December 2008 Archives


Take the opportunity to view some of the library's Audubon prints in person: the Milwaukee Art Museum is hosting an exhibit entitled “Catesby, Audubon, and the Discovery of a New World: Prints of the Flora and Fauna of America”. Seven of the sixty prints of the beautiful plants, birds, mammals, and reptiles are owned by Milwaukee Public Library.

The prints were loaned from one of the Milwaukee Public Library’s prized collections , the John James Audubon “Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America” dated from 1842 to 1854.

The exhibit will be on display through March 22, 2009.

Computer Classes Coming Soon

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MPL's next session of free computer classes will be starting the week of January 26, 2009. Made possible with funds from Northwestern Mutual Foundation, this series of seven classes includes Computer Basics, Internet Basics, Internet Search Tools, Email Basics, Intro to Word Processing, Intro to Spreadsheets, and Intro to Power Point.
Class registration begins Monday, January 12. To register, call your local library or Ready Reference at 286-3011. Space is limited, but walk-ins are welcome if space is available (except at Bay View and Zablocki libraries).

Milwaukee in Pictures

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Remember When #1249
All rights reserved © Milwaukee Public Library

The streetcar tracks are no longer there, but the holidays in downtown Milwaukee haven't changed all that much. This picture looks east from N. 3rd onto Wisconsin Avenue. The photograph was taken Nov. 30, 1942 and resides in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at the Central Library.

Central Library’s photo archives include many collections. Take a look some of them here.

Photographs are retrieved by library staff. The materials may not be removed from the room, but reproductions may be available. Contact the Humanities Department with any questions at 414-286-3061.

Everyone at Milwaukee Public Library wishes you Happy Holidays and a great 2009.

Facts are Fun! @ Washington Park Library

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Ready to Read
Facts are Fun!, the next Ready to Read free continuing education workshop for childcare providers, will be held on January 20, 2009 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at Washington Park Library.

Non-fiction or factual books are not just for school-aged children, but for any child who needs a question answered, an idea explained, or an interest expanded. Informational books also introduce children to important concepts and vocabulary. During this session, explore great non-fiction books and how those books can be used to add fun and interest to the classroom.

Attendees will receive 1.5 hours of continuing education for participating in this workshop.

Registration began December 20; call 286-8423 to sign-up.


As the City Hall restoration project comes to a close, Mayor Barrett invites Milwaukeeans to participate in events surrounding the occasion, including an exhibit of the historic building's artifacts and the official re-opening on Thursday, December 18.

The completion of work will be celebrated with a free, public event at City Hall on
Thursday, December 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. Mayor Barrett will be joined by members of
the Common Council in a re-dedication ceremony at 6:15 p.m. The rest of the evening
will feature live music, refreshments and guided tours.

When: December 18 from 5 to 7 p.m
Where: City Hall
Cost: Free

Click to View Offical Announcement

Learn To Finger Knit

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Finger knitting is a simple form of knitting using only your hands.
It’s an easy and fun activity for young children. This workshop is for
children ages 5 and up and is presented by Shirley Grotti from
the Yarn House.

Capitol Library
Monday & Tuesday, December 22 & 23, 10-11:30 a.m.
Space is limited; call 286-3006 to register.

Betty Brinn Central Children’s Room
Monday, December 29, 11a.m.-12 noon
Space is limited; call 286-3091 to register.

Recommend a Purchase

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Have you ever checked CountyCat for a book, only to find that the Milwaukee Public Library has not purchased it? Because so many books are published every year, we occasionally miss picking one up. You can let us know about books you would like to see the library purchase through our "Recommend a Purchase" feature.
Recommend a Purchase to the Milwaukee Public Library

From the library's home page (, under the Reader's Resources tab on the left-hand side, you will find the Recommend a Purchase option. Simply fill out the form to the best of your abilities and send it in. If the librarians decide to purchase your request, a hold will be placed on the material for you. If it is decided that the material will not be purchased, an email will be sent to you notifying you of that decision.

Best Books of 2008

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Looking for a great gift book to give family and friends this holiday season? Or are you searching for something to read during your winter vacation?
gift books
With the end of 2008 approaching, the lists of year's best books are being published.

National Public Radio's best books of 2008 lists include top fiction picks, best foreign fiction, best graphic novels, best political and current affairs books, and more.

The New York Times has published its ten best books of 2008 from a list of 100 notable books of the year.

Publishers Weekly and Library Journal have also released their selections for the top fiction, non-fiction, children's books, and genre titles of the year.

Feel free to share your favorite books of 2008 by commenting on our blog!

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper

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BJ Pinchbeck started his homework help site when he was eight years old. He's now 21 and his homework help site continues to flourish. Divided into categories, BJ picked his favorite sites for English, Math, Science and many more. So if you're looking for information to assist you with homework, or if you're interested in learning new things, think of BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper.
For other websites to consult for homework help, check out the Kids' Homework Help category on the MPL homepage in the Recommended Links section.

