Daily Herald (and the four papers that preceded the Herald) for those looking for obituaries or other articles about their ancestors.

Study rooms and internet access

The library’s Wausau headquarters and Marathon City branch have study rooms available for nonprofit or educational purposes free of charge. Visit the library or call us with questions about study room availability. All of our locations offer free Wi-Fi and public computer access.

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

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Categories: NewsletterGenealogyelectronic databases


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


JUNE 5, 2014
Fizz! Boom! Read!
This year’s Summer Program has a science theme! We’ve planned a variety of fun and educational events for all ages — children, teens and adults — at MCPL locations throughout the county! 

For complete details, visit or pick up a Summer Program brochure at your local Marathon County Public Library.

We look forward to seeing you at the library!

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

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Categories: NewsletterSummer Library ProgramPrograms


APRIL 4, 2014
Four libraries increase summer hours
Responding to patron demand and other factors, the Marathon County Public Library Board of Trustees recently increased operating hours at four MCPL locations.
The Board in March approved additional weekend hours at the Wausau Headquarters and Hatley, Marathon and Rothschild branches. The changes mean the locations’ winter hours are now in effect year-round, and include:
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Sunday at the three branches (previously closed all weekend).
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Wausau Headquarters (previously open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday).
  • An increase from four hours to 20 hours of operation at MCPL locations on weekends.
The additional hours stems, in part, from a 2013 survey and coincided with a desire by the Board of Trustees for a consistent, convenient schedule, rather than separate winter and summer hours.

“One very important theme that was consistently mentioned (in the survey) was that you wanted us to offer more weekend hours during the summer months,” Library Director Ralph Illick said. “We heard you! Thank you for letting us know how we could make your library experience better.”

Increasing operating hours is also a low-cost option to provide additional patron service; operational costs will increase slightly compared to past summer hours, but schedule adjustments will allow for no increase in staff costs.

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

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Categories: Government InformationLibrariesNewsletter


MARCH 25, 2014
Celebrate National Library Week!
National Library Week (NLW) is upon us, and it’s more than a chance to celebrate all that your library means to you (although we are grateful for your appreciation).

This year’s NLW theme is “Lives Change @ Your Library,” and we’ve scheduled a number of events through the week, which runs April 13 to April 19. From something as simple as obtaining a passport to hearing about environmentally friendly travel to Randy Peterson’s “Big Dreams Begin with Books,” we have programs that could change your life. We know that’s a bold statement, but part of our mission is to provide materials, programming and assistance that make a big difference in the lives of our patrons and in our communities.

Maybe we’ve already helped change your life in some positive way, and we can’t guarantee we’ll do so in the future. But National Library Week is a time for all of us to celebrate the importance of libraries across the country.

National Library Week events:
  • Big Dreams Begin with Books! / Sun., 4/13, 1:30pm @ MCPL Wausau -- A family event featuring children’s musician and storyteller Randy Peterson!
  • Passport Event / Mon., 4/14, 3pm @ MCPL Edgar -- Apply for your U.S. passport! Details: 715-261-7200.
  • A Guide To Green Travel / Tue., 4/15, 6:30pm @ MCPL Wausau -- Travel writer Mary Bergin will share some eco-tourism hotspots and tips.
  • Teen Literature Day / Thu., 4/17, 6pm @ MCPL Wausau -- Teens can discover great books that have been made into movies and watch one such movie on the library's third floor! (Rated PG-13 | 124 min.) We can't advertise the movie's title online, but it is based on a popular young adult novel by Kami Garcia. (film details) (request the DVD) (request the book)
  • No Yelling! / Thu., 4/17, 6:30pm @ MCPL Wausau -- Discover ways to communicate with and discipline your children without yelling.
  • Multicultural Story Time / Sat., 4/19, 10:30am @ MCPL Wausau -- Families are invited to experience stories, songs and crafts from other cultures!

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Categories: NewsletterNational Library WeekPrograms


MARCH 25, 2014
Beyond the printed page
Although 2014 is well underway, we’d like to not only take a brief look back at 2013, but also put the past in the context of our future here at the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL).

We’re happy to say that more than 3,000 new people became registered patrons of our libraries in 2013. We welcome all of you, and we want you to know that we’ll do whatever we can to make your library experience as positive and fulfilling as possible.

Nearly every day, we help patrons use Wisconsin’s Digital Library (aka OverDrive) for electronic books and audiobooks. We’ve fully embraced the electronic format of reading material, and more than 10,000 titles were added to this catalog in 2013. Supply has followed demand: MCPL patrons’ use of e-books and e-audiobooks more than doubled last year to about 50,000 checkouts.

Have we abandoned the printed page? Absolutely not. At nearly quarter of a million, the number of print books in the MCPL system is still far larger than our online collections – and does not include the hundreds of thousands more print books available from other libraries in our V-Cat lending network.

