Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Food For Fines

November 1 - December 1, 2011

During the entire month of November, a library customers can have their library fines waived by donating one non-perishable food item for every one dollar in fines.

Please consider taking part of this wonderful program. Food will be donated to the Caring Ministries of Colfax.

Thank you to the Colfax Elementary School 5th Graders for making this wonderful 3-D poster!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Full House

We had a full house for our Halloween party last Thursday night, 27 children and 12 parents. All the little children came in costume. I especially liked the little lady bug!

Can you guess what this little boy came dressed as? How about a tornado!!!! Mom made sure to incorporate a few items that got caught up in the storm! This little boy's mom is actually our new Youth Services Librarian......very original costume Charis!

Oh my, and I must not forget to mention our volunteer, "June Cleaver" who helped put this program together for our library. Thanks Kristi for all your back to ironing and baking those yummy brownies!!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kids Halloween Program

Thursday October 27th @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Children ages 3 -8 years old are welcome to attend a Halloween program just for kids! Come and enjoy story book readings about Halloween tales, make fun craft projects and even make an edible project to eat that night or take home! Kids are encouraged to attend in costume. No registration necessary and this program is FREE.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not Closing......

New Update: The library will be open next week due to the general contractor's work schedule. At the last minute, it was decided not to take out the large east library window since the new windows have not arrived. The new windows are not expected until mid October....yikes! Honestly, this is making me nervous since we had 32 degrees this morning. Let's hope the cold weather doesn't settle in early, otherwise the library will have some chilly days in mid October. If anything changes again, I'll be posting!!!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Under Construction Again

The Colfax Public Library will be closed September 19-23, 2011 due to asbesto abatement and new windows. There is a possiblity of re-opening sooner in the week, so please check our blog, webpage or Facebook for daily updates.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shelves Are Done

The shelving project was completed last Friday, and the library staff was ready to put all the juvenile books back on the new shelves. It truly was an exciting moment for all of us here at the Colfax library.

First thing we realized was, yikes, we have more book space! After getting all the books back on the shelves, we ended up moving and re-moving the books around to even out the shelf space. You know, the wood stain blends in so well with the existing wood that most people who come in to the library don't even realized we replaced the shelves! Don't you think they would notice the strong varnish smell??? Well, we librarians notice it every day! Can't wait until the smell subsides.

Happy books, happy librarians.....that sums it all up!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

They Finally Arrived

The shelves arrived this morning, 7 am! This is the first time I've gotten to see the new shelves. nice and the wood grain is beautiful! It took about an hour to move all all six shelving units into the library. Our carpenter (and his wife) did a great job slowly moving the units into the building, one by one.

I couldn't stand to look at that bare wall yesterday, so I'm very happy today to see all the richness of the wood return. Honestly, there is no comparison of metal shelves verses wood shelves. Wood is number one with me, and has always been the theme for our historic Colfax Public Library.

Luckily, we were able to move the Internet computers about 12 inches so our carpenter had plenty of room to work without bumping into customers. If customers don't mind the mess and noise, they are welcome to come in and use the public computers. Not the most ideal situation, but it works for now.

This is just phase one of our changes happening here at our library. The electricans started upgrading the electrical in our entire building this week. The windows on the third floor level will soon be uncovered and the windows will be reglazed, with storm windows added. Our library will also have the front (east) window totally replaced and the side windows (south) will all be reglazed, asbetos removed and storm windows added. No more cold winter drafts for the librarians to deal with! I'm also hoping the new window work will solve the problem with lots of wasps that find their way into our library in the fall and spring.

Lastly, the building will receive a new roof, which will help with water leakage during the winter/spring. Old buildings are wonderful, but they also come with lots of problems!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Construction Has Begun!

Good-bye old ugly radiators!!!!! On Monday, the plumbers came and removed all four radiators from our library. Now that we have a new heating system, we no longer need the silver radiators. I waved good-bye and said "hello" to the 21 century!

By Monday afternoon, the local carpenter came in to begin his construction project that involved taking down the entire south wall of the juvenile shelving.....juvenile fiction and non-fiction collections. Wow, the wall looks so spacious after removing 2,000 books!

