Olympic Winter Reading 2018

If you haven’t checked it out yet, now’s the time! Stop in to find our about our Olympic Winter Reading Programs. Children, Teens, and Adults are invited to take part as we all “read like an Olympian” this winter. Stop in a pick up your bingo card and get started!

Fall is here!

Everyone seems to be settling into their fall routines and things are good! We’ve got great things planned here at the Library and hope you’ll stop in soon. Our programming calendar is full of great activities and programs including: author visits, origami, junk journals, family programs, storytimes, crafts, knitting and so much more! Stop in to get information and to see what’s going on at YOUR public library!!!

Winter Reading Programs

The new year is here and with that comes all kinds of opportunities for learning, new ideas, creativity and more here at your Rice Lake Public Library. This week is the beginning of our Adult/Teen and Family Winter Reading Programs. Adults and Teens are encouraged, but not limited to, take part in a Shakespeare inspired reading challenge. When you read, watch, or listen to materials inspired by Shakespeare, and do a review of it, you will receive two punches on your punch card. For all other materials, un-Shakespeare related, you can get one punch. Punches will be tallied up and counted as entries for a final drawing in March. Stop in for more information! Families are invited to pick up a reading log. Read 25 books or 25 chapters. Return your log to the library to receive a free book and a character button.

A New Year is coming soon!

The Holidays with Christmas and the New Year are almost upon us. We hope to see you as you stop in to stock up with fun library resources to get you through days off, family gatherings and long cold winter nights.
Don’t forget to pick up the new RLPL January calendar (or click on January 2017 to the right and print your own copy at home)so you can keep up with all the fun activities being planned for the new year.

Holiday Hours

The library will be closing at 5:00pm on Wednesday, November 23 and will remain closed until 9:00am on Saturday, November 26.

Looking ahead to December Holiday hours, we will again be closing at 5:00pm on Thursday, December 22 and remain closed until 9:00am on Tuesday, December 27th.

Happy, healthy and safe wishes from all of us here at the RLPL!

Friendship Meeting Room has been re-opened

We’re so happy to be able to announce that our large meeting room, the friendship room, has been reopened after an amazing renovation. Group are welcome to book it for meetings during the time that the library is regularly scheduled to be open. Take a short walk downstairs when you stop in or come to one of our upcoming programs to have a look around.

August Fun!

Won’t be long and August will be here. Stop in to check out the great programming we’ve got coming up!
There’s something for everyone! Kids, Teen & Adults keep up with your reading and get those lists and cards in. Teen & Adult punch cards should be turned in by the 31st so our drawings can be done during the first week in September. We have had great participation and want to thank everyone for your visits this summmer!!!

Bruce the Bug Guy location change

We have a great event coming up for kids tomorrow! Come see all the AMAZING things that Dr Bruce the Bug guy has to show us. We’ll be setting up at the library instead of City Hall as we orginally planned. See you here at 1:00pm!

Summer Reading has begun!

Summer Reading is in full swing at the Rice Lake Public Library and there’s something for everyone!
If you weren’t able to stop in for Readapalooza to pick up programming information it’s not too late. Stop in soon to find out all there is to do this summer at YOUR public library.

Adult & Teen Summer Reading 2016

We’re so excited to have some amazing ideas and activities for adults & teens during this summer’s reading program.  Beginning June 10th adult patrons can pick up their punch cards and start receiving punches for their participation.  Each time they check out, fill in a book review, attend a summer program or walk in our walking club, patrons can have their card punched!  Each punch then enters them to win one of two drawings at the end of the summer!

Renovations are moving along!

The workmen have been here and things are moving along as they work to renovate and remodel the downstairs level of the library. The renovations will take place in a couple different parts as there are various concerns to be considered but we are excited that the process has begun!


Our downstairs, basement renovation begins on Saturday, April 30th. Beginning Saturday, the bottom level of the library will be CLOSED for public use. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes but are looking forward to offering a new updated space soon!

Board openings! Make a difference!

Are you an enthusiastic library supporter who has always wanted to be in on the major decision making happening at the Library?  Consider getting involved and offering your time.  We have two separate Boards at the library that support our mission and functions.  We Believe

The first, with one opening for a city resident is the Library Board of Trustees.  This position is appointed by the Mayor, who traditionally prefers to fill from a pool of interested citizens.

The Library Board is a governing body with nearly unique powers.

