Battling Racism with Books

February is well known as Black History Month, but by no means should we only expose ourselves to diversity during this month. One way that we can continuously expose ourselves to diversity without spending money or traveling is by visiting your local library. Your library houses books and media that contains stories written by and about people from different walks of life than your own. The library can support you in learning about history, and how it shapes our present and future. This can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience, but I challenge you to reflect on why you are experiencing discomfort. If you want to put a book down that is making you uncomfortable, I ask you to consider that you are only experiencing these stories for a moment, while others are experiencing these stories as the reality of their everyday lives. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and if you are willing to lean into the discomfort, give a new movie or book a try that will help you learn new things about other walks of life.

Other ways that we can expose ourselves to diversity:

  • Visit new places
  • Try new foods
  • Visit historical sites
  • Attend public cultural celebrations (i.e. Hmong New Year, Pow wows)
  • Talk to people and share what you’ve learned
  • Listen to other’s experiences
  • Reflect on how your background has shaped your experiences
  • Practice love and understanding

There are billions of people on this Earth. There is so much to learn from each other, and so many ways to embrace and celebrate our diversity.

February Goals

Okay, everyone. Don’t panic. February is here again. Last year, the month of February did its best to break our spirits through record-setting snowfall and feeling like the longest month ever, despite only having 28 days. This year it has 29 days, but it’s going to be okay.

February can be a trying month. The holidays are long behind us and somehow, it’s still winter. No matter what the groundhog says, spring is not visible on the horizon. We face a long, dull, plodding trek to warm sun and green grass. Odds are, you’re not as busy this time of year as you will be in a few months; that makes February the perfect time to cultivate some healthy habits.

A month ago, you may have set some New Year’s resolutions. Or, if you’re like me, you may have looked at your track record with resolutions and decided not to set yourself up for failure. Either way, February is to great time to either evaluate your progress or set some new healthy goals without the stress and gravitas of a New Year’s resolution.

Here are a few keys to good goal setting:

1. Set an attainable goal. Don’t expect to enact a complete lifestyle change overnight. Leave yourself some wiggle room, because you might have a bad day or a bad week, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You goal should be something you both want to do and are capable of doing.

2. Set a measurable goal. This is how you know whether you’re succeeding. Instead of saying you’ll work out more, specify that you’ll go to the gym three times a week or take a 30 minute walk at least four times a week.

3. Set a time to finish or re-evaluate your goal. Having a finish line to work towards provides motivation. If you’re trying to make long-term changes, it also provides an opportunity to reflect on whether you want to continue as is, make adjustments, or scrap your goal altogether for a new one.

If you’d like some inspiration to help you be healthier this month, the library has many resources to support your physical, mental, and emotional health goals. Try recipes from a healthy cookbook. Pick up a DVD to guide you through a work out at home. Listen to a meditation CD to help you de-stress. Create something in the Dabble Box. Join the adult winter reading program and set a reading goal.

You may think that February goal setting is nonsense, and maybe it is, but I’ve yet to share the best part: if you focus on achieving a goal this February, by the time you’re done, it will already be March.

About REAL ID

​If you plan to fly within the U.S., visit​ a military base or other federal buildings, the Department of Homeland Security will require identification that is REAL ID compliant (or show another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport) beginning October 1, 2020. Wisconsin DMV issues REAL ID compliant products (marked with a ✪) in accordance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. If you aren’t sure if you have a Real ID, you should contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

​​What it means for you​

  • If it’s time to renew your driver license or ID, you can upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant card for no additional fee (if the upgrade takes place at the same time as your renewal).
  • If your current driver license or ID will not expire before 2020, and you wish to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card, the cost of a duplicate card will apply.
  • Wisconsin offers both REAL ID-compliant and non-compliant driver licenses and ID cards. The cards look similar; REAL ID-compliant are marked with a ✪, while non-compliant cards are marked “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES.” Should you choose to continue to hold a non-compliant card, you will need another form of identification to board a plane or access federal sites.
  • If you have a valid U.S. passport or another acceptable form of federal identification, you can use that for identification, in place of a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card.  To view the list of Transportation Safety Administration approved documents, go to www.tsa.gov/Travel.

Use DMV’s interactive driver licensing guide to receive a personalized checklist of the required documents you will need to bring. It also allows you to pre-fill any required application(s), print and bring with you or submit electronically (if eligible). You may also be able to schedule an appointment for the DMV for faster service.

