October 1, 2019
Well, the new parking lot construction started two or three weeks ago. This makes me very happy and means I have nothing to gripe about. Except for the rain which delays construction. The back lot has been cleared, filled, leveled and compacted. Earlier today the cement crews put in the frames for pouring the new concrete sidewalks. A shallow, concrete drainage trough will run the length of driveway. Once those concrete features are set we will await the asphalt contractor to lay the driving surface.
Coming up next are interviews with architectural firms who sent in quotes on a library needs assessment. The trick is scheduling meeting times for the architectural firms and the three people on the interview committee. The needs assessment will look at the library building, library services, and community growth and needs.
What else? What else? Let me think… I’ve been drinking French press coffee lately. The Keurig machine is so wonderfully convenient but the coffee is never all that great. The K-pods get expensive and are just one more piece of garbage.
August 29, 2019
No more fines on Children’s Materials effective August 19, 2019. We are deleting old overdue fines for children’s materials. Why?
- Literacy is freaking important. Children’s literacy is vital to academic success.
- People with big fines won’t use the library. We block library access if fines total $10 and above.
- People with small fines sometimes don’t use the library. People get embarrassed. People don’t have cash. Some people barely make rent.
- Overdue fines don’t encourage returning items on time. Study after study has shown return rates don’t change much when a library removes fines.
What else? I don’t know. My dog stinks again. She always wants to sunbathe on the asphalt driveway and she sort of smells like rotting fish.
August 19, 2019
Continuing the theme of “Dang it, I gotta update this page” is this video of Rock Lake shortly after sunset.
I usually get more reading during summer vacations than I did this summer. One vacation to Montana and Yellowstone National Park was a lot of busy days. The other vacation to Kansas included a fair amount of napping. I did recently finish The Killing Joke by Gary Phillips and Christa Faust. I have been a fan of Faust’s work for quite a few years. Killing Joke is at least her second collaboration with fellow crime novelist Phillips.
The previous Phillips and Faust was a comic book novel, Peepland, set in 1980s Time Square. Killing Joke is itself a Batman novel based off a comic book novel from the 1980s. The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and Batman is looking for him and a few other crooks. Phillips and Faust wrote a smooth flowing, quickly devoured book. Well… quickly devoured if you’re not as distracted by family, TV shows, other books, exercise, and the dang dog.
July 1, 2019
Nuts. I forgot about this page again. Well the Summer Reading Program is in full swing with 473 children registered. The Adult Summer Reading Program gives you a chance at prize drawings.
I’ve posting on the library’s Instagram account because it is so easy to do off a mobile phone. If there a hip way to talk about that topic? I’ve been on the ‘gram. Or, I’m going to insta’ this shot! Or maybe I’m so insta’ it hurts my ‘gram, yo. Photographs of sunsets always prove popular. I don’t know why.
May 8, 2019
You can now use our photocopier as a fax machine to transmit and receive. I could write “send” but “transmit” sounds fancier. People do still use faxes and Library Staff get fairly regular requests for the service. Now I need to mention these details things on all the social media places.
I’ve been reading a book about the Vietnam War the past couple weeks, We Few by Nick Brockhausen. It differs from the usual war memoir style with a young recruit in training, young soldier is gung-ho and sent overseas, young soldier has first time in the field, young soldier sees combat and is horrified into an old soldier, old soldier is cynical and ready to head home, old soldier is home and discombobulated. Brockhausen writes about drunken shenanigans and pranks more than combat. Brockhausen was part of MACV/SOG which was a super-duper secret commando and reconnaissance outfit that was often sent into Laos and Cambodia. SOG carried out incredibly dangerous missions and Brockhausen and Friends would drink and cause mayhem when out of the field. Why worry about getting in trouble or advancing your career when you have colleagues who jumped off a helicopter and disappeared forever? An interesting part of the book is how the social dynamics of that commando unit – a meritocracy – fit within the strict hierarchy of the Army.
What else? What else? Nothing much comes to mind. I need to book a company to get the carpets cleaned. I have a couple bids and they differ by about $1,500. Yeah, one thousand and five hundred smackers.
April 24, 2019
Well… let’s see. What’s the word? Bird. Surfin’ Bird.
- The front concrete steps are scheduled for replacement on May 13.
- A new back parking lot is planned for July. Of 2019.
