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Marathon County Public Library

Skip Navigation (1) all MCPL locations have reopened (no appointments); (2) drive thru / curbside pickup is available.

The MCPL Blog: COVID-19

Recently reopened, MCPL Wausau has a new look!

2021 MCPL Wausau remodel

July 8, 2021

The Wausau Headquarters of the Marathon County Public Library was (mostly) closed to the public from March 2020 until June 1, 2021. What were we doing all that time behind the scenes? Giving the place a new look! Thanks to a generous donation from the Marathon County Public Library Foundation, we’ve replaced furniture and some of the carpet, and crews are working to replace the library’s roof. We’ve also shuffled around some of our computers and book shelves — all with the hope of making the library an even more welcoming and useful environment for YOU. If you haven’t been back to MCPL Wausau since our June re-opening, what are you waiting for? Come and check it out! Here’s a visual...

COVID-19 Facility Improvement Foundation Wausau Headquarters

Marathon County Public Library to reopen June 1

exterior of MCPL Wausau

May 18, 2021

All nine Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) locations will reopen to the public on June 1, 2021. The reopening date was approved by the MCPL Board of Trustees during their monthly meeting on May 17. Starting June 1, all MCPL locations will also return to their pre-pandemic hours of operation, which include a mixture of daytime and evening hours, Monday through Saturday. For a list of hours by location, click here. In addition to in-person browsing and checkout, drive thru service will continue to be offered in Wausau and Marathon City, and limited curbside pickup hours will be offered in Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer, and Stratford. Curbside pickup hours vary by location, so call...

COVID-19 Libraries Library Board Library Branches On-Site Services Wausau Headquarters

Library's limited re-opening to continue

MCPL locations

April 20, 2021

At its April 2021 meeting, the Library Board decided to maintain the "limited re-opening" status of the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL), based on recommendations from the Marathon County Health Department. "This past week [...] reinforced COVID-19 has not gone away, having 154 new cases reported and seeing an uptick in cases over the past two weeks. This is the most cases we’ve seen since late January-early February. The climb in cases can be contributed to people growing tired and resuming behaviors that increase their risk for exposure along with the arrival of variants of the virus that spread more easily. [...] To get us “out of the woods” calls upon everyone to continue the practices...

COVID-19 Library Board Library Branches

Reopening Plans in Progress at MCPL

Bookshelves in YA

April 20, 2021

It’s probably fair to say that we’ve all had enough of the COVID-19 pandemic. We here at the Marathon County Public Library are certainly looking forward to reopening our doors and getting back to that thing we enjoy doing so much - serving you, the public. That said, we are not quite out of the woods just yet.  After conferring with the Marathon County Health Department and the MCPL Board of Trustees, I am delighted to offer a tentative schedule for our next stage of reopening. On Monday, April 19, our board agreed to target Tuesday, June 1 as the tentative date we intend to reopen to the public. If we are able to meet that goal when factoring in local infection rates and...

Adults Community COVID-19 Director's Report Libraries Library Board Library Branches Wausau Headquarters

Resources to Help Cure Your Spring Fever

view of a stream at a Wisconsin park

March 25, 2021

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led many of us to discover (or re-discover!) our love of the outdoors. According to the Wisconsin Policy Forum report Take It Outside: Pandemic Spurs Outdoor Pursuits, sales of state park vehicle stickers rose by more than 42% last year. The number of fishing licenses sold increased, and Wisconsin residents bought more sporting goods and outdoor gear. Personally, my family spent time visiting state parks that we hadn't been to before, hiking portions of the Ice Age Trail, and I even went backpacking for the first time!  I am eager to continue exploring as the weather gets nicer and I am always looking for new places in Wisconsin to visit.Here are some great...

