December 2013 Archives

Kipling's Birthday

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At the hole where he went in
Red-Eye called to Wrinkle-Skin.
Hear what little Red-Eye saith:
"Nag, come up and dance with death!"
Eye to eye and head to head,
(Keep the measure, Nag.)
This shall end when one is dead;
(At thy pleasure, Nag.)
Turn for turn and twist for twist--
(Run and hide thee, Nag.)
Hah! The hooded Death has missed!
(Woe betide thee, Nag!)

Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India on December 30, 1865. Perhaps best known for his children's classic The Jungle Book (1894), Kipling also wrote poetry, short stories and numerous novels. While Kipling's politics have long since become unpopular he is still much loved by children around the world for his tales of India.

50th Anniversary of Beatlemania!

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The Beatles arrive at Kennedy Airport in New York, early 1964. Photograph from the Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division

December 26th, 1963 was the official American release of the first two singles by The Beatles, although some sources state that their songs began playing on the radio much earlier. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became the first number one single for the Beatles on the American charts. The B-Side single, "I Saw Her Standing There" only rose to the #14 spot, but the Beatles were here to stay.

In the early years, the Beatles mainly appealed to the shrieking teenybopper set, but as time went on they evolved from a pop sensation into a true rock band, writing songs that reflected the radical cultural shifts occurring in the mid to late 1960s.

Although they broke up in 1970, the Beatles remain one of the most successful music groups of all time. Twenty of their singles reached the number one spot on Billboard's Hot 100, giving them the record for most number one hits and making them number one on Billboard's list of top 100 artists of all time.

The Milwaukee Public Library has a large collection of Beatles CDs, DVDs/VHS tapes, books and printed music. Be sure to check out a piece of history at your Milwaukee Public Library!

Late December programs at Central Library!

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Despite the Holiday Closings we mentioned yesterday, there are still plenty of fun activities to enjoy at Central Library during the next two weeks!

Adults, come knit or crochet the cold away at Skeins of Milwaukee on Saturday, December 28 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Mozart's Grove at Central Library.

Families will enjoy learning and playing together at Saturdays at Central, 10:30 a.m. in the Central Library Betty Brinn Children's Room:

  • December 21 - Polar Express Story Time - Enjoy a story time featuring The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and stay for a holiday-themed craft.

  • December 28 - Count Down to New Year's Eve - Say, "Goodbye 2013" and "Hello 2014," by ringing in the New Year with celebratory stories, songs, and rhymes!

Children ages 8 to 12 will learn and have fun with Saturday Afternoons at Central for 'Tweens at Central Library Betty Brinn Children's Room:

  • December 21, 12:00-2:00 p.m. - Chess for Kids - Intermediate - Kids already familiar with the game can enjoy an intermediate-level chess lesson on strategy, patterns and tactics with board puzzles and chess boards available for "open play."

  • December 28, 2:00-3:30 p.m. - LEGO Club - We provide the LEGOs and you provide the imagination! Join other LEGO enthusiasts for an afternoon of building based on a monthly theme. What will you build?

AND, on Fridays during Milwaukee Public Schools' Winter Recess, children ages 6 to 12 will have a blast with two MAD SCIENCE @ the Library! programs, from 2:00-3:00 p.m at Central Library Betty Brinn Children's Room. (Space is limited. Registration required, please call 414-286-3011 or register online at the links below.):

  • December 27 - Mad Science Presents Playing with Polymers - Explore the properties of polymers and make a batch of slime. Join Mad Science and their team of scientists for an interactive and hands-on workshop. Learn about scientific concepts and practices all while having fun. Each workshop is an hour and includes a take-home object.

  • January 3 - Mad Science Presents Science of Magic - Delve into the science behind the magician's secrets. Join Mad Science and their team of scientists for an interactive and hands-on workshop. Learn about scientific concepts and practices all while having fun. Each workshop is an hour and includes a take-home object.

Check out these and many other great programs @ Your Milwaukee Public Library on our Library events calendar!

