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The MCPL Blog: Articles by Diane Peterson

Thank you, Wausau Noon Optimists and Target!

December 21, 2010

I attended the Wausau Noon Optimists' meeting on 12/20 to accept a check for an exciting new computer for the Children's Computer Lab in Wausau. The AWE Early Literacy Station brings our computers for children into the 21st century in terms of both hardware and software.  A touch screen, a color-coded keyboard and a mouse designed for little hands provide ease of navigation for young children.  All of the software is preloaded--no more handling of discs!  More than 50 programs were selected in seven subject areas, based on current educational standards for children ages 2-10.  Funding for the Early Literacy Station was co-sponsored by an Early Childhood Reading grant from Target and...


Changes to the Storytime Schedule

December 13, 2010

A New Preschool Storytime at the Spencer Branch Library! Spencer will be going to an all-new schedule for storytime in 2011.  Their current program schedule  will end with their December 28 storytime.  A new Family Storytime will be held every Wednesday at 10:00 am, starting January 19.  New Evening Storytimes at the Edgar Branch Library! Beginning in January, the Edgar Branch will hold Family Storytime on the second and third Monday evening of each month at 6:00 pm.  Stories will be presented in Spanish on the third Mondays.  Everyone is welcome to attend! A Storytime Holiday Break! Most of the libraries in Marathon County, including Wausau, will be taking a...


Another world record!

November 24, 2010

The final numbers have been tallied and released!  In October, Marathon County Public Library participated in Read for the Record, a world-wide event sponsored by Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation, to bring attention to the importance of reading to young children.  Libraries and other organizations gathered children to listen to the book, The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, in an effort to break the record for the most children listening to the same story on the same day. And--we did it!  The official record-breaking number was 2,057,513 children!  Many events were held throughout the country.  The Empire State Building was adorned in orange lights--the official color of...


Petting Zoo fun!

woman and child petting a farm animal

November 5, 2010

We wrapped up our 2010 Marathon County Reads with animal fun in the Wausau library's garage.  Even though our READS selection, Seedfolks, is a book best suited for upper elementary through adult readers, we always include related activities for all ages, including children.  Over 250 people came to cuddle with kittens, bond with bunnies, and pet lots of other farm animals, including Duncan, the miniature Angus bull.  Our thanks to Allen Kraft from Kraft's Kuddly Kritters for bringing his farm menagerie to the library for all ages to enjoy. If you have ideas for the book we should read for next year's READS program, we would love to hear your suggestions.  Click here to leave your READS...

Children Marathon County Reads

Our "New" Tub

children's department bathtub under a cover

October 26, 2010

We've been keeping it under wraps, but soon all will be revealed.  Our reading bathtub has been gone for a long time, but it is back now, with new carpet from Olson Carpet One, and a spiffy new paint job!  We will be unveiling the tub right after storytime this Thursday, October 28, at 11:00. Come and give it a test drive with your favorite book! Thank you to Christine Bremer-Zoromski for funding our tub's new look.



October 7, 2010

A Pearson Foundation survey found that 95% of Americans felt that the development of early childhood literacy skills is an important issue receiving too little priority in our society.  Yet one in three children enter kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read, which can lead to life-long consequences for their future success.  Today we are participating in Read for the Record, an event to increase awareness of the importance of reading aloud to young children, the best way to develop pre-reading skills. Children everywhere will be gathering today to listen to a reading of THE SNOWY DAY. Come and join us at these MCPL locations today for our readings of THE SNOWY DAY: Wausau...

Children Events

An Aquarium for Casey!

Casey C. with prizes

August 30, 2010

Congratulations to Casey C., the winner of the aquarium kit donated by Ace Hardware in Weston.  Casey was one of over 1300 reading club participants at the Wausau Headquarters Library.  His ticket was drawn from tickets from all the library locations in Marathon County, so he is a very lucky boy!