Adults Books COVID-19 Nature

Classic Movies, With Some Modern Context

wireless earbuds and a smartphone

February 25, 2021

The pandemic, coupled with winter temps, has made for a lot of inside time at my house, which generally translates into a lot of TV time. If you’ve been experiencing the same thing and are looking for something a bit different to watch, might I suggest watching a classic movie? In 1998, the American Film Institute (AFI) unveiled their 100 Years…100 Movies list as a national celebration of the cinema centennial, calling it “a definitive selection of the greatest 100 films of all time.” Updated in 2007, this list includes genres ranging from comedy to horror, animated to westerns. What I love about classic movies is that they are so much more than a good story, but encompass all the many elements...

Adults COVID-19 Movies

Reading, A Couple at a Time

couple with book

December 9, 2020

It’s probably not surprising that the staff at the Marathon County Public Library really enjoy putting together reading lists. We love getting reading suggestions from others, and we especially love making lists for our patrons! With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of books our staff enjoyed reading and discussing with their partners and, in some cases, with their kids. The list was inspired by a recent episode of the podcast Practical(ly) Zero Waste, when the host and her husband shared that one of their favorite creative lockdown activities has been reading the same book. We thought that was a sweet and fun thing to do, and asked our staff to send us their ideas of books they’ve read and discussed...

Adults Audiobooks Books COVID-19

Marathon County to Boost Public Library Wi-Fi Signal With CARES Act Funding

Wi-Fi Symbol

November 24, 2020

Marathon County officials and municipal officials within the county recently embarked on a plan to boost the strength of wireless internet available at all Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) locations. Currently, Wi-Fi is left on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all 8 MCPL branches, and is available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Wausau Headquarters, as well as from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Prior to a decision made by the MCPL Board in May 2019, the library turned off its Wi-Fi when the building was closed. The change was made in an attempt to provide residents — especially those in rural areas who have poor internet service —  with...

Community COVID-19 Director's Report Facility Improvement IT Updates Library Board On-Site Services Technology

Emergency Order #3: Limiting Public Gatherings

Emergency Order #3 cover screenshot

October 8, 2020

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Governor Tony Evers directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue Emergency Order #3, limiting public gatherings to no more than 25 percent of a room or building’s total occupancy, with some exceptions. The complete Emergency Order is available at the following link: https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EmO03-LimitingPublicGatherings.pdf. The Order is effective at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 8, until Friday, November 6, 2020.

Community COVID-19

Library Learning Lab opening postponed at MCPL Wausau

student laptop learning math

September 30, 2020

In recent weeks, the Marathon County Health Department has reported a record number of positive COVID-19 cases. With the number of positive cases continuing to rise locally, and out of an abundance of caution, the Marathon County Public Library has decided to postpone the opening of its Student Learning Lab until further notice. The lab was originally set to open October 5. Students in need of high-speed Internet access can still make an appointment to use a computer at any of the nine MCPL locations across the county. For more information on making a computer appointment, click here. Do you have a child that needs a quiet place to study? Or do you have an unpredictable internet connection...

Community COVID-19 Education Learning Libraries On-Site Services Technology Teens Tweens Wausau Headquarters

Call MCPL for a Stack of Hand-Picked Books

stack of children's books and a whimsical cup

July 17, 2020

Are you or your child running out of fun and engaging titles to read during the COVID-19 pandemic? Then call any of the nine Marathon County Public Library locations and we will hand-pick titles for you and your children! Need new read-alouds before bed for your baby or preschooler? We would love to prepare a stack of our story time favorites and new books for you by request via curbside pick-up! Have a tween that loves fantasy, or the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and they've run out of books? We have a bunch of new titles we can pull and have ready for your child! Or maybe you need a good mystery or thriller for yourself? The great thing about the library is, books are free to check-out...

Books Children COVID-19 Libraries Reading Recommendations Tweens

Director's Report

Ralph Illick, Library Director

July 2, 2020

As we are all well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we are all conducting our daily activities. Here at MCPL, we are focusing our efforts to seek a balance between ensuring the safety of our staff and the public, and still finding ways to connect our communities with information and ideas. This has been, to say the least, a daunting challenge. Most of us I’m sure have friends, neighbors and loved ones who are very much at risk of serious impact or even death should this virus infect them. I include myself among those at risk, as well as many members of our staff. We also serve a large number of patrons who cannot dismiss the potential for catastrophe should they be exposed to the virus....

