Photo of David Bowie

Jethro Tull, Part II

In April of 2019, I wrote a blog about how musicians and bands came up with their names titled “Who is Jethro Tull”? Our world-famous webmaster told me that for some odd reason, people still look at this. So here is part two.

As a teenager in the late 1960s, The Monkees were a hot TV show and group. Frontman and lead singer of The Monkees? Davy Jones? His real name was David Thomas Jones.

David Robert Jones was also an English singer-songwriter in the 1960s. Because the aforementioned Davy Jones of the Monkees had just become popular, this singer then changed his name to David Bowie.

As a tribute to our long time circulation employee Greg G., who is a huge Rolling Stones fan, and has seen them in concert several times, this is for you:

In June of 1962, when Brian Jones was still a member and asked by a journalist for the band’s name, he saw a Muddy Waters LP lying on the floor, and one of the tracks was “Rollin’ Stone.” The The Rolling Stones performing in Hyde Parkgroup played their first show billed as ‘The Rolling Stones’ on July 12, 1962. Shortly after, the band began their first tour of the UK, gaining popularity, and by 1964 two separate polls rated the band as England’s most popular, even over The Beatles. Fond memories of Charlie Watts, longtime drummer who passed away last month. Who knew Mick Jagger went to the London School of Economics?

Roger Daltrey, leader of The Who, started a group called The Detours in 1959. In 1964, with Pete Townshend now on board, he and his roommate Richard Barnes spent a night considering names, focusing on a theme of joke announcements, including ‘No One’ and ‘The Group’. Townshend preferred ‘The Hair,” and Barnes liked ‘The Who’ because it “had a pop punch.” Daltrey chose The Who the next morning.

Before they became a ‘70s pop sensation, the Doobies were a bunch of hippies living together in a house in Northern California. When they were in search of a name for their band, a non-musical housemate suggested the Doobie Brothers because of the members’ penchant for smoking weed. (“Doobie” was slang for a joint at the time.)

Buffalo Springfield? Stephen Stills and fellow band member Richie Furay chose their name from a random brand of steamroller seen parked outside their home at the time.

Chicago was initially ‘The Big Thing,’ but manager Jimmy Guercio changed it to ‘Chicago Transit Authority,’ honoring the bus line he took to school. Shortened to ‘Chicago’ after their first album.

Bernie Leadon is often credited with coining the name ‘Eagles’ during a drug- and alcohol-enhanced group trip to the Mojave Desert. There, Leadon recalled reading about the Native American Hopi tribe’s reverence for the eagle. However, J.D. Souther suggested the name stuck after Glenn Frey shouted out “eagles!” when they saw some flying above them in the desert.

Unsurprisingly, The Grateful Dead came up with their name while tripping. Paging through a folklore dictionary, Jerry Garcia stumbled upon the term, which related to the soul of an unburied dead person expressing karmic gratitude to someone who arranged for their eventual burial.

While attending Ealing Art College, Farrokh Bulsara became friends with Tim Staffell of the local band Smile. Bulsara, who’d later call himself Freddie Mercury, shared a common taste in music with Tim and became a fan of Smile. In 1970, Bulsara joined the group after Staffell left for another gig. He then encouraged the remaining Smile members to change their name to Queen. They performed their first gig that July. Check out the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Awesome performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

Named for manufacturer Ransom Eli Olds, the REO Speed Wagon was introduced in 1915 as a groundbreaking predecessor of the pickup truck. Fast forward to 1967, and keyboardist Neal Doughty learns of the name, taking it for his newly formed band.

Steppenwolf producer Gabriel Mekler reportedly suggested that The Sparrows change their name to the title of Herman Hesse’s 1927 novel, and the archetypal biker-rock band was born. The German author’s book details a struggle between his human and animal dual natures, making “Born to be Wild” a perfect song to listen to while reading.

Pink was born Alecia Beth Moore. She started performing in clubs when she was about 14, and adopted that stage name about that time. That had been her nickname for some time, and initially it was a “mean thing.” She took the name from the Mr. Pink character (played by Steve Buscemi) in Quentin Tarantino’s movie Reservoir Dogs.

My all-time favorite group is Earth, Wind, & Fire.  Leader Maurice White led a group called Salty Pepper (his astrological sign being Sagittarius). With that sign having the seasonal and elemental qualities of earth, wind, and fire, the name was born in 1970.

Do your own research on Steely Dan. Not sure if it is fit for this family publication.

