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.

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.

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.

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!

Winter is Coming

We all dread it, but since we choose to live in Wisconsin, we can’t run from winter. So I’m going to try my best to help you get ready to “survive” the season, whether that be a new book, new activity, or possibly even getting you to go out and enjoy what winter brings (if it’s actually possible).

I know what you’re thinking, it’s November, we still have Thanksgiving in a couple weeks, why are all these retail stores playing Christmas music and putting out Christmas stuff. I, too, think it’s way too early but it’s actually about the perfect time to start making some amazing handmade gifts for your friends and family for all the holidays coming up! You get to keep yourself preoccupied and stay out of the cold while also probably making something someone will cherish. Whether it’s knitting, quilting, or any craft, you can find inspiration and instructions here at the library in the 745+ section of non-fiction.

If crafting isn’t your thing, you can always cozy up with a good book. You can live vicariously in a warmer climate while reading a book set around the beach. Maybe you like the spirit of winter but don’t like frostbite, well there’s plenty of books to fill that niche as well! And if you’re really down about winter, you can always read about someone’s winter that is definitely worse off than yours.

Maybe I’ve got you all wrong, maybe you love winter and all it brings. That’s great, and we’ve got something here in the library for you. You can find some nice books about skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. If you love sledding, I’ll let you in on my super-secret sledding spot, which starts at this point. Follow the trails and you’ll come across four or five super fun slopes with differing speeds so all ages can get in on the action.

Whether you spend it inside or out, winter is coming. Let’s just hope it will be better than the last season of Game of Thrones.

Friends of the Library

This week is National Friends of the Library Week, so I asked myself, “Does the community really know who and what the Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is and does for the library?” I am guessing the answer for the some of the community is “NO.’’ So, here is a bit of background information about the Friends, and how you can be involved with this wonderful organization.

The Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is a nonprofit organization (501c3) that was established over 32 years ago by a group of faithful library volunteers. Its main focus is to advocate for the library and fundraise dollars to help support library programs and services. We host four large books sales each year and 1 mini sale before the Christmas holiday. The funds from these sales support art exhibits, Youth Services programs, adult reading programs, volunteer/staff appreciation events and other non-service needs of the library. We also coordinate and support two literacy programs separate from the library: “Books for Babies” and “Give a Kid a Book.” Both of these programs give new books to children in the Chippewa Valley and encourage early reading.

If you are wondering how you can support this organization and its wonderful group of volunteers here are a few ways:

  1. Become a Friend of the Library by visiting our website.
  2. Support one of their literacy program with a monetary donation. Donate to Give a Kid a Book here. Donate to Books for Babies here.
  3. Become a Friends of the Library volunteer. We offer numerous volunteer opportunities and are always looking for more help. All of our volunteer opportunities can be examined using this link.
  4. Continue using all the programs and services that the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library offers and offer feedback in ways we can improve your experience.

The Friends of the Library is focused on encouraging the community to become active users of the library. We want to build a community of leaders. 

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

~Margaret Fuller

twenty events. seven days. one festival

Gather your friends and family for the 20th annual Chippewa Valley Book Festival and prepare yourselves for twenty events, seven days, one festival. Starting October 21, 2019, the Chippewa Valley will be filled with events that will thrill, delight, and enlighten audiences of all ages. Here are ten reasons to drop everything and attend an event or two (or more!) this book festival season:

  1. Celebrate the written word. Books have the power to transport us, to teach us, and to test our assumptions. Join your fellow community members in celebrating the wonderful world of books.
  2. Listen to a Pulitzer Prize winner for the third year in a row. This year, the book festival is once again hosting a Pulitzer Prize winner. Art Cullen will discuss Change and Resilience in the Heartland. You will also have a chance to hear Rebecca Makkai, a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist, speak on her award-winning novel, The Great Believers.
  3. Explore the Chippewa Valley. The events can be found at locations throughout the Chippewa Valley. You’ll find events in Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Fall Creek, and Menomonie. Explore local landmarks such as the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Lazy Monk Brewery, Pablo Center, and more!
  4. Don’t be left out. Each year, nearly 6,000 students and adults attend and participate in festival events, author visits in the schools, and the Young Writers Showcase.
  5. Discover your next favorite read. Reading the book is not required to attend an event but think of the excitement you’ll feel when you find your next great read by hearing the story behind the story and listening to an author talk about their work. You will also have the opportunity to get your books signed by the authors. You can bring your own or purchase a copy from the book festival’s book sale committee.
  6. Support your community. The festival is organized by volunteers who have spent countless hours over the last year preparing high caliber events for the Chippewa Valley. In addition, the book festival relies solely on community donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals to cover the costs of hosting the authors and events.
  7. Learn something new. They’ve got a topic for every interest and a book for every reader. A variety of topics will be covered such as history, parenting, health, poetry, the immigrant experience, and the environment.
  8. Bring the kids. The book festival hosts eleven authors who will present 36 events to school children in our community. These events are closed to the public, but you can meet the school authors at a book sale and signing event on October 15 at 6:00 p.m. at Visit Eau Claire’s Experience Center. Learn more here.
  9. Ask your burning questions. Every author presentation allows for a question and answer segment at the end. This is your chance to find out why the book ended the way it did, why the author picked a specific topic, or what the author is working on next.
  10. Check out Pablo Center at the Confluence. It’s been a full year since Pablo Center opened but not everyone has had an opportunity to see this beautiful addition to our community. Limited tickets are still available for Rebecca Makkai’s discussion on Where Fiction Meets History and Kim Brooks’ presentation on Parenting in the Age of Fear. Both events require a ticket: the Makkai event is $10/ticket but the Brooks event is FREE. Click here for the most up to date information.

For full festival details and complete a list of authors, visit www.cvbookfest.org/schedule. You can also find the featured book titles in the MORE online catalog by using the search term: “Chippewa Valley Book Festival 2019.”

Building a Health Literate Community

October is National Health Literacy Month. Health Literacy is the degree to which and individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions. Librarians understand that information is the best tool for individuals to have when making these health decisions.

Libraries play an important role in health and wellness. That may be surprising to some individuals, but libraries can play an active role in assisting you to transform your life. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public library offers a variety of materials and services that can help you enhance your health literacy.

The state estimates that 55% of Eau Claire County is reading proficient. Our youth services team is on a mission to change that. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library helps kindle the love of reading and learning so that children are set on track to enhance their own health and wellness as they grow. Youth services librarians build programming around physical and mental activities to engage all parts of the young reader. Our Early Literacy Outreach Librarian is particularly working hard to meet children where they are at and find ways to bring literacy to the greater community. Children in the Dabble Box may become the scientists of tomorrow that solve our world health crises. All you need to invest in your child’s literacy is your time. The library has dozens of Dabble Box kits that enhance children’s skills in coping, science, math, cooking, reading, dexterity and more!

Libraries keep you and your family healthy. The seed library each spring provides free seeds for starting your own healthy garden. It does not need to be huge, starting with a couple potted plants is ok too! If you are a beginner try checking out one of the many gardening books at the library to find out how to get started.

Librarians are information experts that possess the ability to help you find information on a variety of subject matters, with no judgement. Staff can help you find those workout DVD’s that you would like to try at home because the gym is too intimidating. (I get it!) They can also help you find everything from cookbooks, to self-help books on mental health, and everything in between. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library also has Wellness Kits to check out. These cover a variety of topics including mindfulness, happiness, vision, breathing, qigong, detoxing, and more. Wellness is multidimensional, and librarians are prepared to help you round out your wellness with a variety of tools.  

There are over 1,200 health conditions with a genetic basis (U.S. National Library of Medicine). Librarians can educate customers on how to utilize ancestry research services so that you can become empowered to understand how your genetic background plays into your health. Genetic history is a good indicator for risk factors for disease, and this knowledge can put you back in control to compact these risk factors.

I, the Community Resources Specialist, assist individuals who are faltering on their journey by directing them to library and community resources that will help them meet their health and wellness goals. We sit down and talk about what is going well, and what is not going so well in their lives. Together we set goals and break down the steps needed to meet these goals. We look at what they can do on their own, what they need more information about that the librarians can help them with, and what they will need a referral for outside services for. This more intensive one-on-one time can get people on track when they do not know where to start.

An informed community is a healthier community. Eau Claire County is ranked 33rd out of the 72 counties in Wisconsin in overall health and wellness (University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute). I think that we can continue to do better. In collaboration with community partners, we bring health and wellness programming to you. Keep an eye out for library events to see how you can incorporate activities into your and your family’s lives to enhance the many domains of your wellbeing. Trying something new can be a huge step in your wellness journey. Let your library partner with you on this adventure.