- The LMASD Spring Art Show is coming up and the reception is scheduled for May 23. The reception will include cake and awards. I’m not sure whose turn it is to get the cake. The Library and the art teachers have been trading that back and forth. I’m always worried about running out of cake and oftentimes over-order cake. Back when I used to regularly eat dessert that was fine because a bunch of leftovers would end up staying here and I’d eat it.
- A few months ago I was at Rotary eating my usual fourth or fifth dessert and I decided maybe I should cut back a bit. But, I knew if I cut back and I would backslide, so I just cut out desserts entirely. Doing so was surprisingly easy.
- I found three CDs by The Call within the library catalog and ordered them over. I was listening to one of those albums, Let The Day Begin, and after I recognized every single tune I realized my brother or I bought this on vinyl. Heck, I may have the LP somewhere in my basement.
March 23, 2019
Sure, there is always something going on at the library but that doesn’t mean I update this page as often as those happenings happen.
Here is an update. We should be posting a request for proposals for a Building Needs Assessment. As the community has grown the library has endeavored to keep pace. Our last building expansion was in 1965. Our interior renovation in 2013 updated our data cabling, and circulation desk but the rest of the work only rearranged the building layout. We are still limited by a100+ year old design. A needs assessment will be done by a consultant to tell us how the community rates our library services and what we are expected to provide. The study will give recommendations on what the library should be pursue for library services and if we should look to expand.
I wonder if we’ll ever get that parking lot in back.
January 30, 2019
The polar vortex is moving through Wisconsin at this moment and most staff were unable to come to work. We will close at 6PM because I don’t want to stay here for the full 13 hours of 8AM to 9PM.
The good thing about the cold weather is that even though everything will warm up to 39 on Saturday the ground should stay nice and frozen for The Knickerbocker Ice Festival over the weekend. I would enter the IdiderDAD competition on Saturday but I will be working in the library. My children are teenagers and, therefore, quite large. I won a couple races three years ago when the children were a bit smaller but one of the plastic pulling sleds still broke. I think my wife and I are going out for drinks that night.
Book recommendations? Sure. I’ve recently read or listened to some older novels you can call “classic”. Those are Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Rascal by Sterling North, My Antonia by Willa Cather, Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Here are my comments
- Tarzan was pretty fun but time has not been too kind to the book. The racism was unsurprising and lighter than expected. The author’s eugenics theories were a surprise.
- Rascal was a year in the life of a ten-year-old boy and his new pet raccoon. Fun stories by a lonely boy whose mother passed away a few years before.
- My Antonia was boring. Nothing much happened in the story and I bailed out after trying and trying to finish the book.
- Wind in the Willows was narrated by Terry Jones from Monty Python. The book was funny and I am certain I never finished the story when I was a child.
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a famed Southern Gothic novel. I suppose it is not as famed as a “nothing much happens outside a house fire” novel.
December 5, 2018
The year is winding down. The City’s budget year matches the calendar year so we have closed out all our ordering. Most books are purchased through Baker and Taylor (B&T) which wholesales to many libraries and book stores. B&T offers a Automatically Yours program where libraries sign up for automatic shipments of any new novels by popular authors. That way we never miss ordering a popular writer’s new novel. We receive monthly updates, print the updates, and post them by the library’s New Books section.
Another thing that gets posted is Santa.
I jogged in the Run Turkey Run event in Watertown on Thanksgiving morning. I decided to pose on the podium before the race. That way the photographer was able to get a good photo before I was mobbed by my admirers.
Run Turkey Run had a bunch of coffee for runners. They also have muffins. They ran out of coffee and people, like me, were standing in line at the Bunn coffee makers. They also started to run out of muffins. But, I was okay because I ate six muffins.
November 15, 2018
I about to write my monthly Director’s Report for the Library Board. Let me know if you want anything added. I have to know by 2PM, November 15. Time machines not allowed.
November 8, 2018
I am at the Circulation Desk. Four children are down in the Children’s Area playing online computer games on their laptops. There is very loud laughter and giggling.
October 30, 2018
Children and Young Adult library staff – all two of them – did a fantastic job planning, preparing, and hosting two days of celebration for the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first Harry Potter novel. On October 25th we hosted five sessions of a Potter themed escape room with a total of 40 children. October 26th was four hours of a drop-in Potter festival. 113 children and plenty of parents came on Friday and each person stayed about two hours. Here are some photos and I hope the formatting is not all messed up.