So where did all that old wood go? Awwwwh that's me, the little library director, hauling loads of wood downstairs in the municipal basement. I got my exercise for the day....and mighty dirty too. Really glad I had that extra pair of running shoes in the closet!

After the entire wall was stripped yesterday, the new shelves will go up beginning tomorrow, Wednesday. I am so excited to see the brand new custom built oak shelves.....should be amazing.

Besides the carpenter work (which is funded by the library), our municipal building is also in the first stage of a large federal grant to restore and upgrade the windows, electrical and much more. Construction started today and will continue through the month of October. Nothing will be normal for several months, but we've prepared ourselves.

No access to the juvenile books.....sorry kids, but all this mess will be worth it in the end. Stay tuned, I'll be documenting all the changes. With all the stress of construction, the librarians would appreciate some treats from the public.....chocolate chip cookies would be nice......maybe some brownies!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The Internet computers will be unavailable the week of August 22 - 25 due to a construction project in the library. The library will remain open, however, we are asking library customers to please keep their library visit short in order for our construction project to proceed quickly and smoothly.

Thanks for your patience!

Colfax Public Library Staff

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Be a Smart Cookie....READ!"

Story time kids can participate in our promotional reading program...."Be a Smart Cookie, READ!" How it works.....

  • Kids get a chart on which to write books down that they have read.

  • For every book read, a "cookie" will be added to a giant cookie jar on the wall in the kids area.

  • When we read 100 books collectively, we will have a party and eat cookies and other munchies while we watch a short movie!

To get a reading record, attend story time at the Colfax Public Library, on Wednesday mornings at 10:00am, starting September 7th.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Guilt Free Reads

Once in a while it is fun to highlight staff "reads." This stack happened to be waiting for me today at the library. I spent some time last week, on my day off, browsing through a local bookstore that is going out of business. Of course, I found plenty of books I would have loved to purchase and initially I did have a giant stack in my arms, but the tightness of my pocketbook won out and I ended up putting all but a few favorites back on the shelf.

As I was working online that evening at home, I thought....huh, I bet the MORE will have those titles I wanted to read. Sure enough, I found every single one! I added them all to my online book cart and requested to my heart's content.....guilt free.

I did a little figuring. I took the number of books I read last year (around 150 books, both fiction and nonfiction titles), times an average price of $20.00 per book (the middle ground of a hardback and softcover) and found that I would have had to spend, conservatively, around $3,000 dollars to purchase all those books. I am SO thankful for the library. Otherwise, I would be broke simply feeding my reading need.

If you are an avid reader and library user, let your library know how thankful you are for them!


Youth Services Librarian

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Reading Week 4

A usual part of our summer reading program is of course.....READING! We started out our time this morning by reading books about how kids and their families celebrate birthdays in China, Africa and Mexico. After reading about birthday celebrations we had to have one of our own.

Every celebration has games right? We played several games: pin the tail on the donkey, jacks and a chopstick relay race. It is harder than it looks to pick up cotton balls with chopsticks!

We also enjoyed some fun with a pinata!

Of course every good party has good food! We ended our time with yummy cake and pizza and handing out the final prizes for reading goals that were met. Every child went past or met their reading goal for the program. Way to go kids!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Reading Week 3

This week for summer reading we had a guest performer - Kevin McMullin. Kevin is a talented, friendly guy who gave a great performance with stories from around the world, that he told with a personal accompaniment of several different instruments. The kids responded well to the tales, with participation and had a lot of fun giggling at Kevin's expressions and actions that fit the stories so well. I would highly recommend Kevin for a performer for a library or school program.

Usually, we do our programs outside in the park right next to the library. We have a small indoor space, but with the heat we decided to move indoors today. We were a bit cramped especially when it came time for making the paper plate tambourine craft, but we managed and the kids all went away smiling.

I reminded the kids today that music can tell a story too, just like a book. I planned ahead a had a selection of music Cd's on hand from around the world for the kids to check out today. If they checked one out they got to take home some fun stickers.

For our reading program, kids make their own goals, get it back to me and I make up personalized reading goal sheets for each child. The goal sheet is divided by the number of weeks our program runs. Each week, if a child has met her/his goal, accompanied by a parent signature, they can earn a prize. The kids have really responded well to this and it has been a great way to encourage children to read at their own level.