Remember, many of these musicians groups and musicians have CDs you can checkout from your library. Also, take a look at our digital music services, Freegal, which has access to over 15 million songs (you can download 5 FREE per week and stream music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your Eau Claire library card) and don’t forget about Sawdust City Sounds, our library’s platform for your local favorites.

Sweater Weather in the Chippewa Valley

It’s that time of the year again… The time of cozy drinks, oversized sweaters, crisp air… and of course, tacky Halloween decorations. In fact, September 22nd is the first official day of autumn!

Fall is my favorite, and no matter how much I do during this season, I always feel like it’s not enough. This time however, I decided to take it upon myself to ask library staff what their most treasured traditions are when the leaves are golden.

For starters, have you considered browsing our DVD/BLU RAY/4K collection of horror movies and cozy fall TV shows? I might not be a kid anymore, but I’m not too old for a sleepover. You can always invite some friends over, bake some seasonable snacks with one of our cookbooks, and spend a rainy night on the couch. Halloween pajamas are a plus! For younger audiences I’d recommend Over the Garden Wall or Gravity Falls, and for adults, The Haunting of Hill House and CastleRock are both equally binge worthy.

Or you can take it one step up from film and see one of the seasonal performances at the Children’s Theater. This year, the ECCT is having productions of “Jekyll and Hyde” (Oct 1-3) “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (Oct. 14-17) and ”Evil Dead” (Oct 28th-30th). The performances are conveniently located near a riverside bike trail and the Brewing Projekt – a great opportunity to take a scenic walk through colored leaves, or have a drink before the show! Other beautiful areas for enjoying the foliage include Pinehurst Park, Putnam Trail, the Northwest Community Park, Chippewa River Trail… the list goes on. For a full list of bike trails of the Chippewa Valley, feel free to find maps to keep here at the public library.

Finally, my favorite fall tradition is to take a Saturday and hit up the very last of the garage sales around town. Afterwards, we end the day at Autumn Harvest winery where we enjoy a sunset over hills of red trees and a bottle of wine. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a live music performance while you’re there! Other popular locations could include the Glass Orchard, which is a unique glass studio and orchard combined. It also happens to be right across from Ferguson’s Orchard, which has a lot less glass art and a lot more giant inflatable pumpkin jumping pads. And by a lot, I mean one. But really, isn’t one enough?

For more ideas, you can visit Volume One’s local event Calendar, or you can always pop into the library! If you have your own that you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments below.


Cook Books

Over the Garden Wall

Gravity Falls

Haunting of Hill House

Castle Rock, Season 1

Castle Rock, Season 2

ECCT Shows

Glass Orchard

Ferguson’s Orchard

Volume One Event Calendar

Reflections on Generosity During Times of Crisis

This last Saturday marks 20 years since the events of September 11th, 2001. So many facets of modern life changed as a result of 9/11 that it is difficult for many people to recall a world before the attacks took place. There are many lessons to be taken from 9/11, among the most important lessons is the way that people came together to care for one another after the attacks happened. People reacted with acts of generosity to help heal and rebuild after the collective trauma that Americans experienced. One of my earliest memories is going to a local Red Cross blood drive on 9/11 with my dad so that he could donate blood to help victims of the attacks. People from all over the country, like my dad, found any way that they could to support those directly impacted on 9/11.

Today we are witnessing the repercussions of a 20-year long war overseas and the impact it has had on people living in Afghanistan and the United States. Recently, refugees from Afghanistan have moved to Fort McCoy and our community has reacted with the kind of generosity that reflects the generosity that helped the United States heal after 9/11. The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library began a toy donation drive for refugee children living at Fort McCoy. Since the toy drive began, the library has received an overwhelming amount of donations! Offices and conference rooms at the library are overflowing with hundreds of toys and books that will help children and families have the opportunity to heal through play.

When I think of events like 9/11 there is a quote from Mr. Rogers that resonates with myself and many who have grown up with Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, ‘look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers

Thank you to all who have been the helpers over the last 20 years. Whether you are a veteran, first responder, medical professional, or just donating toys to bring a smile to a child’s face you are the helpers that we all need to build a brighter future.

