Library news

Saying goodbye to Jefferson County

The time has come. As of September 1, we will no longer be able to place holds on items owned by Jefferson County libraries. That means all of the great stuff we used to get from places like Fort Atkinson, Watertown, Lake Mills, and Jefferson will not be available.

They have been great partners with us since 2007, allowing us access to a rich collection of non-fiction books, graphic novels, and movies that most other libraries do not have. Jefferson County will be joining Waukesha County in a new library system (name to be determined). We will continue to work with Dodge County in the trio catalog.

Questions? Please contact library director Steev Baker, who is always happy to answer questions about library stuff.

The beautiful staircase in Fort Atkinson.

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More music for kids

Mary Macaroni

This summer, we were joined by the incomparable Noah Reimer, aka Duke Otherwise, who entertained an appreciative crowd at the Annex. Live music is the best, but we’ve got a spectacular collection of CDs full of great music for kids and families to enjoy together. Because we care about music, we’ve picked the best of the best for your ears including discs by They Might Be Giants, Frances England, Kimya Dawson, Medeski Martin and Wood, Dan Zanes, and Elizabeth Mitchell. We also have more traditional kids’ music, too. Anthologies from Sesame Street, Shel Silverstein, Disney, and Smithsonian Folkways round out our collection.

But because we love live music so much, we’re happy to announce a special end-of-summer live performance by Chicago-based entertainer Mary Macaroni! Ms. Macaroni performs original silly songs and magic tricks and has played to diverse crowds at festivals, amusement parks, Chicago Bulls games, Carnival Cruise Lines, and recently completed a tour playing for American troops all around the world! Ms. Macaroni will be playing at the Library on August 25! This FREE show will be best for kids on laps all the way up to 8 years old, but of course everyone is welcome to attend. August 25 at 11am at the Library!



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In the News

We have had many community members ask us about a short article from the June 18 Kewaskum Statesman, “Kewaskum Library Could Face Decrease in Materials.” Some were concerned that we were losing funding or that we would not be a able to add any new books next year.

The truth is that 2016 is going to be a challenging year for us. Not only is Jefferson County leaving our library system, but the future of the system itself is in jeopardy.

What is a library system? It is a state-funded agency that is staffed by professionals who make sure that public libraries are receiving the services mandated to them by state statutes. In our case, the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System has a four-person staff that coordinates delivery, represents the libraries in negotiating for better pricing on technology, runs our central computer server, troubleshoots problems with the software we use to keep track of our material, provides graphic design and printing help, and other duties.

Our library system is in a state of flux. In 2016, it will only contain 2 counties (Dodge and Washington). So we have been investigating other options for the future. We will be losing direct access to material from Jefferson County libraries, so that will certainly hurt our ability to give you the diversity of items you have come to expect from trio.

The other hard thing about 2016 is that we will be hiring a new Youth Services Librarian. In order to afford to offer benefits to that employee, we have no choice but to cut some of our materials budget. However, in my mind this tends to balance out since we literally have no room on our shelves for more books.

However, these challenges will set us up to follow a new and more service-oriented path, which libraries around the world are adopting. We’ve got a stack of program ideas, a ton of new digital content coming, and a newly updated internet connection that allows for even faster access in our building.

So. Things WILL change (as things tend to do), but they will change for the better. Next year will be a rebuildingĀ  year (as they say in the sports world) and I am certain that in the years to come, Kewaskum and the other communities we serve will be better off for the groundwork we will be laying in 2016.

Still have questions? Library Director Steev Baker is always happy to talk budgets, statistics, and library service. Give him a call at 626-4312.

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