Children Summer Library Program

Where is the Bathtub?

library reading bathtub

August 27, 2010

I have had this question from many children in the last couple weeks.  So--here it is--sitting in the library's garage, in the middle of a much-needed makeover.  Kitty has completed the painting (look at the snazzy gold feet!), and Olson Carpet One will soon be replacing the old, worn carpet.  Our thanks to Christine Bremer-Zoromski, who is funding the tub's makeover. What's that in the tub?  All the Summer Library Program reading tickets from throughout the county, waiting for the drawing of the grand prize.  Wow, what a lot of reading our customers did this summer! And the Grand Prize winner is... ...stay tuned...

Children Summer Library Program

Bubbles, Bubbles for Quinn!

Quinn B. with bubble prize

August 26, 2010

Congratulations to Quinn B, the winner of the Bubble Package, including a bubble flyer, a Buzz Lightyear bubble wand, and loads of bubble solution.  Quinn won his prize by listening to stories and turning in tickets during our Summer Library Program.  Thank you to the Friends of MCPL for donating this prize.  Have fun with all the bubbles, Quinn!

Children Summer Library Program

Congratulations, Ian!

Ian W. with prizes

August 24, 2010

Congratulations to Ian W, one of the prize winners in our Make a Splash summer reading club.  Ian won the "Baby" prize, with bathtub letters, towels, and, Ian's favorite, a rubber ducky.  Thank you to the Friends of the library for donating this prize!

Children Summer Library Program

Time is Running Out for Reading Tickets!

August 18, 2010

It's not too late to turn in a ticket for the summer reading program--but time is running out soon!  All tickets must be turned in by 1:00 this Saturday, August 21 to be included in the prize drawings. We have had a record number of participants at the library in Wausau.  Thank you for making this our best summer ever!

Summer Library Program Children

Pool Party!

August 9, 2010

I can't think of a better way to wrap up our "Make a Splash" summer reading program than with a pool party on one of the hottest days of the year! The pool party will be held Tuesday, August 10 at Memorial Park pool in Wausau. Kids received a free family admission pass in their "goody bags" when they turned in their first completed reading ticket.  Teens also received free admission with their first completed reading ticket.  These admission passes may be used for Memorial Park Pool anytime between 1:00 and 7:50 pm Tuesday.  You can also show your library card for free admission that day. Children's craft activities will be featured from 1:00 to 3:00.  I also have a few prizes to give...

Events Children Summer Library Program

Congrats to Writing Workshop Winners!

contest prize winners

July 28, 2010

Congratulations to Briah, 6, and Austin, 8, state-level winners in the 2010 PBS Kids Go Writers Contest.  Briah’s story, “Barbershop Bella,” earned First Place in the Kindergarten Division and has been entered in the national competition. You can see a slide show of Briah’s story at this Wisconsin Public Television link: Austin’s story, “The Thug Get-Away,” earned a Judge’s Choice award in the Second Grade Division.  Briah and Austin were two of the participants in a 5-week writing workshop at the Marathon County Public Library.  The library’s writing workshop was funded by a materials grant from Wisconsin Public Television.  Thank you to...

Writing Children

ARRRRR! Craft Day was Splashy Fun!

July 14, 2010

 James and Evie were happy to model the pirate hats, fishbowl necklaces and "fish sticks" that they made at Tuesday's craft afternoon at the Wausau Headquarters library.  One hundred fifty kids visited our craft stations, where volunteers helped kids make an array of splashy items to celebrate our "Make a Splash" summer.  Thank you, volunteers! Recording artist Randy Peterson will present a "Beach Party" family concert at the Wausau Headquarters library next Tuesday, July 20, at one show only--2:00 pm.  Come and join us for more splashy fun!  

Summer Library Program Children

Sign Up Now for the Talent Show!

July 6, 2010

We had a blast at last year's talent show!  David (pictured here) presented a karate demonstration with Escrima sticks; other kids performed dances, and instrumental and vocal solos.  It was so much fun, we have decided to have another Talent Show this year--Tuesday, July 27 at 2:00 pm at the library in Wausau.  I have five acts signed up to perform so far--but we need more!  School age children may perform a solo or group act.  Performances must be four minutes or less in length, and will be presented to an all-ages audience (toddlers through grandparents).  Every performer will receive a "thank you" gift for their participation. So come on and do your thing--Sing...