Lauren Pomush, UWEC Social Work Student
Social Work Intern, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Summer/Fall 2021

Welcome, New Neighbors

It comes as no surprise that over the last 20 years the United States has been at war in Afghanistan. During that time U.S. troops worked hard to build relationships and help support people in Afghanistan to rebuild their county. While this was occurring people in Afghanistan risked their lives and welcomed U.S. troops into their homes and assisted in navigating the unfamiliar languages and landscapes. Now it is our turn to repay that favor and welcome those into our communities that once welcomed our troops. We can do this by fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment.

How can I help?

• Learn more about the culture and common customs of people from Afghanistan. Our library is filled with books and digital materials to learn more about what refugees from Afghanistan have experienced, as well as the war that has gone on for the last 20 years.

• Learn basic greetings and phrases in Pashto and Dari with our free Mango Languages app. Or go a little more in-depth by using Transparent Languages.

• Donate food and household items to local drives or donate money to these sources. Please be mindful of halal food and the processes that are respected as halal in the processing of foods. Having food and items that individuals are used to will greatly aid with the culture shock people experience when relocating.

The following agencies have been identified by Fort McCoy as ways to volunteer or donate: · Team Rubicon: · American Red Cross: · International Rescue Committee: · United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: · Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse:

Thank you to our troops for all they have done over the series of conflicts in the Middle East. If you know veterans, please check on them and offer support to them as well. The individuals fleeing the country, dying, and being attacked are the very people they had close connections with while your troops were away from home. If you are or if you know a veteran in need contact:

There are enough resources to be shared with all who need them at this trying time. Take care, be well, and spread kindness.

Looking to read more about refugees? Click the book covers below and be directed to a list of adult, teen, and children books.

The Summer the Librarians Went Outside

A fictional story based on true events

By Stephanie


It was a beautiful summer day.

The sun shone, the birds chirped, the flowers bloomed, and a light breeze rustled the leaves on the trees.

In the park, there were children playing, people and their dogs walking, Frisbees soaring, and picnics spread out on park tables.

Everyone longed to be outside.

Including the librarians.

In the library, it was cool and quiet. It was the perfect place to take a break and get a book to read before going back out into the sunshine.

But the librarians were stuck inside all day.

One librarian kept looking out the window, watching the wonderful day pass by, and sighing wistfully.

“I wish we could take the library outside!”

Then the librarian paused and asked, “Why can’t we take the library outside?”

“What if the books get dirty?” cried a librarian in shock.

“Well, we wouldn’t just put them on the ground.”

“What if it rains and the books get wet?” another librarian wailed in despair.

“We’ll check the weather before we go out.”

There were more objections, of course.

“How will we get all of our books outside?”

“Where will we take the books?”

“What if it gets too hot? Or too cold?”

“People don’t bring their library cards outside, how will they check out books?”

But the first librarian thought of solutions for everything, and soon the other librarians got excited about the idea.

“I ride my bike to work, maybe we could bike to the park?”

“Let’s bring a big umbrella for shade!”

“We could bring activities!”

“We could give out library cards!”

The librarians came up with a plan on that glorious summer day. They got bicycles, and helmets, and a special trailer, and a big umbrella for shade. They packed up a bunch of books, and a few activities, and some library cards.

They took their bicycles and books to parks, to farmer’s markets, to concerts, and to festivals. They checked out books, and gave out library cards, and did activities, just like they did at the library.

At first, people were confused when they saw the librarians outside. Libraries had always belonged inside before!

But they checked out books, and played games, and made crafts, and soon they got used to seeing the librarians outside the library.

The traveling outdoor library was a success! And for the rest of that summer, and every summer after, if the weather was nice, the librarians packed up their books and joined in the fun outside.

The End

*There’s still time to catch the BookBike this summer!

Find the BookBike and Dabble Box from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays at Owen Park and on Wednesdays at Carson Park through the end of August.

In September, find us at Owen Park on Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon, with storytime at 10 a.m.

The BookBike will also be at the Downtown Farmer’s Market in Phoenix Park from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through at least the end of September.

You can find the most up-to-date schedule on our website at

Live Music Performance in Phoenix Park, Eau Claire, WI

Outdoor Music is Back

In so many ways, 2020 was a bust, right?  Certainly, the larger issues of death, illnesses, jobs lost, and businesses closing were the big picture but who did not miss their favorite outdoor activities?

For me, it is all of the free outdoor music events that are so well attended in the Chippewa Valley.  All of these are free and open to the public through the summer, weather permitting of course.

In Altoona, at the River Prairie Center, they have the Kickin’ It Country on Monday night, and Rock’n on the River Concert Series on Wednesday evenings.