COVID-19 Director's Report

Libraries were created for times like these!

never stop learning displayed on a laptop

June 24, 2020

Let’s face it: A library, on its own, cannot change the world. It’s a physical building — bricks, windows, shelves — filled with inanimate, physical materials like books, movies, and music. But… a library can be an agent of change for the people who visit — a source for learning about the world as it exists today and the history of where we’ve been as a planet, as a country, as a state, and as a people. Through the materials in our buildings, libraries are places that foster understanding and empathy.  People who work at libraries (myself included) pride themselves on the fact that we provide information on just about any topic, and always in a nonjudgmental way. It’s simple...

Books Community COVID-19 Libraries Magazines and Newspapers Reading Recommendations

Need to use a library computer during the pandemic? Here's what you need to know...

computer station

June 21, 2020

In keeping with the recommendations of the State of Wisconsin, the Marathon County Health Department and other public health authorities, the Marathon County Public Library and its eight branch libraries will be open by appointment on June 22, as previously announced. Our Wausau location will offer appointments for computer use only. Appointments can be made for up to one hour per person per day. Browsing for materials will not be permitted at this time. To make an appointment, call the MCPL Wausau reference desk at 715-261-7230. Patrons visiting one of the eight branch libraries can make an appointment of 30 minutes per week, which can be used either for computer use or for browsing for materials (since...

Adults COVID-19 Libraries Library Branches On-Site Services Technology Wausau Headquarters

Marathon County Public Library set for limited reopening

woman wearing face mask using a computer

June 16, 2020

After being closed for the past three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all nine Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) locations will reopen on Monday, June 22, with limited services. This includes locations in Wausau, Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon City, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer and Stratford. MCPL’s limited reopening on June 22 will be the first phase in a multi-step reopening plan that will unfold throughout the coming months. During this phase, library locations will be open by appointment only, and with limited hours (see a list of location hours here). At MCPL’s Wausau Headquarters, the public may call the reference desk at 715-261-7230 to schedule an appointment for computer use. A...

COVID-19 Libraries Library Board Library Branches

MCPL remains closed through 6/15, but check out our modified services and expanded online offerings!

all MCPL locations

May 29, 2020

In mid-March 2020, MCPL closed its doors to the public. By the time the Marathon County Public Library re-opens, at least three months will have passed. First, let me just say: We miss you! But as a public institution that sees hundreds of people walk through the doors of our nine locations each day, six days a week, we hope you understand that the closure is necessary as our communities aim to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Re-opening Plans On May 18, the library’s Board of Trustees voted to extend the closure of our nine locations through at least June 15, 2020, when the Board has its next meeting. In the meantime, we are working with County officials, statewide library...

COVID-19

Library to remain closed through June 15, 2020

Ralph Illick with US flag

May 19, 2020

In order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its impact on members of the community and our staff, the Marathon County Public Library’s headquarters in Wausau and its branches throughout the county will remain closed to the public through June 15, 2020. We will continue to provide important library services such as contact-free curbside pickup, free Wi-Fi outside of our buildings, online programming and reference phone calls and emails. In addition, due dates and fines are suspended during this time. We are working with county officials, statewide library leadership, and our library system on developing a multi-phase reopening plan that prioritizes public health. We will be...

Community COVID-19 Director's Report Government Information Health Resources Library Board Library Branches

Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns 'Safer at Home'

Ralph Illick

May 14, 2020

In light of the recent news that the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has overturned Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order, the library is gathering information and resources to determine our next steps.  As a county agency, we will be guided by our County Administration and County Health Officer. Keep watching the library's website and social media channels for updates. UPDATE (5/15): Marathon County has published "MARATHON COUNTY COVID-19 ORDER #1." Thank you for your support during these unusual times!   In the meantime, we are still happy to provide a variety of services during our COVID-19 (coronavirus) closure, including the following: Patrons may...