Children Events Summer Library Program

Summer Reading Club Begins for Everyone!

June 10, 2010

"Make a Splash" with summer reading!  We have a reading club that is open to all ages.  It is fun and easy to get started: Read a book!  We prefer that you choose a library book.  Magazines count, too! Get a summer reading ticket.  You will find tickets at the public desks of any Marathon County Public Library location, in the "Make a Splash" summer brochure, in the Wausau Daily Herald this Sunday, or you can print your own from our web site. As you read, cross off the little pictures on the ticket--one picture for each 25 pages read, or for each picture book that is read.  Children can also cross off pictures for listening to books, if someone reads aloud to them...

Summer Library Program

Big Changes to the Storytime Schedule

May 16, 2010

It really feels like summer today!  With the change in seasons comes changes to our storytime schedule: Our last Family Storytime at the Wausau Headquarters will be held Saturday, May 22.  Family Storytimes are not held during the summer months; they will resume again in the fall. Book Babies, Tales for Twos and Preschool Storytimes at the Wausau Headquarters are going on hiatus for three weeks, May 17-June 4.  During those three weeks, the staff will be visiting over 2000 students at their schools to give presentations about the summer reading program.  Another 600 students will be visiting the library for tours. Book Babies and Preschool Storytimes in Wausau will resume their...

Events Children Story Times

It was a Honey of a Program!

April 30, 2010

Ninety-nine people gathered in the Children's Library last Saturday to meet author Craig Pierce and his Greyhound, Honey.  Honey lounged during the program (Greyhounds sleep about 18 hours per day!) while Craig talked about dogs and the many jobs that dogs have in our world.  We learned about rescue dogs, therapy dogs, police dogs--and racing dogs.  Honey was a racing Greyhound until she was three years old, when she was adopted by Craig and his family.  Craig read from The Greyhound's Tale, a story about Gator, his first Greyhound.  At the end of the program, Honey made the rounds, greeting people and receiving lots of love.  Many people commented on how soft her fur was--"...


Children's Festival: Saturday (4/10)

April 6, 2010

Families with children ages 3-12 will want to be sure to check out all the free, fun activities happening at Marathon Park's East Gate Building this Saturday, April 10, 9:00-3:00.  A variety of agencies that provide services for children will present crafts, demonstrations and other activities.  Stop by the library's fishpond and try a little fishing for small prizes, and learn about our "Make a Splash!" summer reading program!


Bilingual fun at MCPL

March 20, 2010

Clare Norelle presented a wonderful program in both Spanish and English at the library in Wausau this morning.  Parents and children had fun singing, moving, and helping to tell the stories.  Clare will also be performing at the Woodson Art Museum this afternoon. Thank you to the Friends of the Library for funding this special program, presented in conjunction with the wonderful exhibition at the Woodson, "Las Artes de Mexico."  The exhibition will be on display until April 11. Come and check out the nice Children's and Adult Spanish Language collections at the library in Wausau.  Many of the books are bilingual, while some are exclusively in Spanish. We always welcome suggestions...

Reading Recommendations Events Language Learning

Come See The Beautiful Artwork!

February 24, 2010

March is Youth Art Month, and the Wausau library is once again lucky to be the location for the Art Cluster exhibition, a display of projects created in special art sessions by the gifted and talented 4th and 5th graders in the Wausau School District.  Our the Children's Library in Wausau has been transformed into a dazzling array of color and pattern.  The 5th graders studied form and line before creating fantastic metal sculptures, like the moose pictured here, out of colored wire and a variety of other materials.  The 4th graders learned to use repeated patterns in their beautiful acrylic-on-canvas paintings of butterflies. Everyone is welcome to come to the Children's Library...

