February 2019 library news
Oh, boy! Last month I asked for your program ideas, and did you ever respond! So much so that we've gone and over-scheduled ourselves for the month of February. That's OK, though -- wait until you see all the fun things we have planned for Mercer this month.

I've been reading a fantastic book called Palaces for the people by Eric Klinenberg. It's all about how social infrastructure helps communities of all sizes, and if you're reading this it's probably no surprise to you that libraries make a lot of appearances in the book. Places where people can get together, learn something new, and make connections outside of their usual group can improve quality of life and literally save lives, and that's the kind of place the Mercer Library aims to be every day.

Don't forget: the easiest way to support your library is to use it! Stop by for a visit, check out some books and movies, attend a program, or just sit by the fire and read the paper -- it all makes a difference. We love it when you let your friends know about us, too. Share our events on Facebook, tell people about the latest library book you're reading, or bring a friend with you to a library program.

Read on for more about what we're doing this month!

Teresa Schmidt
Library director
Grown-Up Story Hour

Why should kids have all the fun? Join us for our first "Grown-Up Story Hour" at the Liberty Way Tap House at 6pm on Wednesday, February 27th. Grab yourself a beverage or two and a group of library volunteers will read you some short stories and essays. It's our first try at this kind of off-site programming, so stop by and let us know what you think!
Lake Ice and Climate Change

Lake ice cover provides a clear indicator of climate change and variability. Because human observers have recorded the dates of ice on and ice off on many lakes around the world, lake ice provides a view of what is happening, often well before direct climate measurements of temperature were available. In Wisconsin and other states some records began as early as the 1850s. So what do these records tell us?

Professor John Magnuson, emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will talk about the changes and variability in ice cover in Wisconsin lakes from the 1850s to the present in a free program on Saturday, February 9th at 7pm. This program is sponsored by the library and ICORE, the Iron County Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts.
Four months in Newfoundland and Labrador

Come kick off the 2019 Armchair Traveler series with Peggy Bronsberg and Bernie Langreck as they share images and stories from their summer 2018 adventure in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Their program will be on Tuesday, Feb 26th at 4:30pm.

Traveling in a truck camper, this couple roamed about for four months, exploring back roads and rarely-visited villages as well as more well-known sites and a week-long voyage aboard a cargo ship making its first voyage of the year to deliver supplies to several Inuit (Eskimo) villages along the north coast of Labrador. Icebergs and polar bears and puffins—Oh, my!!

This is the first program in our new "Armchair Travel" series. Watch for upcoming presentations on South Africa, the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Canada, and more.
Northwoods Archaeology

Wisconsin is rich in history, and northern Wisconsin contains many little-known places. Learn more about some of this history and how archaeologists are bringing these stories to light in a free presentation with archaeologist Cindi Stiles on Tuesday, February 19 at 1:00 p.m. at the Mercer Library.

Stiles has worked as a professional archaeologist for 43 years, and for 27 years has had the honor to work with tribes in northern Wisconsin. This free program is sponsored by the library and by ICORE, the Iron County Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts.
Social Media Marketing - "Business Bites"

Learn more about using social media to drive customers to your business on February 20 at 12:00 p.m. in the Mercer Community Center. The program will feature Jessica Riedy from Social Siren Marketing. Riedy will share ideas for creating a social media strategy and putting that strategy into action; help you learn about the Facebook algorithm and how to master it; and share tips on creating winning content that will engage your audience.

The "Business Bites" lunch program series is sponsored by the Mercer Chamber of Commerce, Mercer Public Library, and Iron County Development Zone. Lunch will be provided by the Friends of the Mercer Library with a suggested donation of $5. Please register for the program by February 15 by calling the Mercer Chamber of Commerce at 715-476-2389 or emailing info@mercercc.com.
Soup R Bowl - February 22

The Super Bowl is over, but you can still join us for a "Soup R Bowl" soup sharing event on Friday, February 22nd at 12:00 p.m.

We held an event like this last fall and everyone had such a great time we just had to do it again! Bring a pot of soup to share if you like, and the library will provide beverages and drinks. All are welcome to stop by, even if you aren't bringing soup, and enjoy a soup lunch and the company of neighbors. Please register in advance by calling the library at 715-476-2366.
Seed library news

It’s only February but many of the seed catalogs have already arrived. It’s time to start thinking about the upcoming gardening season and the Mercer Library is here to help. 

We will again have a wide variety of seeds available, so if you plan to start your tomatoes and peppers indoors stop in and see our selection. We also have useful information on seed starting and seed saving to help you along. The Seed Library has moved within the library so check out our new location in the center aisle near the gardening books. Watch for notices about upcoming gardening events at the library.
February Tech Classes

  • Becoming a Savvy Tech Shopper - Thursday, Feb 7 at 11:00 a.m. - Shopping for a new laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart speaker? Confused by all the choices? Let your library help!
  • iPad Basics and Beyond - Tuesday, Feb 12 at 1:00 p.m. - Learn to use your iPad in this class for beginners and intermediate iPad users.
  • Tech Tuesday - February 5 and February 26 at 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. - Drop in for one-on-one technology help with basic problems and skill building. If those times aren't convenient for you, call the library to schedule a 30-60 minute appointment at another time.
Movies @ Your Library

Mercer School will have an early-release day on Friday, February 15th, and students of all ages are welcome to visit the library after school for popcorn and a movie. We'll be showing the Disney classic, "Lady and the Tramp," rated G, 76 minutes.

Adults are invited to join us on Monday, February 25th at 6:30 p.m. for a screening of "A Star is Born," 2018, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The film is 136 minutes long and rated R.
Gale Courses now available
Access hundreds of FREE online classes with your library card

Don't forget to check out  Gale Courses , a collection of hundreds of online courses developed and taught by experts in their fields. It's easy to use, you can sign up year-round, and it's FREE to all Mercer Library card holders. Get a head start on your new year's resolutions, learn a new skill, start prepping for the ACT or SAT, or complete those continuing education hours you've been putting off. Check it out!
Other activities @ your library

  • Attention families -- Are your kids interested in 4-H? The Iron County extension office will hold an information meeting for a Mercer 4-H club on Thursday, Feb 7th at 5pm.
  • The Mercer Health and Wellness committee will host their annual Heart Healthy Brunch on Saturday, Feb 16th. For more information, call Jackie at 715-476-2404.
  • Knitters' gathering: Join your fellow knitters for an informal gathering on Monday mornings at the library, 9am to noon on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Mondays of the month.
  • The Mercer Book Club will meet on Wednesday, February 13th to discuss Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Copies of the book are available at the library, and new members are always welcome!
  • Coffee & Coloring is a relaxing afternoon of coloring and paper crafts. Adults are welcome to join us normally on the second and last Fridays of the month at 2-4pm. We'll provide the coloring supplies, or bring your own paper projects to work on. Please note: this month we'll only have one coloring activity on Tuesday, February 8, due to the soup event on the 22nd.
  • Other community events happening in our building include exercise classes and Pickleball with Mercer Health & Wellness, a weekly ecumenical Bible study group, AA meetings, and more. Stop by and ask us if you want information on any of these events.

The library's meeting room is available for anyone in the community to reserve for meetings and educational programs. Give us a call at 715-476-2366 to reserve the room.
Mercer Public Library | 715-476-2366 | director@mercerpubliclibrary.org | mercerpubliclibrary.org
Winter hours: Mon, Wed and Fri 9am-5pm; Tues & Thurs 9am-6pm; Saturday 9am-noon