Only one more week for the summer reading program. Next time we'll Party Around the World!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Reading Week 2

I'd have to say this candy sushi was a big hit yesterday at our second Summer Reading program. Krissy, our Circulation Librarian, kindly made two batches of sushi for the kids. The candy sushi was so colorful and so pretty. The kids kept coming back for more sushi!

Jenny did a great job presenting a theme on Africa and Japan. She taught the kids an Africian word game....all the kids participated too. Just lots of fun yesterday, and I have to say we have a really good batch of well-behaved kids this year. We librarians really appreciate GOOD kids!

We also set up a "Japan" table with authentic tea sets, a sake set, a beautiful cooper tea pot used in a tea ceremony, Japanese dolls & tea. All the authentic Japanese items were brought in by me, since my hubby was stationed in Japan twice when he was in the Marine Corps. I was glad I could bring in these items to share with the children.

The weather was beautiful....65 degrees and sunny. Since we do our Summer Reading program outside in July, we always count on good weather.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook for more photographs of the Summer Reading program.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Puppets Are So Fun

The Wonder Weavers came on July 6th to kick-off our first Summer Reading program. What a great team! The ladies told lots of fun and interesting stories from around the world. I especially love their variety of puppets. We highly recommend the Wonder Weavers for any kids or family program.

To see more photos from the Summer Reading program, check out our Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fresh Look To Our Book Sale

Our local video store just went out of business this week, so we acquired a nice red cart for our ongoing book sale.  The cart is taller and higher, so I think it will be nicer for browsing through the book sale.

Our ongoing book sale is out in the municipal hallway near the library entrance.  Hardcovers sell for 50 cents and ALL soft covers and paperbacks sell for 25 cents.....all movies are $1.00 each.

Want to donate books to the library?  We will take adult and children's books (only clean books, not soiled or mildewed books).  Come check out the books. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't Forget About Summer Reading

Hey kids, don't forget to come in and sign up for the Summer Reading program.  Registration ends June 30th and the Summer Reading program starts Wednesday July 6th @ 10 am.  Fun, fun fun!!!! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review - Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is a new young adult novel.  I thought it would be great if one of our young adult patrons wrote up a review for us.  This review is from Korbyn age 14.

The book Leviathan was more or less a fictional story about the events leading up to and the fighting of WWI. Even though some parts of the story were true, the feeling of the story leans more to the fictional side.

To start off, the book began with the introduction to two different characters across Europe where the start of WWI originated. One of the characters was Aleksander the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Hungary. As you should know, WWI started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. When Alek’s father dies, he is forced to go into hiding or face his death by the assassins of his father.

The other character is Deryn who is in the Darwinist (British) air force. She snuck her way into the air force by pretending to be a boy under the name of Dylan. She goes up in a Huxly (a flying beasty) that gets caught in a storm and is rescued by a huge airship called the Leviathan. It is a beast made up of many beasts and is on a mission. While flying, the Leviathan gets attacked by a group of German ,Clanker (Middle Europe and Russia) airships. They sustain heavy damage and go crashing into a glacier.

Meanwhile, Alek and his escapes are witnessing the crash from a castle not far away from the damaged Leviathan. Alek devised an ingenious scheme, or so he thought, to help the Darwinists. He carried some medical supplies down to the ship. It turns out that he gets arrested, but is then set free to help the Darwinists escape the Glacier and the Germans. The Germans attack the ship but the ship miraculously survives. The downside is that the engines on the ship were shot and unusable after the attack. It so happens that Alek and his escapes had a walker that was heavily damaged, but the engine was still operational. They eventually got the engine on, and narrowly escaped the oncoming German assault that was just moments away from blowing them out of the sky.