Children Arts and Crafts

Enter the PBS Writing Contest!

February 1, 2010

We have had an overwhelming response to our writing workshops for K-3 children.  We have a full slate of twelve students registered for the workshops, which will be held for five Thursdays, beginning February 18.  If you would like your name added to the waiting list, please call the Children's Library at 715.261.7220. We are offering these workshops in conjunction with the PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest for children in Kindergarten through third grade.  Lesson plans, writing supplies, and funding for other workshop materials is being supplied by Wisconsin Public Television. Even if you are not registered for the library's workshops, you can still enter the contest!  Check out...

Children Writing

An Important Announcement Coming Monday

January 14, 2010

As we have been going about our daily lives this week, important negotiations have been going on behind closed doors in Boston.  That is the site of this year's American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. People everywhere have been buzzing about the decisions that will soon be announced: what were the best books published for our children in 2009?  Everyone has their favorites, and they have been blogging and Tweeting about them for the past month or more.  Children, teachers, librarians and other book lovers have been holding "Mock" elections to make their choices.  But what will the results of the real elections be? These decisions will be kept completely secret until...

Children Books Awards

No Storytimes--but Join Us for Special Movie Days!

December 21, 2009

Our regular storytime schedule--Book Babies, Tales for Twos, Preschool Storytimes and Family Fun--will be suspended for two weeks over the holiday season.  Storytimes will resume after the holidays, beginning with Book Babies Monday morning, January 4. However, we will be showing "School's Out" movies on two days, in our Wausau Room Theater on the downtown library's third floor: Tuesday, December 29 at 10:30--a movie featuring the Care Bears. Tuesday, December 29 at 2:00--a movie featuring the Chipmunks. Wednesday, December 30 at 10:30--a movie featuring the Muppets. Wednesday, December 30 at 2:00--a movie featuring animals in the Ice Age. All ages are welcome to attend!

Children Events Movies

Happy Anniversary, Mrs. P!

November 10, 2009

You may know Stevens Point native Kathy Kinney best for her role as the flamboyant Mimi on the Drew Carey Show.  Kinney’s latest venture is a storytelling website,, which is celebrating its first anniversary today.  In her role as Mrs. P, Kinney sits in an armchair in a cozy room, filled with items to click on for interactive fun. Clicking on the bookcase causes the bookcase to roll out into the room. Each shelf contains a different category of classic stories—bedtime stories, stories about girls, scary stories, “knee huggers,” and more. Children can click on a shelf to see the titles, and pull out individual books to see a description and a rating system to help children...

Children Events Websites

One Million Readers!

September 30, 2009

Read for the Record is a campaign sponsored by Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation.  Last year, 688,000 people gathered at locations around the world to read and listen to the same book on the same day.  This year, they hope to break that record--and you can help them reach their goal of one million readers and listeners by participating in programs at four libraries in Marathon County. This year's featured book is Eric Carle's classic picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Read for the Record programs will be held Thursday, October 8 at these MCPL locations and times: Edgar Library: Preschool Storytime at 9:30 am and a special Family Storytime at 7:00 pm Spencer Library...

Children Events Reading Recommendations

Storytimes Provide Fun AND Learning!

September 8, 2009

Kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to turn, and that means it’s time for storytimes to kick into high gear again at all Marathon County Public Library locations. Storytimes are a fun way for your child to develop several vital early literacy skills*: Print Motivation: Excitement for books and reading. Phonological Awareness: Having fun with the sounds that words make. Enriched Vocabulary: Learning the specific names for lots of things, as well as an increased vocabulary of descriptive adjectives and adverbs. Narrative Skills: The ability to tell a story in their own words. Letter Knowledge: Recognition of letter shapes and the sounds that the letters represent....