Holiday Closings at Milwaukee Public Library

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Image by Zeus Box (Kuswanto)

All Milwaukee Public Libraries will be closed the following dates for the holiday season:

Sunday, December 22nd, Tuesday December 24th, and Wednesday, December 25th.

Sunday, December 29th, Tuesday December 31st, and Wednesday, January 1st, 2014.

You can view the content in our digital collections 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While we are closed, feel free to browse our collection of historic winter photos in the historic photo collection.

Happy Birthday Leonard Maltin

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maltinguide.jpegToday marks the 63rd birthday of one of America's great film critics, Leonard Maltin. Leonard is no stranger to the Milwaukee Public Library shelves, given the prolific nature of the man's work. His most famous work, his annual Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide contains concise reviews of thousands of movies. So concise, that he's even the Guinness World Record holder for shortest movie review. His review of 1948's Isn't It Romantic? is just one word: No.

For extra fun, why not try playing the Leonard Maltin Game at your holiday gathering. This game, made famous by the podcast Doug Loves Movies run by comedian Doug Benson, plays a lot like Name That Tune but with movies instead of songs. The rules are pretty simple. You'll need a moderator or host, and they'll either have a smartphone with the Leonard Maltin Guide app on it, or have checked out one of the library's many available copies of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.

Now on Doug's podcast he prepares categories for players to pick from, with witty names like 'Ferris Bueller's Off Day' (movies starring Matthew Broderick that Leonard gave 2 stars or less). It's also just as fun to flip to a random entry in the book and start giving the clues.

First, the star rating Leonard gave the movie (Leonard ranks movies Bomb to 4 stars). Second, the year it came out. Then, the moderator chooses a few bits from the review that don't completely give away what movie it is. Finally, give the number of names that Leonard lists as starring in the movie.

The first player then bids how many names (from the bottom of the billing, going up) it would take them to guess the movie. The next player then bids fewer names, or challenges the previous person to name the movie with the number of names they bid. The moderator says the number of names of the last bid (from the bottom, remember), and the player then tries to guess the title of the movie. A correct guess gets the player a point, an incorrect guess gets the player who challenged the bid a point. Play to two or three points, or until the fun wears thin. And don't forget to check out the book from your local MPL branch location!

Last Week For Teacher In The Library This Year

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Teacher in the library.jpgThis is the last week for the regularly scheduled Teacher in the Library program in 2013. This program will temporarily cease over the holidays, so take advantage of this program this week. In case you haven't heard about this wonderful service, here are the facts.

Teachers are available at selected libraries during after school hours from September-June to assist both students and parents with academic support and encouragement. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Check out the library's event calendar for information on times and locations.

Teachers will help students:
• focus
• use appropriate learning strategies
• find the best resources for completing their homework assignments
• find books appropriate for their reading level

Teachers will help parents:
• learn how to help their children at home with school assignments
• by answering questions they have regarding their child's homework

If you'd like to see the listing for Teacher in the Library in the children's programming calendar for spring, click here, and look at the final page.

Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment

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The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to find coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. Whether you're uninsured, or just want to explore your choices, the Marketplace is where to find coverage that's right for you.

Learn how to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace with the Affordable Care Act. Certified Application Counselors will be available to assist with exploring insurance options. No appointment is necessary.

Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment labs
Wednesdays from 3-5:30 p.m. through March 26, 2014
Central Library
Computer Training Room, 2nd floor

NEW! On Saturday, Dec. 14, the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) and Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) will continue a joint effort to offer insurance enrollment assistance to area residents by offering computer enrollment help from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Central Library Computer Room (814 W. Wisconsin Ave.). The additional hours have been added in advance of the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014.

Black Cinema Film Series - Strange Fruit

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Photo by William P. Gottlieb

In collaboration with Blk-Art, History & Culture, the Washington Park Library will present a Fall and Winter Film Series. Award-winning documentaries highlighting African American history and achievement will be presented with discussion sessions. Screenings are free and open to the public. The presentation is intended for adult audiences. No registration is required.

