Marathon County Public Library

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The MCPL Blog: Articles by Julie Kinney

Try a true crime book!

prison cell bars

June 4, 2019

Even for the most reluctant reader, true crime always seems to be a big hit. Let’s face it; nearly everyone suffers from some curiosity when it comes to crime. How could a person cut a body completely in half and pose it in a vacant lot without anyone noticing?  What happened to this person to make him into someone who seems to enjoy abducting and killing people?  Personally, I like true crime for the mystery aspect as well as the details into the investigation.  The following books highlight cases that inspired authors, such as “The Real Lolita,” where we learn that Nabokov was fascinated with the abduction of Sally Horner and that led directly to his famous novel, “Lolita.”  Gabriel...

Reading Recommendations Books

Two database subscriptions discontinued

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center screenshot

May 30, 2019

If you've recently checked out the Marathon County Public Library’s online resources page, you may have noticed a few changes. We no longer have the Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center or the Home Improvement Reference Center available. Working with libraries from around our area, it was decided to discontinue our subscription to these two databases. With the rise of such popular websites like Etsy and Ravelry, and the increased use of YouTube for learning how to do basic (and not so basic) home repairs and improvements, we have seen a decrease in the use of these two databases. In addition, this will free up funds for Wisconsin Valley Library Service to add new databases and provide additional services...

Online Resources Technology

Go on an adventure with these books!

man on a snowy mountain

March 20, 2019

When the snow starts to fall, I grab an adventure book. I’m not sure why wintry weather makes me think adventure. Maybe it has to do with dreaming of being in a warm place, like in “The Lost City of Z,” or the opportunity to have an adventure that I will never be able to experience like in “The Martian.” Oddly enough, most of my adventure reading tends to be about surviving in the wilderness, like the escaped prisoners do in “The Long Walk” or Douglas Mawson’s amazing fight to survive in the Antarctic in “Alone on the Ice.” Sometimes learning about another person’s life as they tackle their dreams, as in “Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube,” where the author describes what it’s like to be a woman learning to run...

Reading Recommendations Books

Our favorite young adult fantasy series!

butterflies and mushrooms

November 21, 2018

This time of the year is the perfect time to start a series—it’s cold outside, there are upcoming holidays and books make great presents! And I’ve got some great recommendations for you! A lot of my recent (and not so recent) favorite books are part of a fantasy series. And while I could fill up a whole book case with what I think is awesome when it comes to fantasy, I also realized that there were probably fantasy series that I haven’t heard of, let alone read, yet.  I reached out to my co-workers, and here is a small sampling of fantasy series that we think are fantastic.  (No pun intended. Ok, maybe pun intended.) Our list covers everything from urban fantasy/horror with Lili St. Crow’s “...

Reading Recommendations Books Teens

International Mysteries

mysterious person in hat and glasses

November 6, 2018

So many readers love a good mystery.  It can be really hard to say good-bye when that last volume of series comes out, but that just leaves more room in your reading life for another great mystery series.  I like a mystery with just a touch of the supernatural.  If you are like me, you will love “Midnight Riot,” a novel set in contemporary London, complete with ghosts and magic.  If you prefer something a little more historical, “Beautiful Place to Die,” set in 1950’s South Africa is the book for you.  Interested in exploring a new location or looking for something more exotic?  Try “Bangkok 8” set in Thailand or “The Coroner’s Lunch,” set in Laos in the early 70’s. No...

Reading Recommendations Books

Classic & Contemporary Books of Horror!

giant ghost in the fog

October 16, 2018

I love horror. I really do. I like a book that’s going to scare me, unsettle me or just make me think differently about the world. October is the perfect time for dipping your toe into the horrors that lie between the covers of books. To that end, I offer you a list of both contemporary and classic horror tales.  From the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to the true story of murder in “In Cold Blood,” horror comes in a surprising number of flavors, both cosmic (Cthulhu, anyone?) and every day. Horror also has elements of its cousins, fantasy and science fiction, like the horror of discovering that the person you thought was your friend is actually that same person, but from...

Reading Recommendations Books

Get All Your AP Study Books at MCPL!

April 12, 2018

Spring is here and, in spite of the great weather, the season also brings with it the time for AP testing. Sudents have spent their entire school year focused on improving their skills and learning content, trying to get a 4 or a 5, which equals college credits for them. But sometimes you need a little boost to get that elusive high score, and the library is here to help! Our collection development specialist and young adult librarian have gotten together and created a list of all the AP study materials available at the Marathon County Public Library's Wausau Headquarters. Students can visit the library here in Wausau to pick up materials or can request them to be sent to another one of our branch libraries...

Books Teens Learning

Can you get out of MCPL’s Escape Room?

locked safe

July 6, 2017

Escape rooms are all the rage these days and the Marathon County Public Library is getting on board by offering its very own escape room for teens and adults! Will you be able to stop a zombie virus outbreak before it's too late?? Join us and find out! Dr. Johnson (who has been briefing you and your group about the important scientific experiments she's been conducting), has left her office to speak with a colleague. After snooping through the doctor’s files, you discover that Dr. Johnson has something more nefarious up her sleeve—a full-on zombie virus that she’s planning to unleash on the unsuspecting public! Worse yet…it’s airborne, and anyone who comes in contact with this virus is guaranteed to...

