Director’s Page

January 18, 2018

This is the first post of 2018 on the Director’s Page. Expect a year of excitement! A year of adventure! A year of library news and book recommendations!

Book recommendation: I listened to Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes.That was a darn good novel and a masterful narration by Bronson Pinchot. I admit to being biased against Pinchot because I really disliked the TV show Perfect Strangers but Pinchot was fantastic. Matterhorn primarily follows Marine Second Lieutenant Mellas during his first two months of combat near the DMZ in South Vietnam in 1969. A great portrait of the Marine characters who are fighting the enemy and daily terror and also suffering the jungle, incompetent and drunken Battalion officers, racial strife, lack of food and sleep, and terror.

Exciting photos: Rats! I do reader tutoring at Lake Mills Middle School. The student brought along the classroom rat from 8th grade science.

Also seen at Lake Mills Middle School.

Winter sunset on Rock Lake.

December 15, 2017

The library’s elevator is being modernized starting December 18. The work will last from three to four weeks.

Our  elevator is driven up and down by a hydraulically powered piston. The piston’s shaft sinks 30 feet or so into the ground. Both the piston and shaft will be replaced. The new piston is carried inside the building in sections and then welded together. The electronic components are also being replaced. Maybe the electronics update will stop the elevator doors from randomly opening.

Our elevator car will not only remain tiny but will get slightly smaller. New wall panels and a new control panel will be overlaid on the old, cracked, dingy looking 1981-style walls. We’ll also have new LED lighting in the ceiling. I am hoping for a fancy escape hatch at the top of the elevator car, like in the movies.

Part of the project also includes entirely replacing our fire detection and alarm system. New alarms are required for part of the project and we are updating the whole shebang.

How about a book recommendation? The Castle of Kings by Oliver Potzsch was fairly decent. First published in German in 2013. The novel follows a few characters through the peasant revolt of 1524-1525 in Germany.

December 5, 2017

What’s shakin’, Bacon? The Supermoon.


October 20, 2017

I uploaded some library policy documents to the web page. I think one of the best reasons to have these policies online is so other libraries can evaluate their policies in comparison to other institutions. I am not sure who else reads policies.

Here is a picture of a double coffee day.

October 9, 2017

News, news, news. What’s the news? The Library just celebrated 115 year of service on October 7. We had cake, coffee and juice. I even had half-and-half for the coffee. You missed out, man, you should have come over because we had A LOT of cake. After running out of cake before I always buy too much.

How about a book recommendation? Try out Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen. A warning: there are no anthropomorphic goats in this novel. It took me several pages to deal with my goat disappointment but I ended up enjoying this SciFi novel. Floyd Maquina lives in a future version of Melbourne, Australia that is the last city on earth after a worldwide plague and civil discord. He is tasked with hunting down Deviants that the government deems a threat. The novel is a mix between Blade Runner and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

September 7, 2017

The library has received five additional WiFi hotspots for checkout.  We bought this through a grant with the Bridges Library System. Once I get them labeled they will go out for checkout.

“Hey, Library Dude, read any books?”

“Well, not as many as I should be. But I listened to City of Thieves by David Benioff. That was good. A teenager in wartime Stalingrad has to find some eggs for an Army Colonel or he’ll be executed for looting a dead German. The novel has lots of great insults.

I also read Anthony Neil Smith’s latest novel, Castle Danger: woman on ice. That was a good one but the publisher is only doing e-book editions for now. The title is also not currently available through the Wisconsin Digital Library. Therefore, I cannot point you to a library copy, but we do have his other books.”

August 30, 2017

Building news. The Library Annex will likely be demolished in late September. The dates depend on the winning bidder. Bidding is underway for updating our elevator system. That will be a bigger project and the elevator will be out of service for a week or two.

