January 2008 Archives

The Big Read Kickoff @ Central Library

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Join the Milwaukee Public Library in celebrating the kickoff of The Big Read on Thursday, January 31 at 10:00 a.m. in the Central Library's rotunda.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Big Read celebrates reading as an important part of American culture. As part of this program, Milwaukee will be joining communities around the U.S. in promoting the joy of books. Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God has been selected as Milwaukee's community-wide novel.

MPL will work with community partners to sponsor events throughout the area, including a visit by the late author’s niece Lucy Hurston, book discussions, film screenings, library and museum exhibits, dance, and other theatrical performances. For a list of library and community events, check out MPL's Website.

Jacki Potratz was featured on WUWM’s “Lake Effect” program on Thursday, January 24 between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. with Jane Hampden. Jacki is system fiction selector at Milwaukee Public Library. She offers reading suggestions below.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
Away by Amy Bloom
Run by Ann Patchett

Are you eligible for energy assistance?

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Does the cold weather have you worried about your heating bill? If so, you may be eligible for energy assistance.

Energy assistance is meant to help pay for a portion of heating costs. The amount any family or individual is eligible for depends on the size and income level of the household, as well as the heating costs for the household.

The program is made available by the Social Development Commission, Milwaukee County Human Services Department, and We Energies.

Additional information on elegibility and locations is available on the internet.

Presidential Election 2008

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The Wisconsin Presidential primary election is quickly approaching on February 19th, 2008. Review the candidate profiles and issues that are of interest to Wisconsin residents by checking out the website Wisconsin.vote.org

It's Tax Season

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Are you looking for tax forms or tax assistance?

Here are some tips to help you get started:

If you make $45,000 per year or less, then you are eligible for free tax assistance from VITA (IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). The Social Development Commission has prepared a schedule for locations in the Milwaukee area. Please consult the flyer for details on where to visit and what to bring.

If you need a specific tax form, visit the IRS Forms link for a list of federal forms to print. Likewise, for Wisconsin State forms --visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue site.

The Milwaukee Central Library and Milwaukee neighborhood libraries have the most common Federal and State paper forms available for distribution but do not have tax advice capability.

If you need advice on which tax forms you need, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for Federal or call 414-227-4000 for Wisconsin.

Senator Russ Feingold @ Centennial Hall

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On Friday, January 25, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will hold a listening session in MPL's Centennial Hall from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Each year Senator Feingold holds listening sessions in every county of the state. These sessions are opportunities for residents to share their ideas and concerns with him.

From the Senator's Website:

“I again look forward to meeting with constituents in Milwaukee County,” Senator Feingold said. “These listening sessions are an excellent opportunity for me to hear directly from constituents about any issues or concerns they may have, and I appreciate the effort people make to attend these meetings and let their voices be heard. Their ideas and advice continue to enable me to serve the people of Wisconsin to the best of my ability.”

Bilingual English/Spanish Preschool Storytime

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Preschoolers are invited to 45 minutes
of stories, songs, finger plays and crafts.
Child care centers are welcome.

Forest Home Library
Thursdays, December thru February,
10:30-11:15 a.m.

Zablocki Library
Wednesdays, January 9 thru May 14,
10:30-11:15 a.m.

Horas de cuentos bilingües para niños preescolares

Los niños preescolares están bienvenidos
a 45 minutos de cuentos, canciones y
juegos con los deditos, seguidos por 15
minutos de manualidades. Se extiende
también la invitación a los centros

Forest Home Library
Los jueves de diciembre a febrero,
10:30-11:15 a.m.

Zablocki Library
Los miércoles del 9 de enero al
14 de mayo, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Your weekly reference question

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When did Martin Luther King, Jr. Day become a holiday?


The chronology of this holiday is actually quite complicated.

Dr. King was assassinated in Atlanta April 8, 1968. It wasn't until five years, in 1973, later that the first state signed a law making Dr. King's birthday a holiday. That state was Illinois, and the bill was sponsored by then assemblyman Harold Washington.

A bill was introduced in congress in 1968, after Dr. King's death to have his birthday observed as a national holiday. However, it wasn't until November 3, 1983 that President Reagan signed a bill establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national holiday, taking place the third Monday of each January, with observance to officially begin January 20, 1986.

In 1986, the first time Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was observed as a national holiday, only 17 states had passed bills officially observing the holiday. By 1989, the number of states observing the holiday had grown to 44. In 1999, New Hampshire, the last state signed legislation making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a state holiday.

In many communities, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is becoming a day of service and reflection for the community.

Create an RSS Feed for Now@MPL

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Did you know that you can have Now@MPL delivered automatically to your desktop? Yes, everytime there is a new posting to the blog, it will be sent to your reader. To set up a subscription, click on "subscribe to this blog's feed" at the bottom of the Recent Posts column inside the blog. Or, if you prefer a Web based RSS reader, sign on for a free account with Google Reader or Bloglines. Whenever you see the universal orange feed sign on a blog or a website, that means that you can subscribe to that site and receive automatic updates. Check out the RSS wikipedia entry for more explanation. So sit back, relax and let the Internet bring updates to you.