For more information on the duties associated with the Library Board, visit


If you’re interested, contact Board President, James Kiffmeyer at or Interim Library Director, Katherine Elchert at


The second, with multiple openings  is the Friends Board of the Rice Lake Public Library.  The Friends is a 501C3 organization, whose mission is to support the activities of the RLPL.  They serve as the fundraising and volunteer arm of the library and have had great success with the Library Book Sale, Evening Under the Stars, Adopt-a-Magazine and more.  They are eagerly anticipating our upcoming Capital Campaign for the building renovation and are seeking energetic, civic minded community members to assist them.  There is no residency requirement to participate as a Friends of the Library Board member.

The Friends meet on the first Saturday of each month at 8 a.m.  Their annual meeting is coming up on January 18 at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Library Visioning session with our architectural team.  This would be  a great opportunity to chat with Friends Board President, Eric Kasper, or you can reach him at

So what’s happening with the library building, anyway?

rlpl large

Many of you were involved when we did some surveys, focus groups and listening sessions a few years ago in order to determine the needs of the community and how the library facility could best serve you.  What we found then from all respondents was that space was your biggest concern–focusing mostly on programming and people space, followed closely by light, parking and more comfortable seating.

In 2012, we performed a QBS (Quality Based Selection) process and selected MSR as our architectural team.  They worked with us to develop a concept for a new library based on both objective and subjective needs.  We looked at library usage, trends in service and population growth for our region-as well as things like poverty, the digital divide, and early literacy needs in Barron County.  The goal was to create a facility that would meet the needs of the Rice Lake Community for the next forty years or more.  A facility that was flexible, efficient and comfortable, and that would hit that sweet spot of cost effective but with long term savings and value.

Unfortunately, the beautiful concept developed to meet those very real needs was expensive at $10 million for a new facility and $9 million for a complete renovation and expansion.  While we hoped at the time that the city could fund half of the project with  private fundraising efforts making up the rest, that didn’t come to fruition for a number of reasons, not least being the concern that the private sector couldn’t meet that lofty goal of $4-5 million.

In 2014 we went back to the drawing board with our architects, building committee and staff and scaled back the design.  Instead of looking to the future, we looked at what we needed today, right now, for the community we serve.  Many of you see the crowds we generate at our programs and events–the same events that offer our children and families a broader range of experiences than they  might otherwise find in our area–and know that we cannot safely provide space for all of those needs.  We also had a wonderful offer from the Board of the Lakeview Medical Center.  They were willing to donate a beautiful new site to us, free of charge, with a view of Rice Lake.  Their reasoning was that this wonderful place should be available to the entire community as a public space.  We came up with a new, less expensive concept.  A smaller facility with less expensive finishes and fewer technological efficiencies.  The price tag for this brand new facility, fully furnished and ready to go was $7 million.  Again, our goal was to split the cost between the public and private funding available.

But with the city facing looming deficits and concern about the tax rate, our Council tabled that discussion until a fuller picture would be available to them within the 2016 budget.

At that point, a motion was made to go ahead with $3 million in off-year borrowing, but to instead assign $1.5 of it to streets projects not already in the city’s capital improvement plan, set aside $500,000 for Moon Lake Park upgrades–including a splash pad, and to offer $1 milllion for the renovation and expansion of the Public Library.

Last week, the Council approved that plan when they voted to approve the 2016 Budget following a public hearing.

Library Board members, Friends of the Library, and Library staff are now working together to come up with a plan that will allow us to offer our community the best bang for that million bucks that we can.  Our plan is to begin a capital campaign in 2016 in order to attempt to match the funding from the City of Rice Lake.  This might allow us to address our biggest prioritized need–more space!

For now, we have contractors beginning the work in our lower level to rid it of mold and asbestos and make it a more functional and clean space for our patrons and staff to use.  We hope to update the bathrooms downstairs to make them ADA compliant and accessible to all of our patrons.  We have a goal of having the lower level useful to us during any renovation and expansion of the main and second floors in late 2016/early 2017.

We are trying to remain flexible–as we all know, renovations can be tricky and costly surprises can crop up.  But we hope to offer our community a bigger and better library very soon!

If you have any interest in helping with the Capital Campaign and general fundraising for the expansion, contact Eric Kasper, Friends of the Library President at  Donations are being accepted now by the Friends of the Library (a 501C3 organization) if you are interested in assisting with the project financially.

Any other questions, please call or email Library Director Dawn Wacek.  or 715-234-4861 ext. 111.



Changes at the RLPL

Last week we talked about how the library is funded in general and how that might impact a new facility.