Books: A while ago I read Black Rock by John McFetridge and enjoyed it quite a bit. Set in 1970 Montreal “English” Constable Eddie Dougherty is helping investigate a serial killer while the city undergoes a bombing spree from Quebec separatists. Dougherty is a native English speaker in majority French Quebec and is a bit of an outsider from the mainstream culture in and outside the police department. No other libraries had other books in the Dougherty series so I ordered A Little More Free and One Or the Other.

July 20, 2017

Have you heard about those new corduroy pillows? They’ve been making headlines.

July 17, 2017

The Library Annex will be demolished later this year. I removed a leaded glass window last week. The removal took a while. Here are some photos. The current plan is to display the window in the library. Maybe by framing and hanging the window. We’re not sure yet.



June 27, 2017

Summer Reading Program is in full swing. This year the youth staff have changed up programs a bit to have more activities for toddler aged children. We’ve also further streamlined the sign-up and weekly check-in process.

June 1, 2017

Signup for out Summer Reading Program is now open. Registration is online only. Those paper registrations we use to do were a major pain. We had to organize the papers and then count up all the stats for number of people, age, school year, etc.

Books, books, books. I listened to the audio of Reed Farrell Coleman’s novel Where It Hurts. I enjoyed the book. Gus Murphy’s 20-year-old son died of a sudden heart attack two years and Murphy’s life and marriage fell apart. Three years ago Gus retired from his police job in Long Island and now lives in a ratty hotel by the Long Island MacArthur Airport while working there as a shuttle driver. A no-goodnick from his police days shows up at the hotel asking for help in finding out who murdered the no-goodnick’s dead son. Gus is not interested but ends up helping anyway.

Music. The library system has two albums by Mac Demarco. I enjoy some of his tunes. Here is one. Embedding the video did not work and I don’t want to mess with it now.


May 22, 2017

Today is Monday. Here are photos from the Lake Mills Area School District Art Show.

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May 12, 2017

We regularly post library news and information on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am not messing with that SnapChat stuff. Here are some flowers.


May 3, 2017

“Hey, Library Director, what’s shakin’ with the bacon?” I have no idea what you are talking about. How about a book recommendation instead?

Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely. Chandler’s fame as a writer of detective novels was well earned. Published in 1940 Farewell, My Lovely featurs private dick Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is in downtown Los Angeles looking for a missing person when he witnesses a giant-sized man throuw another man through the doorway of a dance club. That chance meeting starts Marlowe on a winding adventure involving several beatings, murder, Los Angeles mobsters, rich people, dirty cops, and Marlowe’s own search for justice.

March 23, 2017

The Director’s Page is an important way to communicate vital and breaking news to the public. FLASH: The library will be buying a Keurig instead of using a drip coffee maker for public events. Hurray for coffee!

Also, We have a WiFi hotspot that we will start to check-out to the public once I type up some directions to fit into the case.


February 10, 2017

You know what they say in Australia? פ,pɐʎ’ Wɐʇǝ˙

January 26, 2017

Unlike some library directors I update my library’s Director’s page. Hmm. Let’s see… Have you heard about those new corduroy pillows? They’ve been making headlines.

January 4, 2017

How about a new novel for the new year? I enjoyed Ridgerunenrs by Rusty Barnes. I describe the book as “short rural noir”.  Matt Rider is a part-time Game warden in eastern Pennsylvania and shot on duty trying to catch poachers. The poachers are well know no-goodnicks from a criminally minded family. Other family members start going after Rider demanding the money they think Rider found and kept. Ridgerunners is only 146 pages and Barnes uses every word to tell the story in spare language.

What else is going on? Let’s see. We are going to institute a ‘lucky day” collection at the library. We will buy extra copies of high demand items that will not be holdable. That means those items will not full holds/requests but will instead go straight onto the shelf for first come, first served demand.

December 5, 2016

Wait. What? I still have a Director’s Page?!