Your weekly reference question

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What day was infamous gangster Al Capone born?

Alphonse Gabriel Capone, also known as "Scarface" was born January 17, 1899 in Brooklyn. He started into his life of crime at a young age, and quickly progressed from petty crimes to more serious trouble.

(Mug shot of Al Capone as a teenager)

He was moved out to Chicago, and with prohibition being in swing, made a name for himself with bootlegging. He became especially notorious for orchestrating what became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago, in which seven members of a rival gang were murdered.

Even though he participated in many heinous acts, he was eventually incarcerated for the relatively minor infraction of income tax evasion. He was tried in 1931, and was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison, but ultimately only served six and a half years in prison.

He died January 26, 1947, of heart failure.

Shipshape Launches @ MPL

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Project Shipshape is the newest destination for Great Lakes ship information. Supported by grants from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program as well as local funding, the Shipshape database is the result of a collaboration between the Milwaukee Public Library and the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society.

Shipshape contains information on over 10,000 vessels that have sailed the Great Lakes. It is a great source of information on the ships themselves, as well as names of builders, owners, and captains. Additionally, complete files on each vessel, including articles from books and magazines, nautical charts, photographs and vessel flags are available in the Central Library’s Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room.

We would love your input!

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Now @ MPL... has been up for a few months now. And we would love to know how often you visit us so we can improve this service for you, the Bloggers. This is the first of many new upcoming surveys that will allow you to poll your opinion on various interesting topics.

Thanks again for visiting Now @ MPL..! The creators really do appreciate all of your input!!

Tutoring for adults

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Do you have a work or school related test coming up, and you're not sure how to prepare for it? Are you having problems understanding an assignment or completing your homework?


Washington Park Library is pleased to offer an on-site adult tutor on Tuesdays, from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary, just a desire to learn. Feel free to drop in at those times for help.

Your weekly reference question

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What do you call a group of crows?

A group of crows is called a murder.


There are many different names for groups of different animals. While a group of crows is called a murder, a group of ravens is known instead as an unkindness. Most people known that a group of lions is known as a pride, but did you know that a group of cranes is known as a sedge?

Some of the group names seem pretty strange, but some of them are definitely appropriate! A group of sharks is known as a shiver, and you would most likely know if an intrusion of cockroaches had invaded your home.

The same goes for the names of baby animals. Most people know that baby cows are called calves. Baby dolphins, hippos, and elephants are also known as calves. A baby hawk is called an eyas, and a baby eels are known as elver.

Voter Registration

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Just a reminder that City of Milwaukee Residents can register to vote at any library within the city. The last day to register for the Spring Primary (Feb. 19th) is Wednesday, January 30th. Any questions on polling locations can go to Ready Reference, 414-286-3011.

Book Discussion @ Central Library

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The first Central Library book discussion of 2008 takes place Tuesday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Richard E. & Lucile Krug Rare Books Room. A librarian will moderate a discussion of Ian McEwan's Saturday, the tale of a single day in a London surgeon's life when a minor car accident forebodes major consequences. Saturday will be a starting point for exchanging ideas on themes, events and characters; reading the book in advance is not required. We hope to see you there!

Where the Jobs Are

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Come to Center Street Library on Thursday, January 17 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. for a free employment seminar. The seminar will be presented by C. J. Brown, III., author of the “28 Days to Employment” system which provides step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for and find employment.

C.J. Brown, III is a retired corporate executive who speaks, consults and mentors employers as well as those struggling to find employment.

Copies of the “28 Days to Employment” CD-Rom will be available for purchase. Seating is limited.

For more information, call Center Street Library at 286-3090.

Half Priced Book Sale

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The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library are sponsoring a half priced book sale on Saturday, January 12th at the Central Library. This is the first booksale of the year so come on down and browse the selections. There will be lots of inventory. Browsing starts at 9 a.m. in Meeting Room 1 and ends at 4 p.m.

See you there!

Milwaukee Bucks Reading Challenge

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The Milwaukee Bucks Reading Challenge for 3rd through 10th graders begins today!

Earn one point for each page you read from a book, magazine, or newspaper. Read 500 pages to earn 500 points by Friday, February 22 to become an All-Star Reader and receive a voucher for a free ticket to a Milwaukee Bucks game! You can pick one of two games to attend, either Sunday, March 9 at 12:00 p.m. or Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. All-Star Readers also have the opportunity for friends and family to purchase additional tickets for the game at a discounted price. And there are special opportunities for "Overtime" readers who read 750 pages or more! Talk to your local Milwaukee Public Library children's librarian for more information and to sign-up for the Bucks Reading Challenge.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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