Library Programs Teens

How to Raise a Successful Reader

boy reading a book

March 30, 2017

Reading is a developmental process that every child reaches at their own pace. Not every six year-old is ready to learn to read, while some four year-olds are. Early reading instruction is something that most parents do naturally by reading to their children on a regular basis and inviting them to handle books.  By doing this, young children learn that there is a right way to read a book (i.e. reading left to right, top to bottom), as well as how a story is structured (i.e. beginning, middle and end).  They begin to match pictures with the words that Mom or Dad say. Some children even memorize a favorite book and are delighted to “read” it to their parents.  But what happens if you grow up in...

Reading Recommendations Books Children Teens

Teen Time at MCPL Wausau!

February 21, 2017

So, let’s say you’re a teen and you need a place to work on a poster or on a group project. Someplace where you can chat while you work or can take a break to do something else when you just can’t look at your homework one more second. The Marathon County Public Library knows that teens need a place all their own to hang out and be, well, teens! Enter Teen Time. With our Wausau Headquarters’ current second floor remodel, our TeenZone was relocated and lost a bit of space, but don’t let that stop you from coming to the library!  Twice monthly, we’ll offer teens a place to do whatever they need to do – work on homework and projects, socialize, learn new hobbies and skills, and more. Every two weeks we...

Teens Homework Help Events

Take Time to Read with Your Kids!

October 20, 2016

It’s mid-October and the school year is well underway, with teachers handing out homework to reinforce the skills they teach their students in the classroom. Reading homework is just as important as homework in any other class and is a skill used time and time again throughout a person’s life. Most adults have likely been reading so long that it’s hard to remember what it was like to struggle through a sentence. Carolyn Wilhelm at the website Cult of Pedagogy has some great tips for parents when it comes to reading homework. Reading homework often requires a parent to listen to a child as he or she reads aloud. For older children, reading homework may consist of reading for a number of set minutes each day...

Reading Recommendations Education Learning Parents Children

Teen’s Top Ten 2016

teen girl reading on couch

August 30, 2016

Hey Teens! Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) posts nominees selected by teen book groups and invites teens (meaning you!) to choose their favorites. You can see the nominees and vote for your favorites at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten. You can also view book trailers for the books. MCPL’s Wausau Headquarters also has a display of the nominees in the second floor Teen Zone. This year’s selection has something for everyone, including Holly Black’s latest book “The Darkest Part of the Forest,” dealing with a fairy mystery hidden deep within suburban America, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s highly anticipated “Illuminae,” a sci fi story told through...

Teens Top 10

National Poetry Month: LEGO Poetry

April 8, 2015

There are plenty of things to celebrate in April, but one of my favorite is poetry. Here at MCPL in Wausau, we’ve got two activities to encourage you to experience poetry every day.  Come and build a poem with LEGO poetry in the TeenZone. Each LEGO has a word on it and you are invited to create a poem by using the words on the LEGOS.  It’s like magnetic poetry, but in three dimensions.  When you are done, take a picture with your phone, name the picture with the title of the poem (and your name if you want) and send it to us at teenzone@mcpl.us. We’ll post the poems to our Facebook page, so remember to like MCPL on Facebook to see your poem. Don’t have time to build a poem here?  Take...

Teens Poetry National Poetry Month

Never Counted Out

teenagers talking at a table

April 6, 2015

Teens, have you ever felt like your voice wasn’t heard?  Or were there times when you spoke out about your truth?  Now you have the opportunity to share these by submitting an essay, poem, graphic novel or photograph about these times to Never Counted Out, a website created to connect teens with artists and writers.  Never Counted Out is the brain child of novelist, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, the author of Fat Angie.  e.E created the website after connecting with a depressed teen writer, after his teacher shared is creative writing sample with her.  When e.E. talked with young writer, she felt like she had made a special connection with him and wanted to create opportunities for other...

Art Teens Writing

The Wisconsin Digital Archive: Get Connected to State Government

December 16, 2014

Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief now that election ads and coverage are over for this election cycle.  If you are like me, maybe you wondered how accurate those statistics you saw in the ads were.  How can one politician claim jobs were added when another claims the exact opposite?  Maybe you were curious where the news anchors get their information on the economy, job growth or government agency spending.  I have the perfect link for you news junkies:  The Wisconsin Digital Archives.    The Wisconsin Digital Archive provides one stop shopping for all those reports you hear about on the news.  Curious about job growth, school achievement scores, roadway safety...

Government Information Wisconsin Websites

Create Your Own Urban Legend: The Mill

October 20, 2014

Earlier this month, teens had an opportunity to create their own urban legends using materials found in the library. This terrifying story was inspired by a picture of the Island Mill in Wausau (c. 1900-1919) from the Marathon County Historical Society, found in the Central Wisconsin Digitization Project.   The Mill By Damian Wendorf   My best friend, Devon, was talking to me about a story his dad told him. The story concerns three boy who were murdered in the 1960’s. The murder occurred on the Wisconsin River by the old saw mill.  First, the police found a bloody saw blade and a pool of blood on the floor of the mill. In the pool of blood lay a body of a fourteen year old boy...

Wisconsin Teens

Sync offers free YA audiobook downloads this summer

May 27, 2014

Dreading assigned summer reading?  Have to spend hours in the car with your annoying younger siblings?  Mowing thousands of lawns this summer?  I may have a solution as close as your headphones and smartphone.  As I was scrolling around the internet this week, I discovered that Sync, sponsored by AudioFile Magazine is giving away free young adult audio books paired with either a classic or required reading book.  Sync is powered by Overdrive, so you will need to make sure that you have Overdrive downloaded to your computer, tablet or device. (Get Overdrive from your preferred app store or here.)  The files are in MP3 format and each pair is available for one week only, but the...

Audiobooks Wisconsin's Digital Library Teens