We are looking forward to (at the very least) renovating our current space to make it work a little better for our patrons and are excited to get to work on that.  We are already in conversations with our wonderful design team, MS&R (check out the link to see some of the work on libraries they have done all over the country!) And are working with our Friends of the Library Board to begin a capital campaign that will help us maximize capacity for an updated library.

For now though, we are faced with some bad news in our operations budget for 2016. Some of our users may remember that in 2013, the City Council voted to eliminate one FTE in each city department. The library was not spared these cuts, despite our contention that we would be impacted more in the long term due to the fact that almost 1/3 of our revenues comes as a reimbursement for spending. What we predicted has come true and the County reimbursements we are receiving this year are approximately $20,000 less than prior years. Add to this rising health care costs, increasing costs for materials and supplies, and an aging facility with ever more maintenance costs and we have a steep difference between our revenues and our projected expenses.

The Library Board of Trustees had a tough task last month. To make our expenditures match our revenues, they have elected to eliminate one of our staff positions. This was especially difficult as all of our staff do a fantastic job serving the public. In the new year, we will no longer have the wonderful technology and service skills of Angie–our Reference Associate in charge of marketing, social media and technology training.

In addition to losing one of our team, we will be scaling back on programming, our materials supplies, and more. We hope these difficult changes will make us more efficient in the long run and that we will be able to continue to serve you ALMOST as well as before.

As always, your voice is important to our City Council in determining when and whether to increase funding for the Library.  Dollars are scarce, and the Council has many priorities to juggle when determining where your taxes are allocated.  However, your voice is important to your council representatives, so be sure to get in touch with them if you have comments or questions about their decisions.


In addition to these changes, I want to share with you all that I have been offered and have accepted an exciting new opportunity.  I will soon be leaving Rice Lake for La Crosse, Wisconsin, where I will lead their already outstanding youth services team.  This is a bittersweet change for me.  While I have long wanted to return to my librarian roots and work again more directly with children and families, I will miss the wonderful people in Rice Lake–both those I work with and those I serve.  I have learned a lot from my time as your library director and have made good friends here.  I hope I have been a force for positive change within our community as well.

This decision was a difficult one, and I want you to know it was not sudden, nor a reaction to the recent challenges presented to the library.  Instead, it was made with careful consideration of what is best for my family, and what I want out of my work and life balance.  I look forward to directly impacting early literacy, working with teens, and helping families connect to books and information in new ways.  I’m excited to work in a community with strong city government support and a commitment to the value and essential functions of the library.

I will be here through the holidays and will help our Library Board of Trustees complete a Director search and get started on the renovation of the RLPL.  Thank you all so much for your continued support of the Rice Lake Library.  I am excited to know I will come back to visit an updated library with wonderful people doing their best to meet the needs of Rice Lake.  If you are interested in participating in our Capital Campaign to make the vision of a new library a reality for Rice Lake, please call me or stop in!  715-234-4861 ext. 111

Library News…

Some of you may have read the recent Chronotype article about our last Common Council meeting discussing the Rice Lake Library and its funding.  As we have talked with community members and patrons, we have realized that many of you don’t know where our funding comes from.

In Wisconsin, public libraries are funded primarily by their municipality, which usually owns the library building as well.  Approximately 2/3 of our operations revenues come directly from the City of Rice Lake and are placed under the control of the Library Board of Trustees (a governmental body ruled by state statute that includes 5 citizen members, 1 rural representative, a school representative and a Council representative.)  The other large source of revenues comes from Barron and other surrounding counties as payment for use of our library by their citizens who do not have a library of their own.  These funds are a reimbursement for services and are based on the expenditures by the library in the last full calendar year.

A very small amount of funding comes from late fines and fees at the library such as renting the meeting room, or sending a fax.  And another small sliver comes from donations which can vary widely year to year.


Funding pie

Operations Revenues


When we look at a large capital project like a new building, our only funding comes from the municipality we serve and private donations and grants.  Those other counties are very unlikely to contribute to such a project because the final product will be owned by the City of Rice Lake.

Our current building is 14,500 square feet on three floors.  As many of our long time residents know, it was originally a grocery store and was renovated to become a library almost 40 years ago. That was before the RLPL had a single computer!  At that time, they expected the building to last 20 years.  We’ve thoroughly outgrown the building and the way libraries are used has changed dramatically in that 40 years.


library use comic


Our goals now are modest.  We want to see an efficient layout so that the staff can see all corners of the building to meet both safety and service concerns.  We want a technology ready building so that users with laptops and equipment can access the information they need.  We want energy efficiency, including daylighting and a comfortable climate within the building.  And we want the space to be warm and inviting and capable of serving all who want to enter instead of having to find offsite space for events because of fire codes.