Sandra Melcher on WHAD FM 90.7

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Deputy Library Director Sandra Melcher was interviewed for Wisconsin Public Radio on how the economic downturn has affected MPL usage – both circulation and patron counts are up. The interview aired Friday, Nov. 28 on WHAD FM 90.7. Audio and description below.

Troubled Economy Spurs Library Use
11/28/08 Reported by Kristen Durst

In tough economic times, library use goes up as people look for cheap entertainment and access to more resources. And that's changing the role of your local librarian.....

Click here to listen to audio clip!! (RealPlayer needed)
Run Time: 1:24

Dated At the Library?

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Imagine our surprise when we read this entry on the Wisconsin Library Heritage website:

“I came across this illustration in an 1886 Library Bureau supply catalog. It gives credit to the Milwaukee Public Library for creating the pencil dater which became a fixture in most libraries in the first half of the 20th century. Does anyone have an example of a pencil dater? Has anyone used one?”


Many of the older employees at Milwaukee Public Library remember pencil daters fondly. We're sure they were used for checkout at Milwaukee Public Library in the sixties and well into the seventies when computers began to take over.... Do any of you readers out there remember them?

New library hours for 2009

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Many of the City of Milwaukee's Public Libraries will be changing their hours for 2009. These times will be effective on December 29, 2008.
The Central Library will be open one fewer nights, and the Monday and Tuesday evening hours have been shortened from closing at 8:30 p.m. to closing at 7:00 p.m.

Many Neighborhood Libraries - with the exception of East, Bay View, and Capitol - will be opening at 12:30 p.m. The East, Bay View, and Capitol libraries will be opening at 10:00 a.m.

Click here for the complete listing of MPL hours for 2009, and for the listing of 2009 holiday closings.

Ready Reference Historic Recipe File--German Stollen

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This holiday season, celebrate Milwaukee's German heritage by making stollen for family and friends. Stollen is a sweet yeast bread with raisins, nuts, and candied fruit typically served during German Christmas celebrations.


Try this recipe from the December 12, 1973 edition of the Milwaukee Journal:

German Stollen

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 ounce yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon sugar (this liquefies when stirred)
2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
6 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seed
1/2 cup white raisins
1/2 cup glazed cherries
1 cup finely chopped assorted candied fruit
melted butter for glazing
candied cherry halves and coarsely chopped walnuts for decorating
frosting (see below)

Scald milk. Add sugar, salt and butter. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast mixture and 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks. Beat very well. Add three cups of the flour and beat again. Add remaining flour, cardamom, raisins, cherries, candied fruit, and beat again. Place in large, greased bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight.

Punch down dough on a floured board and divide into thirds. Roll each piece into 10 inch oval and spread with melted butter. Press each piece down center and fold lengthwise. Brush top with melted butter. Let rise until double, about 1 or 2 hours. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Frost while warm. Decorate with candied cherry halves and chopped walnuts.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
enough light cream to make a light paste

Mix all until smooth


There is a lesser known search tool in the search engine category called This engine stands out from the pack due to its content. What makes them different? They started with 180 authoritative titles purchased from reference publishers and then added patented database technology, to provide very informational pages on a subject. There are also original articles from's in-house editorial team as well as Wikipedia content.
For other alternatives to Google, check out the Internet Search Tools category on the MPL home page under the category of Recommended Links.

East Library Book Club

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The 2009 East Book Club list is posted below. A physical copy is available at East Library.


East Library
1910 E. North Ave

East Book Club
Tuesdays 7pm - Meeting Room

Selections for 2009

Jan. 20: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Feb. 17: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Mar. 17: Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
Apr. 21: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
May 19: Birdman of Alcatraz by Robert Stroud
Jun. 16: The Film Club by David Gilmour
Jul. 21: 11 Days in December by Stanley Weintraub
Aug. 18: Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean
Sep. 15: All This Hell by Evelyn Monahan
Oct. 20: The Monk by Matthew Lewis
Nov. 17: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Dec. 15 : English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

King Book Club

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After her "stand-in mother" Rosaleen insults the three biggest racists in town, Lily Owens joins her on a journey to South Carolina where the duo are taken in by three African American bee-keeping sisters. Have you seen the movie? Visit King Library next Monday afternoon or evening and talk about it! Find a copy of the book or sound recording here.

Tool Loan Center

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Did you know that the City of Milwaukee has a tool loan program? For an annual fee of $35.00 (or only $25.00 for those 62 years and older) you can borrow a variety of hand and power tools.
The Tool Loan Center is located at 2500 W Capitol Dr and is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

For more information you can call (414) 449-0705. For more information on the Tool Loan Center check out this message from Alderman Hamilton.


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About this Archive

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

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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