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March/April 2008    


Portage Public Library Adds Wireless Service!

Portage has a new hotspot in town—in the form of a public wireless Internet portal at the Portage Public Library.  Users can now bring their wireless-enabled laptop or PDA with a fully charged battery and utilize the Internet connection from library desks or tables.  Wireless users will be held to the library’s acceptable use agreement concerning Internet content and must be able to set up their wireless connection independently.  An information sheet with connection how-to information  is available at the main desk.  Wireless service makes it that much easier to make an Internet connection in our community.


A River Runs Through It and Winds Up!

The last  of the Local Authors Book Discussion Series, A River Runs Through It, will be held on Monday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bidwell Room.  A discussion of SAND COUNTY ALMANAC by Aldo Leopold will be led by Cathy Franks.  New participants are always welcome. Books are available through library interloan.  This free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Portage Public Library.



Friends Membership Reminder

It’s another new year and maybe you have not yet sent in your dues for the Friends of the Library for the 2007-2008 season.  If that’s true, please do so as soon as possible.  If you see a red star (*) on your mailing label, we do not have you marked as paid for the new season.  If you have a star, but think you have paid, please call Maureen Bindl at 742-5297 to check your status.  Unfortunately, due to costs, we will be unable to send any further newsletters unless payment is received.  Your donation benefits the library in so many ways.  We hope you will continue to support us.  For your convenience a membership form can be found in the newsletter. Thank you.


Homebound Services—

Homebound services are offered by the Friends of the Library to individuals residing within five miles of Portage whose physical condition confines them to their residence.  Friends who have offered to do this are: Jerry Tollison, Anne Lee, Sarah Mautz, Jean Damm and Pat Halasz.  If you or someone you know qualifies for this service, please call 742-7233 or check with the library desk.

Attention Genealogy Researchers

The popularity and growth of genealogy research is evidenced in the results of the latest "Maritz Poll," released by Maritz Marketing Research Inc., one of the world's largest marketing research firms. According to the poll, approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population is interested in family history, up from 45 percent just five years ago.  Our own Portage Genealogy Society has been working hard to aid you in your personal genealogy research.  Two CD- ROMS  have been donated by Anna Mae Marie Axness for use on the library computers that should be very helpful.  The  CD- ROM of Columbia County Cemeteries including a master file of 70,521 entries has been digitized by Anna Mae along with an obituary index of Portage newspapers from 1850-1907.  This CD- ROM provides multiple options for searching.  The other disc is copyrighted by Char Sauer of Franklin, WI, and contains information and pictures of the Fountain Prairie Township Cemeteries as well as Fall River and St. Stephen’s Cemeteries.

Hundreds of hours of research have been put into compiling this data and we appreciate that it has been made available to our patrons.


Volunteers Needed!

There are a number of volunteer opportunities at the library:

Interested in …

OR in just general volunteer work ?

If so, please call the library at 742-4959 indicating your interest and leave your contact information for Hans Jensen. Thank you!


Don’t forget…We have a memorial program!

“Libraries are not made, they grow.”  In 1900 the first seed was planted in Portage and our library has grown ever since.  A large part of this growth has been due to memorials, gifts, bequests, and endowments provided by concerned civic minded citizens. There are many ways to help the library continue to grow. With tax season upon us now, it’s good to know that funds may be left to the library during your lifetime with additional tax advantages and without sacrificing amounts left to heirs.  Information on setting up a charitable remainder trust can be obtained through bank trust departments or your attorney.  Members of the Library board or the Library Director are available to discuss such memorials with you or your legal counsel.  Watch for more ways to help your library grow in the next newsletter.


Special Memorials—

--A set of books, FACTS ON FILE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ART, has been purchased in memory of James M. Roach, former Daily Register Reporter, with donations from Sara Kuhl, Sue Elgo & Greg Walta, Carol and Ed Miller, and Rod & Marcia Erin.

--TWENTIETH CENTURY DAY BY DAY has been purchased with funds from William and Janice Rhyme in honor of Frank and Mary Chynoweth Rhyme.

--Also, ATLAS OF WORLD HISTORY has been purchased  in honor of Frank and Mary Chynoweth Rhyme with funds from Anne and Richard Rhyme.

 --A donation of speaker fees by Dan Pulfus and Anne Klein will be used for books on education and art, respectively.

--A donation has been given by Forrest Moseley.



Wow, it’s been over 3 months since our last youth department update, so there are a lot of news and reviews to share!

Who do we thank?

What’s coming UP?

The Youth Services Department will celebrate National Library Week, April 13-19, with activities all month long!

The fun begins April 1 with the annual Culver’s coloring activity. Children, ages 11 and under, pick up a coloring sheet at the library, return the drawing to the library and receive a coupon for a free Culver’s treat. At the end of the month, 2 names will be drawn to win a Culver’s kickball or mini blue lantern.

Friday, April 11 The Book Bunch discussion group for students in grades 4-6, will meet from 4-5 p.m. to discuss the hilarious, Summer Reading is Killing Me! by Jon Sciezcka. Students can pick up a copy of the book at the front desk.


Monday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. will be Bedtime Story Time with Montello Elementary School music teacher, Aggie Salter. Families and children of all ages are welcome.


Thursday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m. Milwaukee graphic novelist and artist, Nick Katzfey, will conduct a free 60-minute workshop on drawing manga! Teens and adults, ages 12 and up, are welcome to join. Bring paper and pencil and you’ll learn just how easy it is to draw, manga-style. We thank the Friends of the Library for their financial support of this program.


Saturday April 19 & 26 we’ll offer an exciting new program called, Reading Has Gone to the Dogs, for area children in 1st-4th grade.  In cooperation with Dawn Brauner of the Columbia County Humane Society, children can sign up to read aloud to “Ranger,” a registered R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) therapy dog. For more information contact Youth Services Librarian Dawn Foster.


On Tuesday, April 22 & Wednesday, April 23, at 10:00 a.m., the Preschool Story Time children will celebrate the end of the year with a Spring Fever” party. We’ll welcome spring with books, crafts, songs, & snacks. The party is for preschoolers, ages 2-5.


Mark your calendar!

It’s not too early to think about the Summer Library Program! 2008’s theme is Get Buggy @ your library; sign-up begins Wednesday, June 11 at 9:00 a.m. All area children, up to age 17, are encouraged to register to be a part of the Summer Library Program. You read, we’ll reward!


Thursday, June 12 is our first family program of the summer featuring The Bassmeister.” Program begins at 6:30 p.m. and is for the whole family. This energetic performer recently entertained at the Madison Boat Show, so plan now to be a part of the action!


Discovery Story Time for preschoolers, ages 2-5, will begin Wednesday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. Preschoolers will “discover” the world of bugs and insects this summer; our 1st session will be “Fly Away, Fly!”