These are not marble staircases, Cadillacs, or Taj Mahals.  It is the smart way to spend taxpayer money–with an eye to the future and long term operations included in the analysis of cost.

The Library Board of Trustees is grateful for the $1 million appropriation from City Council for the building project.  We wish it was enough to give our community what it deserves from the library, but we hope we can get there anyway with your help.

October is Computer Learning Month

Here at RLPL, we celebrate computer learning EVERY month!

Techno Minute Banner

We offer Techno Minute Tuesdays on the first, second, and fourth Tuesdays of each month.  You can drop in any time between 1pm and 2pm or schedule a half hour one-on-one session between 2pm-4pm.


AND starting this month (October 8th) Randy and Dusty of Eagle Services, located here in Rice Lake, will be at the library offering free one on one sessions Thursday mornings. Randy and Dusty of Eagle Services, here in Rice Lake, are offering one on one free ½-hour sessions.  Make your appointment by calling TheRLPL at 715-234-4861 x118.

 Eagle Tech Day

Be sure to follow them on Facebook for great tips and suggestions.

We also have a great selection of materials available for check out through MORE (you will find most in the .004’s in the non-fiction stacks). We have iPads, Kindles, and Nooks available for checkout if you are interested in “trying before you buy.

Of course, what library would not brag about their wonderful databases available FREE to you and accessible with your library card?!  One of our favorites is Learning Express Library that covers subjects from English to Math skills AND various computer training covering Adobe Photo Shop, Microsoft suite, and more.


Congratulations to Heritage Birthing Services, winner of our RLPL Photobomb contest!!


Did you know that a  doula is a woman who is trained to assist women & their partners before, during & after childbirth. Studies have proven that doulas can lead to shorter labors, 60% decrease is request for epidurals, 50% decrease in cesarean sections, increased satisfaction with the birth experience, and much more! I am passionate about helping women and their partners have the best birth experience possible.

Find out more about how Netflix influenced Brandie’s decision to become a doula here.
Services: Birth Doula & Placenta Processing
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Fall Back Into Your Favorite Clubs@RLPL & Magic The Gathering’s Battle of Zendikar

As fall arrives we see the return of your favorite television shows, perhaps Once Upon a Time?  Haven’t seen it yet…catch yourself up with your library card!  The first two seasons are currently available in MORE as is the third season but with a growing wait list.  You’ll also see the return of your favorite clubs at TheRLPL!

LEGO club returns September 3rd and continues on the first Thursday of each month through the school year.  This structured and open ended play time is open to youth of all ages.  Why LEGO’s?  Besides fun, colorful, and bringing out your inner artist, architect, and/or engineer, block building has been shown to build math and social skills as well as foster creativity.  Check out the Child Development Information on the Parent’s section at  And the article Can Lego bricks and other construction toys boost your child’s STEM skills? from

Lego Club    Image of Lego bricks    stuffed animal dog with LEGO brick

(For more on learning with LEGO in MORE.)

Simply Knitting returned September 2nd at 1pm and continues on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 1pm AND the first Saturday of each month at 10am.   Anyone who would like to learn to knit or loves knitting is invited to join Sharon and Carol at TheRLPL’s Simply Knitting sessions!  Yarn has been donated and knitting needles are available to borrow.  (Did you know you could check out Knitting Needles with your library card? True Story!)  Check out the newest in MORE’s “knitted reading” collection.  

Kids Create returns this fall on the 4th Monday of each month through the school year at 2pm.  We welcome all homeschoolers (and other interested kids!) to the RLPL for an hour of creativeness at this arts and crafts program just for you! Each month you’ll learn new skills and create projects to take home.  Amaze everyone with your amazing chalking skills as you create a Chalk City Scape!

September 28th Kids Create Chalk Cityscape

RLPL Program and sponsored clubs:

Pageturneers– Teens and adults are welcome to join us for discussion on selected titles.  Pageturners meets the first Thursday of each month at 6pm

#Teenbibliotheque– Cool Books…Cerebral Conversations.  All teens are invited to join in an in-depth discussion of this month’s book. Check calendar for meeting dates and be sure to stop up in Youth Services to check out the current month’s book title.