COVID-19 Director's Report Government Information Laws And Legal Issues Libraries Library Branches Community Events On-Site Services Wisconsin

MCPL donates thousands of books to area kids

donated books boxed up in April 2020

May 11, 2020

Schools, libraries and other educational institutions have been closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) staff members found a way to get much-needed books into the hands of area students during the closure. Over the past several weeks, Stephanie M., a library assistant at MCPL’s Wausau Headquarters, has arranged for children’s books to be donated to local school districts, as well as to the United Way of Marathon County. The donated books were removed from the library’s collection and would normally have been donated to the Friends of the Marathon County Public Library to be sold at one of the group’s quarterly book sales. But since those sales won’t be...

Books Children Community COVID-19 Early Literacy Education Library Staff

Community Writing Project submissions!

adult women in front of a laptop and wearing a face mask

May 8, 2020

In March and April, we asked patrons in our communities to submit original works they wrote related to thoughts, feelings and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. We received submissions from four people, and we are very happy to share three of them – two poems and one piece of short fiction - with the public. (The fourth submission is not included because it didn’t match up with the intent of the community writing project.) Thank you to those who submitted their work, and we hope the rest of you enjoy what they came up with! “COVID-19 Stinks” by Atia Kampstra (Age 7) The sun has gone down and the curtains have closed I sit in a graveyard sobbing so much I might not be able to cry again...

Adults Community COVID-19 Events Writing

Curbside service set to begin at all MCPL locations

example of a curbside pickup bag

May 1, 2020

Beginning Monday, May 4, all nine MCPL locations will begin offering curbside pickup for the duration of the library’s COVID-19-related closure. To participate in this service, please thoroughly read and follow the steps below:   1. PLACE YOUR HOLDS ONLINE OR BY CALLING YOUR LOCAL MCPL LOCATION To place a hold on an item, patrons can either call their preferred MCPL location or place holds via the V-Cat catalog. If contacting by phone, please call the library that you plan on picking up your items at.  Hours that phones will be answered vary by location. For more information about times to call, visit https://mcpl.us/about/locations and click on the specific location you want to...

Books COVID-19 Libraries

MCPL planning to offer curbside service

Ralph Illick, Library Director

April 24, 2020

As you know, the offerings provided by MCPL for the communities we serve have been limited by the Governor’s "Safer At Home" orders[1][2] over the last several weeks. Fortunately, we are now authorized to begin the reintroduction of some services on a limited basis in the coming days. Our staff are looking forward to the opportunity to do so with limitations designed to protect everyone – staff and public alike. Our intention is to develop a schedule and a process at each MCPL location that will allow for curbside pickup of materials with a start date of Monday, May 4, 2020. Currently, we are awaiting finalization of the expected capacity for our consortium to provide delivery services that...

Director's Report Community COVID-19

A National Library Week Like No Other

2020 National Library Week logo

April 22, 2020

The week of April 19–25, 2020, is National Library Week — a time when libraries across the country typically celebrate their myriad offerings and show appreciation for the patrons they serve.  However, that celebration is drastically different this year due to precautions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Marathon County Public Library’s (MCPL) Board of Trustees voted to close all 9 MCPL locations to the public beginning March 17, 2020. A "Safer at Home" order from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers went into effect on March 25 stating, “Libraries shall close for all in-person services, but may continue to provide on-line services and programming.” The order was originally...

COVID-19 E-books Events Facility Improvement National Library Week Wisconsin's Digital Library

All MCPL locations to remain closed due to coronavirus concerns

coronavirus, as depicted by the CDC

March 16, 2020

THIS ARTICLE WAS LAST UPDATED ON 6/15/20 Due to the continued threat of COVID-19 (commonly known as coronavirus), all nine Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) locations will remain closed to the public through June 21, 2020 (more information on this development can be found here). This includes locations in Wausau, Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon City, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer, and Stratford. All MCPL locations will open on June 22, 2020, by appointment only. Due to the closure, all in-person library programs and events that were scheduled to occur between now and June 21 have been canceled. However, MCPL will continue to offer a variety of virtual events that will ...

Community COVID-19 Libraries