Driver Information Section
P.O. Box 7983
Madison, WI 53707-7983
Email Wisconsin DMV email service​​​
Phone (608) 264-7447
Fax (608) 267-3812

To get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card, people must visit a Wisconsin DMV office and bring these original documents or a certified copy — not a photocopy, fax or scan:

  • Proof of name and date of birth, such as a valid passport or birth certificate.
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States, such as passport or birth certificate.
  • Proof of identity, such as driver’s license, military ID or passport.
  • Proof of Social Security number, such as Social Security Card or W-2 form listing your name, address and entire Social Security number.
  • Proof of address, such as driver’s license, college ID or utility or mobile phone bill.
  • Proof of name change, if applicable.

So, to summarize, if you are flying within the United States, you will need this federal stamp on your license. If not, you are required to also bring your passport, certified copy of your birth certificate, or the other allowed documents above, just to fly. There is no extra charge; the easiest way is when renewing your license, also bring to the DMV either your passport or birth certificate, along with a current W2 or pay stub.

As of October, 2019, only 36% of Wisconsin residents have applied for this REAL ID card, which means almost 3.8 million people have not yet applied. With this starting in less than 10 months, do yourself a favor; do it soon, as there is sure to be a mad dash next year.

Local Produce

With New Year comes new resolutions, and a popular one for many is to eat better. A great way to do so is to join community-supported agriculture (CSA). Joining a CSA requires a payment and, in return, you’ll receive farm-fresh produce and possibly other items such as eggs or honey regularly during the spring, summer, and in some cases fall months. Even better, some insurance companies offer rebates for joining a CSA making it even easier.

Not ready to commit to a CSA? Local farm markets and food co-ops are a great low-commitment way to sample local, seasonal produce.  Some markets are also open during the winter; check their web pages to be sure.

The historical way to eat local produce is to, well, produce it yourself. The annual tree and shrub sale of local counties makes it easy to produce your own fruit and nuts in addition to beautifying your land. These sales generally require placing an order for a number of plants before picking them up closer to the growing season; if you don’t have much space, you may need to split some trees with friends. Note that you can generally purchase plants even if you don’t live in the county.

Serviceberry is a native shrub with appealing berries for wildlife and people.
County Deadline Notes
Buffalo January 31st Trees
Chippewa March 30th Trees, shrubs
Eau Claire January 31st Trees, shrubs, plants
Pepin April 5th Trees, shrubs
Trempealeau March 1st Trees, shrubs

The library is also hosting a seed library where you can pick up seeds for vegetables, herbs, and flowers all for free! The seed library is opening at the end of February and is located on the first floor above the Dabble Box display cases.

Looking for additional inspiration? The online catalog has more about local food and gardening. Or stop by Information & Reference on the second floor to locate or order new or hard-to-find books and DVDs.

New Year’s Resolution Goals!

If you’re like me, you are not all too fond of the traditional New Year’s Resolution. If so, you may have tried and inevitably failed or perhaps you were intuitive/pessimistic enough to know it would fail before even starting. It’s also possible that the notion of fixing yourself has rubbed you the wrong way. Then again, maybe you are not like me and you set the annual New Year’s Resolution and are resolute enough to succeed in your endeavors. To you, I say, congratulations. Keep doing what you are doing and may your future endeavors result in as equal or greater success. To those who can relate or are curious, please read on!

Image result for fun"

I’ll skip boring you with the dictionary definitions of resolution and its nearly synonymous use with goals. It’s all semantics. The point is in the implication of its use. Resolution implies there is a flaw to be fixed. If you Google anything on New Year’s Resolution, it will likely paint a portrait of your past failure and how you can work to improve yourself. Though we are all without a doubt quite flawed and could use a little improvement, we tend to inundate ourselves with these negative self-images. Maybe it’s time some of us look at those “resolutions” as goals instead. We don’t have to improve ourselves all of the time. Improve yourself at work or if you have a health condition that requires a lifestyle change. Otherwise, we should be allowed to be happy with who we are and simply do something for the enjoyment of it. Yes, pick up new hobbies or partake in new, energy-filled activities. But don’t do it because of what you lack, and instead, do it because you feel like it. I’m far more interested in taking up something if I actually want to do it. I will ALWAYS fail if it feels like a chore. I have enough chores to deal with. Why add more?