Children Events

Our Library Talent Show Featured Some Creative Kids!

child playing drums

August 19, 2009

We had a wonderful talent show to conclude our "Be Creative" programs at the library this summer.  David (pictured here) had feet tapping and heads bobbing all over the library as he performed his drum solo.  Who says the library has to be quiet all the time? Our Talent Extravaganza also featured karate, keyboards, singing and dancing.  You can see other pictures of our creative performers on the library's Facebook photo album.. Thanks to all the performers for a great show--and thanks to our enthusiastic audience who cheered them on! Saturday, August 22 is the last day to turn in your reading tickets--it's not too late to get that first ticket in and have a chance to win some fun...

Children Summer Library Program Events

Our Art Extravaganza Was Tons of Fun!

July 8, 2009

Our Summer Library Program theme is "Be Creative," and over 250 people had lots of opportunities to explore their creativity at our Art Extravaganza yesterday. Special thanks to Mort McBain who helped kids collaborate to create Scooby Doo and Shrek chalk paintings on the library's patio.  Scooby is pictured here.  The kids did a great job!  Remember that you can see Mort in action on the 400 block at  Chalkfest this weekend. Thanks also to Jayna Hintz and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, who helped kids make fabulous sculptures out of pipe cleaners and foam--this project gave kids a chance to create some really awesome sculptures. Also--thanks to the volunteers...

Summer Library Program Events Children

Sidewalk Chalk, Art and Talent Extravaganzas!

July 6, 2009

Lots of kids are finding cool, free entertainment at the library this summer.  Our Art Extravaganza will be held at the Wausau library tomorrow--Tuesday, July 7.  This is an open house-style craft and art program, so come anytime between 1:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon.  We will have special guests participating in this year's art program!  Mort McBain, well-known artist from the Downtown Sidewalk Chalkfest,  will be helping kids create a cartoon mural with chalk on the sidewalk.  Mort will be here rain or shine--but keep your fingers crossed for shine!  If the weather is nice, he will be out on the raised patio by the library's front entrance.  If the weather is...

Children Summer Library Program Events

Summer Fun Begins This Week!

June 14, 2009

Lots of special events will be happening this summer at all Marathon County Public Library locations. Most of the libraries will be having their first special program this week.  Bob Kann—juggler, musician, storyteller and all-around entertainer extraordinaire, will be performing at three shows (10:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 6:30 pm) Tuesday, June 16 at the Wausau Library. He will also be at the Rothschild Branch (program held at Rothschild Elementary School) for two shows Thursday, June 18. If you’re looking for a chance to make your own crafts, Athens has the program for you--Tuesday June 16, featuring crafts and sidewalk chalk art. Musician Bill Kehl will present “Earth, Music, Magic”--a...

Children Summer Library Program

Changes to the Storytime Schedule

May 6, 2009

With the change in seasons comes a change to programming schedules for children at libraries throughout Marathon County. Family Storytimes will be held in Wausau for two more Saturdays--May 9 & 16.  During the summer months, the library will be open 9:00-1:00 Saturdays, but Family Storytimes will not be presented. Book Babies, Tales for Twos, and Preschool Storytimes in Wausau will be on hiatus May 11-May 22.  During these two weeks, grade school children will be visiting the library to learn about the Summer Library Program. These storytimes will resume after Memorial Day. Storytimes at most of the branch libraries are presented only during the school year, so these programs will be...

Children Summer Library Program

A Salute to Our Friends!

April 14, 2009

Today (April 14) is National Library Workers Day, but instead of patting myself on the back, I would like to thank those other library workers—the Friends of the Library. Several times a year, the Friends hold a book sale at the library. There is a lot of preparation required for these sales; in fact, it is an ongoing, year-long project for some of our very dedicated Friends members. Many of the books that are included in the sale are items that are donated to the library. Books that have been removed from the library’s circulating collection are also available for sale. All of these books need to be sorted and displayed on tables in the book sale room on the library’s third floor. ...

Libraries National Library Week

Free Frozen Custard at Culver's!

