Category Archives: Library

Podcast Part 2

Here is the second half of the interview with Wendell Minor, which I did last weekend at the MCPL. If you haven’t already, go one post down and listen to the first part.

For much more about Wendell Minor you can go to his website.



Art Cluster at the Library

Phyllis ChristensenBy Phyllis Christensen

When someone says “library” most people think “checkout books”. Yes, Marathon County Public has books, over 340,000 of them. Art Cluster PosterAnd people do check them out – more than 800,000 last year. Sometimes, though, instead of taking things, people bring things to the library. The Wausau school district Art Cluster brought their art work to the library to share with the community. Their display opened last Saturday. A giant bird made from a decorated gourd flies over the entrance to the children’s area. More gourd-birds have flocked to the tops of the book shelves. Posters of colorful, imaginary fish cover the walls. Click for Larger Image

The Children’s area has been transformed into a colorful, whimsical gallery. The creativity and talent of these fourth and fifth graders is amazing. Come and see for yourself, but don’t delay too long. Everything swims or flies away at the end of the month.
Click for Larger Image

Happy Birthday Marathon County Public Library!

Eds Note: Here is something we can all agree on, 100 years of public library service is a good thing. And remember the big Wausaublog reunion scheduled for the bicentennial of the library. See you there.

Phyllis ChristensenBy Phyllis Christensen

One hundred years ago, in April 1907, Wausau Free Public Library opened to the public. The opening was the result of a project that began in 1904, when philanthropist Andrew Carnegie agreed to grant $25000 if the city of Wausau would set aside land for the building. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Alexander donated land to the city for a library building and park. On April 3, 1907, the library opened with a collection of almost 5000 items.
100 Year Logo

In 1937, Marathon County Library was established as a W.P.A to serve county residents who did not have access to a local library. The two libraries grew and offered expanded services. In 1974, the libraries merged with other local libraries and formed Marathon County Public Library.
The 100th birthday celebration began in January and will continue throughout the year. A display on second floor at Wausau Headquarters changes each month to depict a different decade of history. The final display will depict our vision of the library of the future.
Each branch library, Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon, Mosinee, Rothschild, Stratford, and Spencer, will have a local celebration. On April 15, there will be a special birthday celebration at the Wausau library. Everyone is invited to share in the celebration which will feature activities for kids, music by Andy Z and the Spankin’ Monkees, a barbershop quartet. And, of course, birthday cake for everyone!
For more about the history of MCPL, read the Wikipedia article written by the library’s reference librarians. More information about the 100th Birthday Celebration is available on the library’s web page.

How Do Ya Find It?

Eds Note: Staying somewhat in the realm of education, Phyllis steps in with a discussion starter about how to find things at the library. When you think about it, arranging a large group of materials in some kind or pattern or order becomes a huge pain. File by author or subject? Lump all the mystery books together or interfile them with the rest of the fiction books? (Ask my mother about this!) And Phyllis has even more questions — and you can give your opinion by taking the survey at the end of the article, or dropping a comment in the box. And I have absolutely no idea who this Bill guy is that she is referring to.Phyllis Christensen

By: Phyllis Christensen

Bill emailed me at the library with a comment about some changes that Marathon County Public Library recently made in the way compact disks are arranged. We used to have a separate section for “New CDs”. Much to his dissatisfaction, we eliminated that section, much to his dissatisfaction. Here is my response to his comments about the library eliminating that section.

Welcome to an on-going conversation about materials should be arranged! New items are one of those areas where the library can’t please everyone. The opposing points of view all have validity.

We (MCPL) had been getting numerous complaints that the “new” CDs weren’t really new. After all, how can Phil Ochs, who has been dead for years, have anything new?! In reality, the “New CD” collection were newly acquired CDs. People who check out music seem to choose more by artist or genre than by date released or acquired. Having to look in more than one place to find all the Tom Paxton recordings was a pain. In response to the way most customers search for recordings, we decided to unify the entire CD collection, old, new, and newly acquired are intermingled.

People use books differently than they use CDs. In that area, more people request the newest book by Danielle Steel or James Patterson. We are leaving those in a separate area. The new fiction and new non-fiction areas are really “newly acquired” instead of newly released.

Another discussion that is constantly going on as the library tries to make it easier for customers to find what they want is whether we should intershelve hardcover, paperback, and large type books? We question whether the audiobooks should be on the same shelves as the paper books? The argument is made that someone who wants to read a title often does not care what format it’s in. Either paper or audiobook is totally acceptable. In my personal reading, I’m on the other side of the discussion. For fiction, I usually want only paperbacks, and a beat-up paperback is more appealing than a new one. I will take a hardcover only if I’m desperate to read the story. My books often get thrown in a pack, and I don’t want the extra weight and space of a hardcover.

So, how do you use the library? Would a book on CD be as acceptable as a hardcover book? Would you like paperbacks and hardcover books together? (please say no!) What about videos? Should we put VHS and DVD’s together? Fiction books are traditionally arranged according to the author’s last name. Would you like them arranged differently? Like all the mysteries together, all the adventure stories together, all the romances together? How do we tell a mystery from an adventure or horror story? How can we to make it easy for you to find what you want?

Comment here or click to take a short survey about how you use call numbers to find books at the library.