October 3, 2018
What’s the word? Bird. Bird is the word.
Here is some general news organized into a handy, bulleted list suitable for printing:
- Our conversion to LED lighting in the library has been taking forever. We solicited quotes in September and a member of WPPI is now analyzing the quotes for us. Hopefully this can be done in November.
- Our Green Bay Packers program on September 27 went well with about 28 people attending.
- Our Harry Potter programs on October 25 and 26 are looking to be very, very neat. Brianna and Becca have been doing a lot of planning and work in preparation. Prior planning prevents poor performance.
- Proper Post Participation Pulls Pork Pies.
- Baby And Me story times will be every Tuesday @ 10AM during October.
- For the past year or so I always use the @ symbol when listing times on social media. The symbol has become acceptable and saves an extra space (or two when typed @10am) in tight space.
- All the rain fall over the past three months has altered and slowed the road construction schedule. That means the schedule for our front step replacement and parking lot expansion have also been altered. I now make cynical jokes that we hope to have the work completed by November, 2020. The project will not take that long of course.
- I bought a couple new camping knives. This is not library news but I might as well share.
- I’ve been reading a Michelle Gagnon novel and enjoying it quite a bit. The title is Bone Yard and is a serial killer novel set among the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Yeah, serial killer plots have been done to death but I’ve really enjoyed this one. I also enjoyed listening to the audio version of a young adult trilogy Gagnon wrote.
- That is all.
September 13, 2018
The library should be moving forward for having a building needs assessment done in 2019. A study will determine if we should move forward with planning for a building expansion. The library was built in 1902 and is in very good shape but we have been outgrowing our space. The library’s space constraints will become more obvious as the community continues to grow. Here is a dog from Saturday’s Read to Dogs. I did not read to the dog.
August 22, 2018
The Summer Reading Program went very well. The Library’s concrete steps are not yet replaced. The Library’s back parking lot should still be on schedule. I broke two ribs and have not been cycling, swimming, walking, running, lifting or assembling the new tables for Library Hall. Here is a stock photo I found. I added the “woof”.
July 6, 2018
It is 3:19PM and all is well. Here are some summer photos. Hopefully the formatting will work out. I don’t know how to get the site to arrange photos like I want. Getting the photos to open into the large version was enough trouble.
Book recommendations: I read Anthony Neil Smith’s latest novel The Cyclist. A good book and Smith keeps the story moving. The Cyclist has a obsessive cyclist emptying his bank account and traveling to Scotland to meet his online flirtation. Things do not go well for the fella. Lets just say that Smith has written a few torture scenes in his other books.
June 25, 2018
Nuts, it’s late June already. I need to update more often. Here is a book recommendation: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott. Abbott’s last few novels have been crime novels focusing on teenage girls. Abbott has mined the topic of teens with protagonists who misconstrue the actions of others and lie to themselves about their own actions and needs. You Will Know Me is told by the mother of a high-performing, 16-year-old, female gymnast who is training to be able to compete at the highest level. When a young man and gymnast team performer is killed in a hit-and-run the mom is left wondering how her husband and daughter might be involved.
Here are are two photos. One from the Town and Country Days parade.
Rock Lake sunset.
May 31, 2018
Summer Reading Program (SRP) registration begins tomorrow. We have online registration and a simple paper sheet to track reading progress. SRP is a big deal for libraries and children.
The Library Parking Lot Project (LPLP) will happen in autumn. The paving contractor and City street crews will be busy all summer working on pulverizing and grinding streets, laying pavement, fixing the manholes, repairing lead water lateral work, replacing water mains, replacing sewer mains, painting lines, digging ditches, decorating trees, and lassoing the moon. So, the LPLP has to wait.
Here is a book I gave up on, The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe. To me it was a run of the mill Rich People Are In Trouble novel. Mixed in with kidnapping, oil business, African oligarchs and revolutionaries, and kidnapping for ransom.
May 25, 2018
The Summer Reading Program is almost set to start. Brianna and Becca have been getting everything ready and are finishing their final organization. Meanwhile, I’ve been working on getting quotes to replace all our fluorescent lights with LED bulbs. I’ve also been working on preparing a request for proposal on a needs assessment for the library.
We have continually discussed expanding the library into the vacant lot to the North. A needs assessment will guide us in deciding whether a expansion is needed by the community. I think the need is clear but we need someone to assess all the different factors and give us an expert opinion. A needs assessment will look at
- the current building’s square footage, condition, capabilities, and adaptability.