Rough Cat Face With
New Blender Sculpting

Luckily, the library has MANY ideas and activities for you to try out. For fun! Obviously, we have many, many books for new hobbies and other areas of interest. Check out the 600s for a variety of content on home improvement and building. The 700s are great for arts, crafts, and graphic novels. If you have had your fair share of books and want to try something new, stop in the Dabble Box during one of our open labs (Schedule may be found here). We have materials and equipment for a variety of activities including arts, crafts, and technology of all sorts. We recently obtained a complete set of digital drawing tablets that let you draw, paint, and sculpt on the computer. Along with that we have Corel Painter that imitates real-life painting and drawing and the recently updated Blender is an outstanding application for sculpting 3D models. If you just want to take a break, stop in at the Information and Reference desk on the second floor and borrow one of our board games for in-house checkout. There’s a little something for everyone here at the library.

Diversify Your Reading

The library will once again be offering customers a chance to fight reader’s rut. “Reading Challenge 2020” will help you diversify your reading, and win prizes! If you participated in 2019, we are so happy you are enjoying the program and hope you continue to find joy in your reading journey. If you are joining for the first time, welcome! We’ve made a few changes this year, taking into account the comments we received in 2019. Here is a quick rundown of how the program works:

  • Read or listen to a book from all 12 categories to enter the grand prize drawing for a Kindle Paperwhite at the end of 2020.
  • Stop by the library each month with your completed monthly Reading Slip to be entered into a monthly prize drawing for $10 in Chamber Buy Local Bucks.
  • Get a free book of your choice for each four Reading Slips you complete.
BYO Book Club

We are also excited to announce a new book club that will help you discover even more diverse books to enjoy. The Bring Your Own Book Club is a non-traditional discussion group for adults. Instead of reading a predetermined title, participants meet to talk about what they’re currently reading and get suggestions for new titles to try. Enrollment in the Reading Challenge is not required to attend.

The club meets on the third Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in the Board Room on the library’s second floor. Whether you can’t wait to talk about your new favorite read or just want to listen in, readers of all stripes are welcome!

Register for Reading Challenge 2020 here. After you register you can pick up your Reading Journal at Information & Reference. It contains monthly Reading Slips for entering the drawings, reading inspiration for each book category, and is a convenient place to keep track of your thoughts about the new books you will discover.

FAQs

Can I Choose My Own Books?
Absolutely. You don’t have to pick one of the reading inspiration titles.

Can I Read Ahead?
Sure, but you’ll still need to drop off a completed Reading Slip each month to qualify for monthly prizes.

Can I Catch Up?
Yes, but only one of your completed Reading Slips will qualify for the monthly drawings.

Do My Challenge Books Count for Other Programs?
Yes! Books you read for the challenge also count towards your reading for our seasonal adult reading programs.

Adult holding a piece of red paper in front of their face with a frown drawn upon it.

Winter Blues

For many, the winter season can bring cheer, family connections, and gratitude. Winter is also known to bring depression, stress, isolation, sleep disturbances, and health issues. No one is completely immune to the stress that winter can bring, and each person has a different balance of the positive and negatives that this season brings. If you are finding that the negatives are outweighing the positives in your life this season, or just feeling more down or stressed than you would like, or maybe someone you know may not being doing so well, then keep on reading!

Here are some warning signs that you may be experiencing the winter blues according to Mayo Clinic:

  • Feeling more irritable with others
  • Not leaving the house as much as you used to
  • Eating more or less than normal
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Having thoughts of wanting to go to sleep and never wake up
  • Having difficulty concentrating

If you or someone you know is feeling this way, do not brush it off! You can have a more enjoyable winter! Here are some of the things that you can do:

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Talk to a therapist
  • Talk to your family and friends about how you are doing, there is someone to help support you
  • Go for a walk
  • Try mindfulness, the library has books and kits to try out, or explore resources online
  • Develop habits; routines can bring people out of a rut
  • Be social; swing by the library for an activity or to ask staff for a book suggestion
  • If you are able, be kind towards others, check on your neighbors
  • Put yourself first; it is ok to take a break from family to read a book or do something else you enjoy

Your library is here for you and cares for our community members. Whether you are alone, or have your family or friends in tow, there are many programs that can be a part of your winter self-care that gets you out of your house and hopefully out of your rut. Make a conscious effort to opt out of stress and opt in to living your life.