How about this for news: the staff has developed a marketing plan to better promote library services to the public. We are going to be using different digital platforms like Twitter and Instagram to reach current and potential customers. Library staff also discussed programming goals for 2017. This winter we are going to start promoting the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten mobile application developed by our library system. Bridges Library System developed a mobile app to promote the importance of early literacy for newborns. The goal is for parents to read 1,000 books to their children before the child enters kindergarten. The 1,000 Books app helps parents to track how much reading they completed.

Here is a book recommendation: Stark House Press’s reprints of Dan J. Marlowe’s novels The Name of the Game is Death and One Endless Hour. Stark House publishes new and old crime novels and has been reprinting older authors in double book volumes. Marlowe was a paperback writing star in the 1960s and 1970s. Name of the Game was Marlowe’s career making hit from 1962. Both novels feature the same career criminal. Game has the protagonist trying to find his missing bank robbery partner who is feared dead. One has the protagonist escaping prison and trying to rob another bank in Pennsylvania.

October 31, 2016

Lake Mills Area School District Fall Art Show begins tomorrow, November 1. The library is happy to host these art shows. Display units and will be up through November 21.

“Hey, Library Director, got any recommendations?” Yeah, I suppose. How about an audio version of a Star Wars novel? I enjoy the audio versions because the narrators are usually pretty good and there are plenty of sound effects like a radio drama. Try out the downloadable books available at

September 12, 2016

“Hey, Library Director. Anything new going on?”

Well, yeah. I took a while to awaken from the August doldrums. More importantly, there is a cheese pizza tasting event for teens on October 27 at 1PM. We’ll have samples from several area pizzerias and watch a movie.

August 8, 2016

Congratulations and thank you to all the library staff who worked hard for planning, preparing, and running the Summer Reading Program. I wish I could think of a “p” word to use instead of “running”. That would make for some nice alliteration.

“Hey, Library Director, read anything neat lately?”  Well, yeah, I’m glad you asked.  I heard the audio version of Donald Westlake’s 361. 361 came out in 1962 and was reprinted as a paperback in 2005 by Hard Case Crime. The plot is about a recently discharged U.S. Air Force Airman who meets his father in New York City. The father, a small town attorney from Binghampton is shot dead and the Airman loses an eye and spends a month in the hospital. The Airman starts investigating and going for revenge. He is an amateur driven by anger and he and his older brother end up fighting with and against aging mobsters.

I’ve never read a bad Westlake novel. He once wrote that one or two of his Parker novels (done under the name Richard Stark) were not so good but I liked’em fine. Westlake really knew how to drive an novel along and pace things to keep the reader interested. He touches of detail and insight into character and human behavior were always insghtful. Insiughtful. Insgihtful. Dang it. Insightful.

July 25, 2016

I was on vacation with at Boy Scout camp last week. I finished several novels: Rough Riders by Charlie Stella, Shadow War by Sean McFate, Gestapo Mars by Victor Gischler, Don’t Let Go by Michelle Gagnon. I read one nonfiction book, Into The Valley by John Hersey.

Rough Riders is one of Stella’s typically brilliant novels. Set during a North Dakota winter with transplanted bad guys in the Witness Protection program dealing drugs and murder. A Minot, ND police detective is left figuring out what is going on and a NYC transplant is after one of the Witness Protection killers.

Shadow War follows a military contractor hired to sneak into Ukraine, rescue a oligarch on the run, and prove that Russian special forces are operating in the country. The novel covers some disturbing aspects of geopolitics where money and power rule the day and mercenaries are hired when the rich think governments act too slowly.

Gestapo Mars is set a thousand years in the future where the Third Reich is still in charge. Super secret Agent Carter Sloan is woken after 200+ years of stasis and put back to work. Gischler did this as a pulp science fiction homage but I’m not sure why he chose nazis. Maybe that was a 1950s thing. Gischler is all talent and skill though, so things work out.

Don’t Let Go is the final novel of the Don’t Turn Around trilogy of teenage street kids fighting against a conspiracy that kidnaps teens and experiments on them to find a cure for a killer disease. There is plenty of smoochy-smoochy teenage stuff which I did not like.