I personally thought that the book was a huge success. I love the huge war machines and fictional beasts/animals that were so extravagantly detailed. The plot and overall story was a hit and the characters were dynamic. All in all, the book was a huge success for me and if you have a passion for enormous war machines or like a fictional twist on historical events with adventure, this is a book for you.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Joy of Being a Control Freak

The Joy of Being a Control Freak by Mary Berg
Thursday June 9, 2011
6:30 -7:30 pm

Be sure to attend our author program and learn how to organize your life in order to stay happy and stress free!  Mary Berg is no stranger to Wisconsin.  After graduating from UW-River Falls with a BS degree, Mary then married and settled down with her husband in Franconia Township, near the beautiful St. Croix River in Minnesota.  Mary's family still lives in Wisconsin and her parents (Dale & Vickie Hendricks) live on a an old Norwegian homestead near Tainter Lake.

Mary has gained experience in many different professions including, real estate investor and contractor, retail shop owner, political consultant, antiques dealer, personal property appraiser, professional organizer, and now, author!

Come and enjoy our first outdoor author program in the gazebo park next to the library.  Refreshments will be served.  Like always, this event is FREE.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Sign

This is the beautiful painting on our new library sign. (You can see the sign at the top right of our blog.)

This kind of painting is called rosemaling and literally means "decorative painting," in Norwegian. Since Colfax is located in an historically Norwegian community, we thought it fitting that our library sign displayed a beautiful symbol of the Norwegian culture.

The sign is also mostly red,the color of our school sports team. The Colfax community is a big supporter of our local school sports. Go Vikings!!!

We are still waiting for our sign to go up yet, hopefully it will be soon. Maybe the warmer weather will inspire our work crew.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Author Talk & Book Signing

Celebrating National Library Week

Author Talk & Book Signing – April 14, 2011 @ 6:30 pm.

The Colfax Public Library is happy to announce a new young adult novel “Shooting Two” written by former Colfax resident, Jeanne Foley (PhD). Foley is currently an associate professor in the math department at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

A graduate of Le Sueur High School in 1971, Foley recalls there was no girls basketball program, however, girls could play with the Girls Athletic Association. Foley continued her love of basketball and pursued her basketball interest at St. Olaf College, where she received a degree in both math and physics. Throughout Foley’s academic career, she coached women’s basketball at Michigan Tech, Michigan State, the University of Michigan and Princeton University.

Foley followed her dream and wrote her first fictional novel about a small-town girls basketball team, set back in the 1980’s. The book centers on high school girls, their friendships and a team’s passion of winning the state championship.

The Colfax Public Library has invited Jeanne Foley to come and speak about her new book and what challenged her to begin writing. The Colfax Public Library will hold a books signing that night and books will be available for purchase.

For more information about the author talk and signing, please call 715-962-4334, or email: The program is free and open to anyone.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Review - The Red Garden

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman caught my eye in the Bookpage news, that our library subscribes to, to circulate to our patrons.  I have never read any other books by Alice Hoffman, so I have nothing to base my inclinations on other than feeling. 

The story follows a linear gathering of characters from the mid 1760's till the present day in an area around the small town of Blackwell, MA.  A rich tapestry of players enter the stage, from Hallie, a simple colonial girl searching for something more, to a contemporary girl that has her life planned out, only to be interrupted by the tenderness of a secluded poet. 

Each chapter represents differing stories that are faintly connected through geographical location, sentiment or family heritage.  I found this format to be on one hand, a fresh idea in a book, but on the other, it left me with a bit of a disjointed feeling.  One thing that does tie the character's stories together is a liberal dose of mystery, that includes a ghost of a drowned girl, an apple tree that blossomed and provided fruit to the town of Blackwell in the year without a summer, a supposed mermaid, and of course a garden where everything that is grown is red.

Some chapter stories were painted more rich and bold by the author and some held more of an impressionist style that had me trying to read between the lines for thoughts on how all the pieces fit together and left me wondering what the characters lives were like in the future.