Eau Claire offers Tuesday Night Blues at Owen Park on Tuesdays, the Eau Claire Municipal Band at Owen Park on Wednesday, and the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Phoenix Park on Thursday evenings.

Last, at the new Riverfront Park in Chippewa Falls, they offer their Music at the Riverfront on Sunday evenings.

That is not all! Of course there are several bars, restaurants, and coffee shops with free music group offerings that go on all year long.

Your best bet to check out who is performing at each event?  Volume One is the areas go-to place for this information, with their free publications all over the city, plus their website at  Phone is 715-552-0457.  Or call the Reference Team at the library at 715-839-5004, cuz we know, well, almost everything.

I get it. Now it is August, and summer is rapidly ending. So forget the chores for a night. Do not work later. Do the laundry or garden another day.  Summer is always way too short, so get out and enjoy the wonderful local offerings. Food trucks are an option at each venue, but feel free to bring your own beverage, food, and yes, dog. On a leash, please!

Want to listen to the local music artists that are featured at these events?  We have many CDs here at the library, or you can enjoy them to stream, or even download, through our free digital service, Sawdust City Sounds.

Sorry Eau Claire, but my favorite?  Wednesday night at River Prairie in Altoona.  There is better seating, suits my music taste better, and the dance floor is often packed.


Getting the Most Out of Your Summer

A fun fact about the month of June: it has the longest days out of any month of the year. We can consider ourselves lucky to have more daylight when enjoying June’s warm weather, weddings, and festivals. While the month may be coming to an end, it’s also technically the official start (June 20th) of a promising Wisconsin summer!

This year, it should be extra special now that we are witnessing the rebirth of our restaurants, events, and businesses once again. While things aren’t quite 100% just yet, there is still an immense amount of progress to celebrate.

For families:

Farmers markets, playtimes, and museums are safely welcoming back Eau Claire’s smiling faces. Of course, the library’s doors are open once again as well, along with the beautiful book bike visiting your favorite parks and events!

For friends:

Music festivals like the Cadott Rock Fest, Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, and food trucks galore are making appearances across the valley. Or can we suggest your own cookout, with our selection of grilling/picnicking/campout cookbooks?

For adults:

Wisconsin’s incredible wineries, supper clubs, and breweries are buzzing with new business and creative cocktails! If you’re trying to get the most out of the warm weather, many of these locations have outside seating and live music as well. I personally will be found sipping cocktails made by the wonderful staff at Fall Creek’s Connells Club 12!

With all this excitement, you may also be feeling a bit overwhelmed or overstimulated. While I’m looking forward to my favorite summer comeback events, COVID has taught me to become quite the introvert… and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! When I think back on my favorite summer memories, they often don’t include any expensive weekend trips or fancy vacations, but rather, small moments. For example, the spontaneous excitement of discovering some new secret spot in my hometown while on a casual bike ride. You can do this yourself, with our collection of bike trail books or maps!  I’ve also got a soft spot for wasting away the afternoon by laying in my yard, listening to oldies on my trusty cassette Walkman. While the public library may have outgrown cassettes, we do have an extensive music collection both digitally and on physical CD. We offer access to almost all genres of music, and by some incredible local artists as well. In fact, you can even create some of your own music with our selection of instruments to check out. The possibilities are endless!

My challenge for you this summer is to take what you’ve learned, and how you’ve grown in the past year or so, and use it to have your best summer yet.

World map on two hands with doves flying into a blue sky with fluffy white clouds

Be the change you wish to see in the world

It’s time for a check in. It is a wonderful time for us to remind ourselves that we are all on a journey to better understanding ourselves and others. This is the journey we are all on, living and learning throughout life. I believe that the library can be an integral part of this journey for each and every person, here is why.

This last weekend I was reflecting on the wonderful opportunity to observe Juneteenth. Juneteenth is meant to be a day of jubilation, a day to celebrate significant turning point for the rights of people who are racially black in the United States. It is also meant to be a day to honor and remember those who have been lost or had their lives disrupted by enslavement. Lastly, it is a day for us to ignite action in individuals to make changes. Action, it is a word of intention, of movement, and change. Yes, there has been so many things that have progressed, but there is still a long ways to go and you can be a part of it.

Today I encourage you to take time to set intentions to first seek to understand before seeking to be understood. This may seem simple, but it takes putting ourselves aside for a moment to better hear and understand others and that can be a really hard skill. We can do this by being intentional about our listening, and focusing not on our own thoughts or responses while we take time to listen to others.