RLPL Vinyl Lounge– It’s all about superior analogue sound at RLPL’s Vinyl Lounge – where we indulge in deep listening of the best music on the best music format – vinyl records.
New to vinyl?  Want to get into it?  Learn how to select and set up a turntable; how to acquire, clean, or maintain a vinyl collection?  Come to the Vinyl Lounge and bring your questions.  Newbies are warmly welcomed and encouraged to join in the fun!  Listen in on Tuesday,  September 15th at 5:30pm!

Magic the Gathering-  Meets Every Friday at 5pm

***Big Event coming up September 26th!***

Set Name: Battle for Zendikar
Prerelease Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
-Register 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
-Deck building 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
-Start round 1 – 12:00 PM
Length of event depends on number of starting players
# of players – limited to 1st 20 players – pre-reg before event, and after that it will be 1st come, 1st served for main event.  If interest could host side events for people
(basically I will have access to approx 20 pre-release boxes) after the main event is full, I can run constructed and/or draft events, or people could play casual, and/or trade or spectate the events.
Now, Gideon Jura takes the lead of a group of planeswalkers in facing the Eldrazi alongside the residents of Zendikar. Meanwhile, the trapped planeswalker-turned-demon Ob Nixilis is desperate for a way off of the plane.


Battle for Zendikar returns the storyline to Zendikar which previously has been featured in the Zendikar block. It is a plane of adventure, many treasures, and potentmana supplies. The plane is littered with large, floating polyhedron-shaped stones called Hedrons, that were created by Nahiri, the Kor Lithomancer. Together with Uginand Sorin Markov she used them to trap the horrendous Eldrazi on the plane. Thousands of years later, the meeting of Sarkhan Vol, Chandra Nalaar and Jace Beleren in the Eye of Ugin chamber unvoluntary loosened the bonds that kept the Eldrazi in torpor. The Eldrazi were finally released by the elf Nissa Revane, thinking that they would leave Zendikar far behind them. She was wrong. Two years after the initial destruction, at least Ulamog is still around. [5]

Pre-release information:
Prereleases provide you with the earliest possible opportunity to play with the newest cards in Magic. Prereleases are enjoyable casual events that encourage fun over competition. You can plan to play all day in multiple events your store runs, or drop by for a single event. Be sure to check with your local store to see if you need to preregister!
Prereleases are Sealed Deck format events, where players are given Prerelease Packs and time to construct a 40-card minimum deck.

Prerelease Packs make deck-building more exciting with the inclusion of specialized, “seeded” booster packs and regular booster packs that let players choose a focus for their deck.

Players who are uncomfortable building a Sealed Deck may participate in Open Dueling instead of the main tournament. Open Dueling players use an Intro Pack to experience the new set a week before it hits shelves.

Players get to keep all of the cards opened in their Prerelease Pack or Intro Pack. In addition Prerelease Packs contain a premium foil Prerelease promo to keep. Players who participate in the tournament also have a chance to win additional booster packs of the newest set—an exclusive opportunity to take home even more of the latest cards before they’re available to purchase in stores! Additional prizes may be offered by local stores, so check with your organizer for additional information.


Prerelease events focus on fun and enjoying the upcoming Magic expansion, allowing players a chance to experience the newest cards in a fun and stress-free environment. That said, as Sealed Deck tournaments, they follow certain rules for deck construction and play.

Yu Gi Oh Club meets every Wednesday at 4pm


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National Library Card Sign Up Month!

Joe Cool Library Card Holder

Free Library Card Replacement all month long.

Read Off Your Fines for Kids and Teens

Food for Fines September 13th-19th

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Librarians are literacy experts. Libraries offer a variety of programs to stimulate an interest in reading and learning. Preschool story hours expose young children to the joy of reading, while homework centers provide computers and assistance to older children after school. Summer reading clubs keep children reading during school vacation and have been shown to be the most important factor in avoiding the decrease in reading skills that educators refer to as “summer learning loss.”

As our culture is shifting to a more active role in the creation of culture and information, today’s libraries are finding new and innovative ways to extend their collections and services, providing access to a wide variety of tools, both high-tech and low-tech, to empower their communities.

In addition to books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, computers, games, software and other multimedia materials, libraries increasing offer access to e-books and e-book readers.  Seventy-six percent of libraries offer access to e-books, an increase of 9 percent from last year. Mobile devices, including e-book readers are available at 39 percent of libraries.

Today’s public libraries are thriving technology hubs that millions rely on as their first or only choice for Internet access and digital content. Public libraries offer free classes and one-on-one instruction on technology, Internet and resource use. They help people start businesses, create resumes, search for jobs and apply for jobs online. Libraries help people connect with government and their communities, complete online forms and use online government services.

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