If you have more questions about library materials and events, please visit the library’s Information and Reference staff on the second floor, call us at 715-839-5004, or email us at reference@eauclaire.lib.wi.us.

If you want to get connected to community resources to support your social, mental, and physical health, please contact the Community Resource Specialist by stopping in or at 715-839-5061 or at libbyr@eauclaire.lib.wi.us.

Dabbler in Residence, Prepare to Launch!

Are you a skilled creative person, enjoy working with all ages, and desire to share your creative process in a public way? Or maybe you are someone who enjoys trying out new projects and learning new skills with guidance available. In either case, we have a unique opportunity just for you! You might consider applying for our maker resident position or participate in many workshops provided by our maker resident.

The Dabbler in Residence is an opportunity for a selected maker resident to offer hands-on learning to community members through weekly workshops offered in the Dabble Box makerspace. Tell your friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors about this cool new program. We aim to foster collaborative efforts between workshop participants of all ages and the resident maker to increase access to creative opportunities. Like turning numbers into meaningful art using the 3D printer or gaining woodworking skills through creative storage design. These are just ideas of what you might experience. Whatever the maker resident teaches, participants will walk away inspired to apply their new-found talents and skills.

If the maker residency position excites you, consider applying for one of our two residencies held March 2020 or August 2020. Through the support of the library’s Endowment Fund, selected makers will receive a $750 stipend and supply reimbursement for up to $500. The application deadline is December 15, 2019. For more information or to submit your application visit https://www.ecpubliclibrary.info/dabblerinresidence

If you are intrigued by the chance to participate in upcoming spring and summer workshops provided by the Dabbler in Residence, continue to visit the Dabble Box webpage for registration information as it becomes available. More importantly, don’t forget to share this blog with your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors on social media by clicking on the associated buttons below.

Baking News!

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is jumping on the cake wagon and joining the many public libraries with cake pan collections!

You batter believe it! Libraries around the country have been curating collections of cake pans for decades. Specialty cake pans can be expensive, especially considering how infrequently most people use them. They also take up a lot of valuable storage space in your home. It just makes sense to share cake pans as a community the same way we share books, movies, music, ukuleles, and sewing machines: through the public library.

Next time you’d like to bake your own funky cake bundt you don’t feel the need to own a novelty pan, don’t sweet it! LEPMPL’s cake pan collection already boasts 28 pans and is still growing. Do you have a cake pan gathering dust in a cupboard? We would love to accept your gently used cake pans. Donations may be left on top of the book donation box in the lower level or dropped off at the Customer Service desk on the first floor.

The collection will debut on Tuesday, November 26 at an open house to celebrate LEPMPL being named the 2019 Library of the Year by the Wisconsin Library Association. Join us for the main ovent from 3-7pm. Eat a cupcake, check out a cake pan, and chat with staff about all the library has to offer.

If you miss the open house, don’t shed a tier! Afterward, the cake pans will be on display on the first floor near the Dabble Box. You will also be able to view a list of all our cake pans on the MORE Catalog. The check-out period for cake pans will be 2 weeks, and they will not be available to put on hold.

For your next celebration, get a slice of the action and sprinkle some extra joy on the occasion! Check out a cake pan from the library!

Passports

As temperatures dip and the sky darkens, some rejoice in the snow while others yearn for warmer times. There’s another option than hopes and dreams: Travel. And travelling to most of the world requires a passport.

Obtaining a passport isn’t a difficult process, but it does require a form, evidence, and a payment. You can fill out form DS-11 online or print and complete a paper form. You’ll also need evidence of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate, and an identification document, such as a driver’s license; you’ll also need a copy of each. The last item you’ll need to submit is a recent photo meeting some specifications that photography studios are familiar with. A passport book costs $115 for children and $145 for adults.

For your first passport, you’ll need to apply in person. In Eau Claire, the Eau Claire Main Post Office requires appointments; in Chippewa Falls, the Chippewa County Clerk allows applicants to drop-in. Routine applications take between 6 and 8 weeks to process, so a submission now should be ready in January.

Macho Picchu

As you await your passport, it’s a great time to read a travel guide and plan your trip—and using Freading means that you’ll have access to 2019 Lonely Planet travel guides without any waiting. We’d love to see photos from your travels, too!