Eclipse 2024 – It’s cloudy.

Here are the two best pictures I got from today’s eclipse. Most of the day it was cloudy, and I didn’t see anything, but got these 2 pictures between the clouds. Personally, the weather was disappointing. I was really looking forward to seeing a near total eclipse here.

The cool things that I observed as I went in and out to check on our sun and what I might catch a glimpse of, are that during its peak the lights on the side of the building were triggered to come on and the weird twilight ambiance to the outside.

I hope that in 20 years the next solar eclipse is easier to view, and that mother nature doesn’t give us cloud cover.

Wilton Writes! 3rd Annual writer’s contest sponsored by the Wilton 2nd Saturday Writer’s Club

Wilton Public Library is excited to announce our 3rd Annual Writer’s Contest. This contest is open to anyone who wants to write a short story, essay, poem, or anything else that is 500 words or less on any topic. If you need help with a topic, stop in the library and we’ll be happy to help! So here are the rules.

  1. All works must be 500 words or less and are open to any topic.
  2. All works must be submitted to the library by April 1st. Judging will start on April 8th.
  3. When submitting your work, specify if you are an adult (18 years old or older) or a youth (under 18 years old and/or still in high school)
  4. Submit 2 copies of your work. 1 copy must have your name and age on it and your second copy must not have any identifying information to keep judging as neutral as possible.
  5. All works must be original and unique.
  6. There will be only on submission per person accepted.
  7. To submit, please stop in Wilton Public Library and give your copies to a staff member, email the library your work at wiltonlibrary@wrlsweb.org, or mail your work to: Wilton Public Library 400 East St Rm 102, Wilton, WI 54670
    1. If you’d like to photocopy your work, please submit in person and a staff member will assist you.

There will be 2 prizes per age group for prizes. 1st prize is a writer’s package with $25 cash prize. 2nd prize is a writer’s package. Writer’s packages consist of tools that a writer can use to hone their craft.

Submissions can be in English or Spanish.

If you have any questions, please stop in the library or call us at 608-435-6710. We’ll be happy to help you out!

Good luck and happy writing!

Banned Books Week 2023

A shelf of books with a red circle crossed with a line to indicate that these are banned books.

Banned books week started yesterday and runs through Saturday, October 7, 2023. Personally, I feel that we should have a banned books month to raise awareness of the number of books challenged for various reasons. In 2022 alone, 2571 unique books were challenged with Texas having the most out of all the states.

Map of the United States showing that Texas has had the most book challenges in 2022. Source ALA.

To help us combat banning books and reinforce your right to intellectual freedom and the freedom to view or read any material you would like, please help us by supporting the efforts we engage in daily.

  • Visit your library, library board meetings and school board meetings to become and stay informed on which books are being challenged and why.
  • Stand up at these meetings and speak out about the importance of the freedoms to read and view. Support the first amendment and stand up for free speech.
  • Be sure to report these instances to organizations like the American Library Association to gain support and assistance in resisting a book ban.
  • Read banned books and encourage others to do the same. With 2571 on the list from last year alone and more from previous years, I am sure you’ll find several that you’ll enjoy.
  • Write to your legislatures on a local, state, and federal level to encourage them to protect intellectual freedom, the First Amendment, and your right to read and view the materials you want.

Here at Wilton Public Library, we have a policy to follow should a book challenge happen. But even before that, we consider every book brought into the library according to our collection development policy. We work to bring as wide of variety of materials as possible to your library to be available for you to use. Plus, we are backed up by the Winding Rivers System and the Inter Library Loan System in Wisconsin. Rarely is there a book that we can’t find.

Last month, our book club chose to read a banned book for the discussion, which will be October 9, 2023 at 10:30 am. The one we picked is “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. If you’d like to read it and join us, there is still time and you can pick up a copy at the library.

Wilton Public Library, along with other area libraries, has a list of the top 13 banned books from 2022. These have a QR code attached to each title to make it easy to find and reserve a copy for you to read. Another option is to come in and ask for the banned book that you want to read.

Help us to maintain the freedoms we enjoy reading, learning, creating, and inventing among so many others.

Reasons to get a library card.

Picture of a box of library cards

By now, you have seen the signs around town and know that September is library card sign up month. If you were thinking of getting a library card, now is the time. It’s easy to do. Just stop into your local library, bring your ID and proof of current address, and magically you get a library card and access to a ton of stuff.

Reasons to get a library card, in no particular order:

  • It’s free
  • You get access to books, magazines, audiobooks, movies, games, puzzles, and more.
  • You can access materials at other libraries too. Winding Rivers is a system and we work together to get you what you want, plus we have access to all the libraries in Wisconsin.
  • Libby: an app for your smart devices that contains book and audiobooks. You don’t even need to leave home to use it.
  • Kanopy: a streaming service for movies and TV series, plus educational content. Again, pants are not required to use this one either.
  • Gale Courses: online access to 1,000s of courses many of which can help you get a job or a promotion. Or you can simply learn to do something because you want to.
  • Online access to 1,000s of periodicals from all over the nation.
  • Each library card that is issued and used helps us get better funding.
  • Access to Creative Bug. An online creativity studio. Learn a new hobby!
  • Free in person educational and entertaining classes: story time, craft hour, book club, lego club, board game club, and more is offered every month at WPL, plus there are additional programs offered at other local libraries around the area to attend.
  • Access to computers and the internet.
  • Access to many office services including fax, printing, copies, scanning, and laminating.
  • You get live, in person assistance when you come in.