- current and expected technology needs.
- community population and future growth.
- Community needs and demographics.
- lack of couches for the Library Director to recline upon.
- ease of access for customers.
- standards of service.
So, what else is new? Well, at this very moment (10:52AM on Friday, May 25, 2018) there are three very giggly children in the Children’s Area. Oh, well, not the one kid who just collided with someone. Give it a minute or two and he’ll be fine. -Wait, I was wrong, it took 30 seconds to recover.
I just heard a western by Richard S. Wheeler, Montana Hitch. If you are ever looking for a novel with lots of character development then check out a Wheeler novel. I’ve read a few of his and most of his westerns do not follow the genre’s usual formula. This one does follow some of those western characteristics with cattle ranchers and rustlers but it is far beyond any formulaic crud.
May 23, 2018
What do you call a dog underwater? Nothing, He cannot hear you.
April 26, 2018
The plan to expand and resurface the library’s parking lot is still a go. The land needs to be graded and paved. The City will do the grading but bid requests for pavement and concrete are still being prepared.
I just finished listening to Skin by Mo Hayder. Skin is the third book I’ve read that has English Police Inspector Ryan Caffery. Hayder is very good at having several characters who pursue separate story lines as they also interact with each other and those story lines overlap. But, unlike many novels where different story lines meet together at a story’s climax, Hayder has those many connection miss. Characters know things and act in ways that would solve serious personal and legal issues, yet know one knows this. Hayder gives us a bigger emotional, tragic oomph when a criminal goes free, a cop misses a clue, or a victim dies alone because of those missed personal connections. Here is another dog photo.
April 13, 2018
Today is Friday. This weekend’s forecast is for snow. The library will be open, warm and dry from 9AM-5PM. After 5PM you’re on your own.
How about a book? I finally got around to reading Tana French’s In The Woods. Woods is set in Ireland with a policeman who survived a childhood abduction that left his two best friends missing and presumed murdered. The copper was 11-years-old at the time and retains no memory of the abduction and almost no memory of his life before the abduction. His childhood trauma is a secret to everyone but his partner. When a teenage girl is murdered near the copper’s childhood neighborhood he is called to investigate.
Clues at the new murder scene may connect the modern crime with the cop’s abduction from 20 years ago. The cop has to try and investigate both cases while keeping his secret safe and face the trauma that left him with no past. French does a masterful job of leading us through the cop’s life as he recalls what he can, follows bad leads, and realizes how much of the memory he retains is faulty and the events misunderstood.
April 5, 2018
To stay relevant social media must be regularly updated. Use pictures to attract viewers. Use hashtags to encourage interaction with your audience. #mydogisnosey
March 26, 2018 Part Two.
And another thing. We have hired a new Children’s Librarian. She will start April 9 and will undoubtedly be spending a ton of time preparing for the Summer Reading Program. I AM NOT A ROBOT!
March 26, 2018
What’s new? Well, I found out Magnus Robot Fighter is available through the Cafe catalog. I am not a robot!
March 14, 2018
Nuts! I forgot all about updating the Director’s Page. I have been working to promote the library on the fancy shmancy Instagram Computer Box Picture Show. The Library also has a Twitter account but I’m not as good at keeping that account active.
We have been without a Children’s Specialist since January 1st when we shuffled staff after a resignation. I and the City’s Human Resources boss interviewed three candidates today and interview two more tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll fill the job soon. We had some excellent – excellent – candidates.
How about a book recommendation? Let me check my notes… oh, yeah. I read the last two books in John MCFetridge’s Eddie Dougherty series. I really enjoy those books. Doughtery is a Police Constable in Montreal in the 1970s. He really wants to advance in rank and be a detective but cannot seem to get anywhere even though he often helps out the detective bureau. The City of Montreal is often split along different lines in each novel. War protestors versus the government. Developers versus home owners. Young people versus old people. And, most importantly, English versus French. The English-French divide only grows more as the political separatist movement grows in power. Great writing and fantastic use of setting.
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.
May 12, 2017
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 dbooks.wplc.info.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the L.D. Fargo Public Library. You are reading the words of the 2016 Knickerbocker Ice Festival Ice-Cream Eating Champion.
The Friends of the Library won the 2016 Knickerbocker Trivia Contest! Pictured below is the traveling trophy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.