Into the Valley is a 1989 reprint of Hersey’s slim book from 1943. Hersey worked as a reporter for Time-Life and traveled with a Marine heavy weapons company into a fight on Guadalcanal. The battle was fairly brief and the Marine company had to withdraw after getting ambushed. Hersey detailed the stress and physical obstacles of the jungle covered mountains.

July 13, 2016

Last night we held an Adult Coloring party with 10 enthusiastic participants. Also last night, the Library Director went for a swim in Rock Lake and was the fastest swimmer in the lake. The Library Director was also the only swimmer in Rock Lake at that time.

On July 19th at 6:30PM we are hosting Matthew Blessing from the Wisconsin Historical Society who will talk about how John Muir’s Wisconsin boyhood impacted his later career as a famed naturalist.  Also on July 19th, the Library Director will be at Boy Scout Camp near Rice Lake, WI, plotting his escape from the Scouts so he can go read in peace.

July 9, 2016

Today is Saturday, July 9, 2016. The temperature outside is 78° and the skies are clear and sunny with a 6MPH breeze. The library has not been very busy today.

May 25, 2016

Today is Wednesday. I just posted the library’s strategic plan to the website. Maybe I can direct traffic to strategic plan using the Buzzfeed method.

  • “L.D. Fargo Library just posted their strategic plan. You won’t believe #3!”
  • “Read this letter by a Library Board President. You’re jaw will drop!”
  • “You won’t believe what they said about programming to teens. You have to see this!”
  • “It’s official! Someone leaked the library’s strategic plan and you’ll be amazed at the font they used!”

May 9, 2016

The importance of weeding. Libraries have limited shelf space. To add new material we have to remove old materials. Libraries usually refer to this as “weeding”, you remove the old dying material to give room for new growth. Weeding should be done throughout the year with library staff focusing on one section at a time. Over the past couple months I have been focusing on the entire adult nonfiction collection with the goal of removing enough material to compact the nonfiction so that we can expand the adult fiction section. Adult fiction is one of the library’s most popular sections but is crammed into too small an area.

Weeding is done using several criteria including: physical condition, customer demand, currency, circulation (AKA circ’, the number of times an item is checked out) and relevant information. Books with crumbling pages and layered dust don’t need to remain. Outdated information should be removed. We are not archive or research library and cannot retain archaic but interested items.

Weeding nonfiction can be difficult. Some books are easy to weed. Older medical books need to be pulled because of outdated information. Resume and job search books should include the latest information on internet sources and guides. Multi-volume print encyclopedias are rarely used versus online resources. But, there are several items of local or regional importance that never circ’ but should remain because they are not available in other libraries. Should old poetry books go? Maybe library patrons are using a compilation of American poetry for a quick read or photocopy of a two stanza poem?

When items are withdrawn from the collection we stamp the book WITHDRAWN or DISCARD and give saleable items to the Friends of the Library for re-sale.

May, 2016

We always have new things going on here at the library. Saturday, May 21st is Read With Dogs in the Children’s Area from 10AM-11AM. I really like dogs. I would read at home to my dog but she is not a trained therapy dog – like the animals that visit the library – and my dog would likely ignore me.

I listen to audiobooks when I walk the dog. I just finished listening to the classic Dashiell Hammett novel, Red Harvest. I first read the novel when I was in high school. Listening to the audio version was fun but I was getting a few characters confused. That “character confusion” happens with me and audiobooks. I checked out a hardcover copy of Red Harvest so I oould read the second half of the story. Since I already finished the audio version I may just send the hardcover back.

I have another hardcover at home, Nemesis: one man and the battle for Rio. I got interested in Brazilian true crime stories after watching the DVD City of God. City of God had some very gruesome scenes and focused on the crime lords and violent police who worked in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas (slums). Nemesis is about a favela resident who ended up the crime lord of his 100,000 person community and was Brazil’s most wanted man.