March 24, 2009

National Library Week is April 12-18, but you can celebrate during the entire month of April!  Children who are age 11 & under can stop at the Children's desk in Wausau or any branch library and pick up a coloring sheet. Draw a picture about your favorite book--it can be a character, or a scene, or anything about the book.  Bring the picture back to the library, and you'll receive a coupon for a free single scoop of frozen custard from Culver's! We will display your picture on the wall at the library.  At the end of April, we'll draw names from all the entries to win a Culver's ball and activity book! The coloring sheets and coupons will be available during the month of April, while...

Children National Library Week

A Pool Party Celebration!

July 31, 2007

The 100th birthday celebration continues at the Marathon County Public Library.  Join us Friday, August 10 for a party at the Memorial Park pool in Wausau.  The fun begins at 1:00 and will last until 5:00.   Kids can get free admission to the pool for their whole family by reading books and turning in a reading club ticket.  Anyone can get in free by showing their library card. So, bring your picnic lunch and come and enjoy a day of free swimming, birthday cake, and prize drawings, and make yourself a cool summer visor! Our thanks to the Wausau/Marathon County Park Department for co-sponsoring this event.  It's not too late to start the reading...

Summer Library Program Centennial Children

Solve the Mystery!

July 11, 2007

Get a Clue!  There are two "crime scenes" set up at all the Marathon County Public Library locations.  Every week, a new clue appears at the crime scene, and a new question is posted on the wall.  Junior detectives must use their best sleuthing skills to examine the crime scene and solve the weekly question.  After six weeks, they will be able to solve the mystery!   With each correctly answered question, detectives will receive another piece of their detective kit--an ID badge, a magnifying glass, etc. If you haven't started the crime solving-game yet, there is still time!  You can answer the previous week's questions and get caught up with the other super sleuths.

Summer Library Program Children

The Magic of Bruce Hetzler at Summer Kickoff Program


June 18, 2007

Summer Library program events are happening all over Marathon County!  Tuesday, June 19 is kick off day for programs at the Wausau Headquarters.  Who better to help us kick off the "Get a Clue!" theme than one of those masters of mystery--a magician!  Bruce Hetzler comes from Appleton, WI--Houdini's hometown.  His perfomance ingeniously combines magic tricks with the library and the summer mystery theme to astound and entertain audience members of all ages. Bruce's perfomances will be held Tuesday, June 19 at 10:30, 2:00 and 6:30 at the Wausau Headquarters library.  Come and join the fun! Still thinking about a good mystery to read for the reading club?  How about...

Reading Recommendations Children Summer Library Program

Summer Reading Begins Today!

June 4, 2007

Today is the first official day for the Summer Reading Program at the Marathon County Public Library.  Everyone can join the reading club--even babies, who have someone read to them.  Adults can join, too! To begin, you need a reading ticket.  These are available at the desks in all MCPL libraries and in the summer reading brochure.  They can even be printed from the library's website! Each ticket contains twelve little pictures.  To cross off a picture, you need to read a picture book, read 25 pages in a longer book, or attend a library program.  When all the pictures are crossed off, bring your ticket to any Marathon County Public Library location.  You will have...

Children Summer Library Program

Poetry Lives at MCPL!

May 8, 2007

Bruce Lansky, the author of many hilarious poetry books for children, came to Wausau for a whirlwind week of classroom visits to thousands of school children. He also stopped at the Wausau library, where he coached 78 children in the joys of creating poetry. Our thanks to Aspirus and Wausau Dance Theatre for sponsoring Bruce's visit to Wausau and the Marathon County Public Library.


Booker is here!

April 24, 2007

We have a new Booker T. Woofington in the Children's Library! Booker was donated by Therapy Dogs of Central WI, Chapter 184, in memory of Sue Wilde-Harn. Sue visited the library many times with her wonderful dog, Smokey, as part of our Reading to the Dogs program. Booker is adored by many children, who stop to give him a pet or a hug when they visit the library. Booker and the children visiting the library will soon have a new and colorful rug to play on--also given by the Therapy Dogs of Central WI in memory of Sue. Thank you to the members of Therapy Dogs of Central Wisconsin for their meaningful tribute to Sue's memory.