Next, I encourage you to consider that individuals are experts in their own lives. How do we best learn from these experts? By listening, reading, and talking to others about their stories. Pick up a book from an author that is of a different background than yourself, go someplace new that might challenge you to meet new people, or have a conversation with a friend about something new you learned. We can take steps regularly to expose ourselves to new ideas and new people. Here are some programs through the library that might help you find something to enhance your journey.

One Book, One Community

Tough Topics Book Club

Anti-Racism Resources and Book Lists

Diversify Your Reading Challenge

Today I encourage you to take a moment and set intentions. Take a moment and consider one step that you can take to move forward in your journey. Right now I am striving to be a better listener and learner about other’s stories, and how I can be a part of the change. Will you join me?

Cataloging Identity

People don’t fall into neat little categories, but as we try to communicate to each other who we are, we tend to identify ourselves with labels. Nerd, jock, rebel. Mom, uncle, brother. Accountant, mechanic, librarian.

But labels never stay so simple. We start adding qualifiers: computer nerd, fun uncle, children’s librarian. We don’t stick with just one label per person; someone can be a computer nerd, a fun uncle, and a children’s librarian.

This is similar to how libraries catalog books. For example, Kristin Hannah’s new book, The Four Winds, is fiction. It is also cataloged as historical fiction and domestic fiction. We don’t stop there, though; our library catalog also includes subject tags. The Four Winds has 13 subject tags, including “Dust Bowl Era,” “Women Farmers,” “American Dream,” “Texas,” and “California.”

All of these descriptions are helpful because, with just a few carefully chosen words, potential readers have an idea of what a book is about. Of course, reading the synopsis will give you more detailed information. And the only way to truly know what the book contains is to actually read the book.

The same holds true for people. You’ve already formed a basic impression of what a computer nerd, fun uncle, children’s librarian is like. To get a better idea, you could have a conversation with them. But to truly know the nerdy, fun librarian, you’d have to get to know them.

June is Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community has an overwhelming amount of labels. It’s expedient to use just a few words to explain your gender identity and sexual orientation. However, phrases like “genderfluid pansexual person” or “asexual demiromantic female” are far less commonly understood than “rebellious mechanic mom” or “sporty accountant brother”.

If you’d like to brush up on common gender and sexuality terms, I recommend UCSF’s glossary. For a much longer and more comprehensive list, try’s.

With Pride Month in the news and on our social media feeds, these terms become more and more common. If you don’t know what something means, don’t be afraid to ask or look it up.

And remember: books can’t be defined by just a few words, and neither can people.

Happy Pride Month, everyone!


Untouched by COVID-19

I really do feel a bit guilty. The past several months have been such a terror for so much of the world, and our country. Now India is again in a terrible situation.

With 163 plus million cases worldwide, and 3.38 plus millions of deaths, hundreds of millions out of work, millions of businesses closed, school children way behind, and so much of life missed. Not being able to see loved ones in nursing homes? Not being able to be with them on their deathbed? These are just unimaginable to me.

So why do I feel guilty? Because this terrible disease that has touched so many has not really touched me personally. My wife and I were blessed that we know of not a single person hospitalized, nor died, from COVID-19. It did not affect me financially, as my wife’s job is secure, and my library position allowed me to work from home while closed. Shoot, I even got out of working nights and weekends!

Raising children is hard enough. Now add schools closing, most after-school sports and activities canceled, virtual classes, homeschooling, mask mandates, and just the fear of it all had to be terrible for students. For you parents that got your kids through this, and keeping your sanity, bless your hearts. I salute you all!

But certainly good news the past few months. Vaccinations are way up, cases and deaths are way down. Things in the United States are opening once again, including our wonderful library. For those who do not know this, our temporary location is on the south side of Eau Claire, where we took over half of the United Health Care building at 2725 Mall Drive. For the first time in over a year, we are welcoming customers without an appointment.

As of now, the hours are a bit different. Mondays and Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m.  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and once again Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are not open Sundays during the summer months. Our library management team took months preparing to move, finding another location, and taking the necessary steps to move the entire collection of books, DVDs, CDs, and more. I missed our regular customers, and am eager to see you all again.

So come see us! Without a mask if you are fully vaccinated, and feel safe to do so. The pictures tell you we look like a real library!

Questions? Please call the Reference Team at 715-839-5004, email us at Hope to see you soon!