April, 2016

Congratulations on reaching the Director’s Page. The first person to tell me they actually read this page gets a free coffee. Don’t get too excited, all I have is Starbucks VIA instant coffee. That Starbucks stuff is thick and darn near sludgy. I like the coffee, but I’m not sure it is for everyone.

In other news, I recommend Lemony Snicket’s recently completed All the Wrong Questions series. All the Wrong Question is a four novel series featuring a 13-year-old Lemony Snicket solving mystery cases in the mostly abandoned city of Stain’d-by-the-Sea.

March, 2016

The library is closed Friday, March 25, 2016. We re-open Saturday, March 26.

Did you hear about those new corduroy pillows? They’re making headlines.

March, 2016

Lake Mills library users checked out 556 electronic books, audiobooks, and periodicals in February. We checked out 7,912 physical items (books, DVDs, magazines, etc.) in February.

I am listening to Joe R. Lansadale’s novel Edge of Dark Water. I download all my audiobooks from the WPLC website and listen to the books on my cell phone.

February, 2016

Due dates are changing on March 1st. To align with other libraries within the Bridges Library System our longest loan period will change to 21 days from 28 days. This change includes all books and audio-books except New Adult Books.

February, 2016

Welcome to the L.D. Fargo Public Library. You are reading the words of the 2016 Knickerbocker Ice Festival Ice-Cream Eating Champion.


February, 2016

The Friends of the Library won the 2016 Knickerbocker Trivia Contest! Pictured below is the traveling trophy.

Knickerbocker Ice Festival Trivia Contest Trophy 2016

February, 2016

We have two mid-day sessions on learning the benefits of meditation. February 22 and 29 at 12:30PM. These are 20 minute classes led by local expert Susan Trier.

The Knickerbocker Ice Festival is February 5-7. Last year the Friends of the L.D. Fargo Public Library won the annual trivia contest. The Friends team returns February 5 to defend the title.

January, 2016

The new year brings new online resources through our new membership in the new Bridges Library System. The newest news of new resources is online access to Rosetta Stone. Key in your library card number to the new Rosetta Stone link and start new learning with some new French. Or new Spanish. Or new German. New Pashto? How about some new Swedish and you can understand the Swedish Chef without using the online translator.

December, 2015

Jefferson and Waukesha Counties have begun the Bridges Library System with a computer conversion to the new Polaris software system. The software conversion involves merging two databases with millions of patron and item (books, DVDs, everything) records. This conversion requires the computer system to be down until December 10. Yes, this is annoying, you can call me at 920-648-2166 to complain.

November, 2015

The public libraries in Jefferson County will be switching from trio to Waukesha County’s CAFE library automation system beginning on December 1.

The migration process is planned for Dec. 1 through 9 during which time the automation system will be “down” and unavailable. When the system is “down” you will not be able to login to your account, view the online catalog from home or inside the library, renew materials, pay fines/fees, or place holds.

You will be able to visit the library during this time, check out all types of material, check out e-materials, use the library’s website and Internet access, and keep your position in previous holds queues.

To accomplish this change as smoothly as possible, no holds will be allowed beginning November 23, 2015.

We appreciate your patience while we take the steps necessary to make this improvement. The shared catalog will grow to 2.3 million items and will offer many new features to enhance your library experience!

October 5, 2015

A huge thank you and congratulations to Carolyn Wey, Brianna Adams and Marilyn Sieb for planning and implementing another successful Summer Reading Program. Libraries are always at the forefront of emerging and childhood literacy and our popular Summer Reading Program is key to that work.

June, 2015

Welcome to the library’s new homepage (June, 2015). The new design offers easier and more frequent updates for library news and programs.

Beginning in 2016 all Jefferson County libraries, including the L.D. Fargo Library, will withdraw from Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System (MWFLS) and merge with Waukesha County Federated Library System (WCFLS). The merger with WCFLS will provide a larger catalog for our customers and new online services including online courses through Gale Courses.

The staff and I do our best to provide service to the public and I encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns about library services and the library collection.