Crafts & Classes • A virtual poetry reading on April 8 with at least 10 Wisconsin poets sharing work collected in the new Wisconsin Fellowship of Poetry book “Sheltering with Poems: Community and Connection During COVID.” Click here to learn more about it. Registration is required, and a link is included on the MCPL page. • All month (or while they last) at all 9 MCPL locations, pick up a Grab and Go project to create pasta sculptures and mosaics at home. Just add some glue and you’ll be surprised with what you can create! Free of charge. Registration to pick up a kit required at all locations except Wausau. • Our monthly Little Treasures craft for adults and teens is a colorful beaded wrap bracelet that would make a nice accessory for yourself or a gift for someone else. Also free and available while they last, so call ahead to schedule a pickup at the 8 branches, please. • Two (identical) gardening classes with Extension Marathon County on April 8 and April 15 on direct sowing and transplanting. These monthly classes are a huge help if you have a garden or thinking about starting one. Registration required. • Professor Brett Barker of UWSP at Wausau is leading a virtual Civil War book club through the Marathon County Historical Society. The group’s next meeting will be April 29. Keep an eye on the MCPL events page or the MCHS calendar of events for upcoming History Chats and History Speaks programs from the Historical Society, too! • Have you watched our virtual story times recently? Take another look with your children or kids you care for. We’ve made a few improvements to our video skills to make some fun videos you can watch anytime! Here’s one example and the schedule for Tuesday story times. • Our book clubs are still meeting virtually, but we have an eye on the summer and we’re hoping we can get together safely outdoors for some literary gatherings. Building Improvements Over the past year, while MCPL Wausau was first closed to the public and later open solely for computer use, we’ve taken advantage of the time to make some changes and improvements to the library. First up was new carpet and windows throughout the building. But the current renovations are a bit more substantial… When patrons are once again able browse through our shelves, they’ll find we changed floors for some of the collections. Also, a majority of the 30-plus public computers will be moved to the first floor so patrons who just need to check email or their social media accounts or print documents can do so quickly and efficiently. Use of the remaining computers on the second floor will be limited to reference purposes such as research or the writing of reports, as well as job applications and creating resumes. Another change that will likely be immediately noticeable is new furniture! We’re replacing tables and chairs and adding new workstations on both the first and second floor where patrons can easily plug in their own devices and tap into wi-fi for their own needs. New furniture also is in the works for our MCPL branch locations, too. Hours & Accessibility May Be Expanding… All MCPL locations will continue with limited operations through at least mid-April, when the Board of Trustees will make another determination whether to expand hours of operation at the 9 locations and/or expand in-person access to our libraries. MCPL’s administration continues to work closely with the Marathon County Health Department on the timing of expanded hours of operation and service. We look forward to a return of normal, but we always want to make sure all MCPL locations function in the safest way possible for our patrons and staff. We also look forward to the day when the public can see all the great things we’ve been doing to update our libraries, and we think you’ll like what you see — when you’re able to safely see it! Thank you for continuing to support your local libraries!

April Activities (& Changes Happening Inside) at Marathon County Public Libraries (MCPL)

Read on for an update on MCPL’s April classes and crafts (like virtual poetry readings and bracelet kits), and learn a bit about some of the renovations taking place to give the libraries a fresh new look. For example, pictured above is one of the new workstations at the MCPL-Wausau Headquarters that offers a place to charge devices as you work.(Click the title for details…)

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Supervisor Gary Beastrom :: Exemplifying Dedication to Community

The man they call “Mr. Athens” (of Athens World Fair fame) recently spoke with Wisconsin Central Time NEWS to share some of his personal story, his decades as a teacher and EMT in Athens, and, more recently, his time serving on various boards throughout Marathon County. (Click the title for details…)

Marathon County Board Supervisor Bill Conway

“City Kid” Bill Conway Delights in Asserting Himself on County Board

Bill Conway is serving on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors for the first time, although he and his family have served others in their community for decades.

Wisconsin Central Time NEWS caught up with Conway via a virtual chat to learn more about his life, his family, his political and social positions, and his interest in viewing County Government through a human services lens. (Click the title for details…)

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

With limited access to the libraries and an increasing need for internet access due to the pandemic, Marathon County will use federal funding to increase the strength of its Wi-Fi signals, which will result in faster download and upload speeds for patrons using their own devices while parked outside area libraries when they are closed. (Click the title for details…)

County Board Supervisor Jonathan Fisher

Jonathan Fisher :: Crunching Numbers, Going Solar, & Helping Others

Although he has only 5 years under his belt as a Marathon County resident, Jonathan Fisher has already ingrained himself into the community. He’s serving his first term on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors, representing District 38, and is active with several organizations.

Fisher, who works in finance and accounting, spoke with Wisconsin Central Time NEWS to share a bit more about himself, his passion for service, and his priorities for moving Marathon County forward. (Click the title for details…)

History Chats

Marathon County Historical Society & Public Library Team Up for Virtual Events

The Marathon County Historical Society and Marathon County Public Library are partnering on a series of virtual programs this fall. 

Tune in via Zoom or Facebook for a look at local, state, and national history on topics like: Marathon County Schools, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Death & Dying, and more. BONUS: Programs are archived on YouTube if you can’t attend the live events. (Click the title for details…)

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Supervisor William Harris :: Giving to His Community Through Law & Public Office

Working in Judicare’s Civil Unit, Harris represents victims of domestic and child abuse, low-income clients facing homelessness, and clients facing employment discrimination. 

Elected to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors in April 2020, Harris now represents the Downtown Wausau area and plans to advocate for measures that address poverty and homelessness, as well as transportation.

Learn about Supervisor Harris’s recent bold move to ensure local fair elections, his push for a pilot program to restart bus service from Wausau to Rib Mountain, and more. (Click the title for details…)

2020 Central Wisconsin (Virtual) Book Festival :: Featuring Events for Literature Lovers of All Stripes

The 4th annual Central Wisconsin Book Festival takes place September 21–27, with events spanning over the course of 6 days. The coronavirus pandemic spurred an all-virtual festival for 2020. Fans of the written word can watch the full lineup of guests (via Zoom) from the comforts of home this year.

Check out this year’s lineup, which includes: a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, a U.S. Poet Laureate, a New York Times bestselling author, a panel discussion on homelessness, and much more. (Click the title for details…)

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Libraries Were Created for Times Like These

With such monumental changes happening in our society right now, libraries are an important resource to provide historical context to recent events to help you process what’s taking place in the news. MCPL Library Specialist Chad Dally highlights resources and reading lists for adults and children regarding the topics of race and inequality in our history and society and informs you of the library’s latest reopening plans. (Click the title for details…)

Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) Buildings Remain Closed Until at Least June 15, 2020, But Check Out Their Modified Services & Expanded Online Offerings

All 9 Marathon County Public Library locations will remain closed through at least June 15, 2020, as staff members work to prepare a plan to re-open in the safest way possible for communities and staff.

The libraries continue to offer revamped services (such as curbside pickup, virtual storytimes on Facebook, craft projects on MCPL’s YouTube channel, and other great online programming) to assist patrons during these uncertain times. See videos of these new services — and learn about other new offerings MCPL will have after they re-open — in the full article. (Click the title for details…)