Reasons NOT to get a library card:

Honestly, I can’t think of any reason NOT to have a library card. It helps the whole community to have one in your pocket and to come in and use it. And really, once you have one, there are a lot of services you can access just from home.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

A crisis or depression or extreme anxiety can wear any of us down at any time. I mean, we’re only human and we can only do what we can do. This month, September has been designated as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. So I’ll compile what I know, which admittedly is probably enough to be kind of helpful but certainly not all that is available out there.

This is not meant to be medical advice but some general information to hopefully raise awareness and maybe even save a life. We need everyone to stay here. We all have a part to play.

Some common signs of suicidal thoughts are:

  • talking about being hopeless, worthless, wanting to die, and/or feeling trapped or other similar feelings
  • isolating themselves or being much less social than normal
  • Giving away items
  • saying goodbye to friends and family

Some uncommon signs can be:

  • unusual behavior and sudden behavior changes: for example if they were sad but are suddenly happier, calmer and/or peaceful, this can be a warning sign.
  • changes in sleep patters: may sleep significantly more or less
  • becoming emotionally distant and/or detaching from daily activities or routines
  • physical pain. Emotional pain can manifest as physical pain.

For more information check out the following places:

5 Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior That Are Easy to Miss – Bridges to Recovery

NIMH » Warning Signs of Suicide (nih.gov)

There are crisis services available for suicide prevention.

Crisis Services: Someone to Talk to | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

In Monroe County, we now have 211. This is a service that can connect you to almost any social service in the county, including help for emotional and mental health.

You can call or text 988 which is the national suicide prevention number. If you need to be transported to the hospital or other emergency services then dial 911, as always.

You can text HOPELINE to 741741 and this works anywhere you have service.

If you’re a farmer, there is a special hotline just for you. Farming comes with a lot of special stressors and considerations. Please call (888) 901-2558 and this is available 24/7 to Wisconsin Farmers.

If you need help and are LGBTQ+ call 866-488-7386 or text START to 678678 and if you’re trans you can call 877-565-8860. These lines are staffed with supportive folks who understand.

Above all, let’s all watch out for each other. If someone seems off, reach out, ask them questions, and get involved. And if you are having these thoughts, reach out, and remember you are not alone, you are not a burden, and you are loved.

I really hope this helps someone. I know there is a ton of information out there about suicide prevention but hearing it one more time can’t hurt.

Plus, if you’re lonely, come to your library. We have a ton of activities, and we welcome everyone. And if you need a service, we will do our best to get you in touch with what you need.

September is Library Card Sign Up Month.

A box of library cards, open, and ready to be used.

September kicks off at the end of this week and it also starts Library Card sign up month. Libraries have a lot of recognition months and weeks built into the year and we need them. We mostly silently do our work and help as many people as we can every day, but more often than not, people aren’t exactly sure what we do and assume that it is just loan out books. It is completely untrue. We do a lot more than loan books. We loan:

  • Books
  • Movies
  • Computers
  • Magazines
  • Board Games
  • Jig Saw Puzzles
  • STEM kits (kids’ educational needs)
  • Toys

We also do all this too:

  • Host book clubs
  • Host writing clubs
  • Host Lego clubs
  • Host Board Game clubs
  • Host crafting clubs/events
  • Help people search for jobs
  • Help connect people to services they need
  • Host author events
  • Host holiday events
  • Host Current event groups
  • Help people understand their technology
  • Help people learn new skills for business and jobs
  • Help people find new interests or brush up on an old one

And we also offer:

  • audiobooks
  • steaming services
  • online dictionaries
  • online encyclopedias
  • newspapers (some are online and some can be read in the library)

And I am sure there is so much more that we do, but this is what comes to me off the top of my head.

So, if you know anyone that needs anything listed above or even not listed above, send them to your library and tell them that they need to sign up for a library card and then use it to check out anyone of these awesome services. Plus, it doesn’t cost them anything. Public libraries are free to use. And, if we don’t have the specific thing you want, we’ll look for it at other libraries. We will borrow whatever it is so you can borrow whatever it is.

I have already mentioned it before, but this simple act is the number one way to show your support for your library. And that simple act is free and opens so many doors to education, knowledge, and entertainment. Come in and sign up for your library card.

Plus, I ordered some in anticipation of library card sign up month. I had no idea that the smallest box I could get was 550 cards. This means we need about 1/4 of our service area: Wilton and surrounding townships, to come in and take one.

Thank you for getting this far. Now let’s get everyone into the library and sign up for a card!