To meet the myriad needs of our patrons, we provide access to online resources that not only incorporate books, but also research material, foreign language lessons, job training and even home and vehicle repair. Many people are surprised at the extent of our online resources, and if you are not familiar, we’ll give you a virtual tour.

At our Wausau headquarters, we celebrate our communities and state with a large collection of Wisconsin-specific material, and recognize our diversity with collections dedicated to Hmong and Spanish language – the extent of which also surprises some people.

All of this comes down to our efforts to meet your needs, whether they be educational or entertainment. As always, please share your thoughts with us if we can better serve you.

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Categories: Newslettere-booksElectronic Databases


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


JANUARY 20, 2014
Is this your lucky day?

Patrons of the Marathon County Public Library have a chance to get lucky and check out hotly anticipated new releases of books, music and movies with no waiting list!

MCPL Wausau recently started a "Lucky Day" shelf on which we put one or more copies of popular new releases. These are items that can't be reserved; once they are on the shelf, they are up for grabs.

Are you one of the hundreds who request James Patterson's or Janet Evanovich's newest novels? Keep an eye on the first-come, first-served Lucky Day shelf, and you may not have to wait. And, with some patrons finding that lucky copy, the wait for other patrons on a book or DVD request list should be reduced.

Call 715-261-7200 for more information.

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

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Categories: BooksNewsletterReading Recommendations


JANUARY 20, 2014
Director’s notes

We’ve had a very busy year here at the library, and it has been a pleasure for all of us at MCPL to serve the community. As we move into 2014, I want to wish everyone a happy and safe winter season with friends and family. I would like to personally thank all of those who work here, as well as the countless volunteers, members of the Friends of the Marathon County Public Library, and the MCPL Foundation for their tireless efforts to make this library such a wonderful asset to Marathon County.

This fall we asked you to help us to better serve you by answering a survey about the services we provide. Those responses have given us great input for furthering our mission to connect people with information, ideas, and one another. In the coming months I want to encourage all of our library patrons to talk with the staff members who serve you about what you hope to see from your library in the future. We have the opportunity to make improvements to each facility, and we are committed to making this library one that we can all cherish and enjoy for years to come. Please stop by one of our branches or the main library in Wausau soon to let us know what’s on your mind. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Ralph Illick / Library Director

Categories: NewsletterDirector's Report


NOVEMBER 18, 2013
White Rose Exhibition coming to MCPL Wausau
In January, The Marathon County Public Library Wausau Headquarters will host a traveling historical exhibit about the White Rose, a student resistance group in Germany who rebelled against the Nazis.

Through photos and text, the exhibit tells the story of how the students and one of their professors quietly produced a series of leaflets that urged others in Germany to rise up against the tyranny of the regime. The White Rose group risked certain arrest – and possible death – to produce the anti-Nazi propaganda that was covertly distributed throughout Munich, Hamburg and beyond.
In 1943, several members of the group – including siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, who helped form the group – were caught. After a quick trial, six members of the group and the professor who helped them were executed. Other students sympathetic to the White Rose also were executed or sent to concentration camps.

The library will hold an opening reception for the exhibit on Saturday, Jan. 4, and we also will show films about the White Rose, including a documentary about Wisconsin’s own Mildred Fish-Harnack, the only American woman executed by direct order of Adolph Hitler for her role in the Nazi resistance. The library will host a panel discussion about the legacy of White Rose in German culture, and teachers and other educators should contact MCPL Wausau about arranging student tours.

This exhibit, presented by White Rose Foundation e . V. of Munich, Germany, and the related events are a new venture in MCPL’s spectrum of programming, and one we hope sheds light on an important slice of WWII history. Funding for this program was provided by the Friends of the Marathon County Public Library.

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Categories: ProgramsNewsletter


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


NOVEMBER 18, 2013
Technology skills for beginners!
There’s still time to register our free, basic computer classes. Space is limited, so call your local MCPL today!

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Categories: NewslettertechnologyComputer Classes


SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
Write the Great American Novel
Has a life of reading inspired you to write? Do have family or life experiences you always thought would make for an interesting book?

In October, the library will offer a series of events and activities to help aspiring writers make the leap from reader to writer. Nationally-known writing coach Judy Bridges, author of “Shut Up & Write,” will be in Wausau with tips to get started on works of fiction or nonfiction. We’ll also bring in local and regional authors to discuss their writing methods and their paths to getting published.

In November, it’s time to write! Various MCPL locations will set aside study rooms and other space as part of National Novel Writing Month, an initiative that encourages authors to write 50,000 words during the month. We’ll have character and plot worksheets and other information to help you — or keep you — writing, and participants can meet at the libraries to bounce ideas off of each other.

The next step is publishing, and in December you’ll have a chance to ask questions of publishing representatives on what it takes — from an industry perspective — to get work published.

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Categories: NewsletterWriting


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