Over all, I found the book to be interesting, drawing me in with the layered time periods and characters that form around an area that comes to be known as the Red Garden. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

They Are Blooming

This is the time of the year when our Amaryllis plants start to bloom.  Four weeks ago we had a beautiful peach colored flower bloom from the larger plant, and now the baby plant sprouted two more beautiful light colored flowers.  The Amaryllis plants belong to my hubby and we started bringing the plants into the library years ago, mainly because our library has these really large and high windows, so that makes for perfect light and growing conditions.  Also, as the Amaryllis plant ages, it grows higher and higher and has now outgrown our bay windows at home  

Every year some of my faithful library patrons wait and watch for the Amaryllis to bloom.  I believe it has actually become a ritual at the Colfax Public Library.  In the early summer, I will transfer the plants back home for a nice summer break outdoors, and then the plants return to the library in the fall before the weather turns bitterly cold.  Who would ever think plants get such royal treatment?  Maybe that's the key to keeping your plants happy, health and blooming!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Library Is Closed...Monday February 21, 2011

Since "old man winter" has returned with a vengeance.....and over 12 inches of snow, the Colfax Public Library will be closed today, February 21, 2011.  We will re-open Tuesday February 22 @ 10 am.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Growing in Popularity

I finally decided I needed to figure out this Kindle thing.  Is it a book?  Or, is it a gadget?  People swear by this little machine.....they say they love it!

I checked out this Kindle from Menomonie Public Library.  With 17 Kindles to loan out, you have a good chance of checking one out for two weeks.  I'm not totally convinced I like the Kindle, but I'm giving it a try.

I will be talking to the Library Board about Kindles and their popularity and what it means for our library.  Should we jump on the bus and join the Kindle phenomenon?  What do you think?


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Double Delicious

This is the time of the year when I can experiment with new recipes, so I was very excited when I discovered this new cookbook called "Double Delicious."  I requested the book off  our library catalog (MORE).  The claim to fame on this cookbook is that the author, Jessica Seinfeld uses pureed vegetables to sneak in more fiber and more nutrients.  Seinfeld also makes her recipes low-fat! 

I only had a two week span of time to get busy cooking and baking, since this cookbook has multiple holds and other customers are waiting to receive the book as well.  My first recipe I made were these delicious whoopie pies.  These wonderfully chocolate, moist treats call for spinach puree in the batter!  How cool is that?  I also made a pot of creamy chicken & rice soup that used both carrot and cauliflower purees. 

I then found time to make the three-berry cobbler recipes that called for carrot puree in the cobbler batter....turned out so yummy.   I continued on to make the chocolate yogurt cheesecake, which called for using greek yogurt, sour cream, brown sugar, carrot puree and whipped egg whites.  The recipe also called for making a graham cracker/nut crust.  I gave that dessert an A+

Lastly, I chose to cook up a broccoli & orange soy sauce dish and served it with rice.  Another very tasty recipe that also used carrot puree.  I had so much fun with this new cookbook.  And where did all the food go you ask?  Of course I shared with my co-workers....and my hubby was a food taster as well.  Oh, did I  mention I'm on a diet, hee, hee!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our 15 Seconds of Fame!

Rural Libraries Deal With Huge User Increase

So Amelia Cerling, News Anchor and Reporter from WEAU 13 News, called me yesterday morning and asked if I would be willing to do an interview about how public libraries are dealing with higher usage and shrinking budgets. Her first stop would be the Bloomer Public Library and then she would hop on over to little Colfax to speak with me.  I basically had one hours to pull my thoughts together on what I would say about our economic situation concerning increasing library usage and our operating budget. 

I'm guessing about 15 minutes of video footage was shoot during my interview in the morning, but I think they only took about 15 seconds of my actual interview and aired that on TV.

I was very excited that WEAU finally decided to call upon the "small" public libraries in the area.  So many times the larger city libraries are featured, and the small rural libraries become forgotten.  Yes, our budgets are small, but we still have the same  impact in our communities like larger public libraries.  We are all feeling the pinch.

By the way, in 2009 our Internet usage rose 88% and for 2010, it rose another 29 %......I think that speaks for itself!  It's not hard to understand the economic impact here.  When the economy hurts, public libraries see their patron usage rise.  I sure hope our Wisconsin Legislators will understand how important public libraries are in their communities.

Click here to see the WEAU video clip and article from yesterday's news report. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Winter Wellness With Herbs

The Colfax Public Library will be hosting a Winter Wellness With Herbs program on Thursday January 13th, with herbalist Lisa Yakish.
Get informed abut what herbs will help keep you and your family healthy throughout this winter season.

The program starts at 6:30 and is open to the public, no registration is required.

Questions?  Email us at or call 715-962-4334 for more information.