Strange Fruit is an examination of the anti-lynching protest song made famous by Billie Holiday. It reviews the historical events, contexts and incidents of racial hatred that the song's title represents. The film also follows the underlying problem of racism that continues into contemporary culture.

WHERE: Washington Park Library, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 18th, 6:00PM to 7:45PM

"Strange Fruit", sung by Billie Holiday, can be downloaded for free through Freegal Music, available to all adults who have a valid library card from Milwaukee Public Library (residents of the city of Milwaukee only).

Historic Recipes for the Holidays

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Photo by Alsis35 on Flickr

Ever want to eat Santa's Boots and Mittens? Or perhaps Santa's Whiskers? The answers lie right in Milwaukee Public Library's own Historic Recipes File, which is chock full of historical holiday delights to make this festive season. From Christmas Turtles to Holiday Squares to Chocolate Tutti Frutti Cake there should be something for every palate.

Find the great secrets of the Magic Surprise Fruitcake! Bake your own Winter Wonderland Cottage! Discover what exactly is a sugarplum (Spoiler alert: there are no plums involved in the making of this recipe)! And for those who prefer the emphasis on spirits in their holiday spirits, why not try the Rum Nog or Admiral Marshall's Eggnog?

These are just a few highlights of the collection's holiday recipes so take a peek today at the great content, including dozens upon dozens more fruitcake recipes!

Letter Knowledge College: Teaching the Alphabet

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ABC game.jpgThere is still time today to register for this free continuing education course for child care providers. In this class, attendees learn ways to help children recognize the differences between how letters look, their names, and their sounds while having fun. This class includes materials for you to make an activity for use in your classroom. Those who attend receive 1.5 continuing education credit hours.

Library: Washington Park
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Registration is required. Adults only; no children, no exceptions. Check-in begins 10 minutes prior to class start time so workshop can begin as scheduled. To receive credit, attendees must arrive on time.

Registration Ends: 12/10/2013 at 5:00 PM. To register, call Ready Reference at (414)286-3011.

Remembering Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

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Photo by South Africa The Good News

Today we remember the life of Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday after a lengthy illness. From 1994-1999, Mandela served as the first black president of South Africa after spending decades as a political prisoner and leader of the anti-apartheid freedom movement there. Current South African President Jacob Zuma, in announcing Mandela's passing, observed, "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."

You will find many books and media items about Nelson Mandela, including his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, at your Milwaukee Public Library. You may also be interested in learning about the apartheid system in South Africa that Mandela worked for decades to overturn or about the post-apartheid era, including the truth and reconciliation process to which Mandela was so committed.

Nelson Mandela's courage, dignity, and moral leadership inspired millions of people, not only in his home country, but across the continent of Africa and around the world.


Photo by jeffreyw

Being a library user has never been easier. You don't even have to come to the library to check things out. Learn about the power of your library card and how you can download magazines, music and books all for free.

We'll provide subs from Cousins Subs, chips and water. Feel free to bring additional munchies if you'd like. Doors open at noon. Lunch will be available starting at noon. Registration required. You can register online, or by calling Ready Reference at (414)286-3011.

Thank you to Cousins Subs for providing the sandwiches for our Lunch and Learn series.

Where: Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave
When: Wednesday, December 11th from 12:00PM-12:45PM.


Alamelu Vairavan, local cooking celebrity, cookbook author, and host of PBS' Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu, will be at the downtown Central Library this Saturday. Her most recent cookbook, Indian-Inspired Gluten-Free Cooking (co-authored with Dr. Margaret Pfeiffer), has been flying off the shelves, so don't miss this chance to see the talented Alamelu give a book talk and demonstration. She's even stated that there will be food samples for tasting!

Alamelu will speak at Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue, on Saturday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 1. Street parking is free on Saturdays. Time limits apply. (See signs on each block for details.)

Hello goodbye hello.jpgThe East Library Adult Book Club is meeting at Martin Luther King Library during East Library construction. This month the East Library Book Club discusses Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings by Craig Brown. There's still plenty of time to pick up your copy at the library and start reading. Registration is not required and new members are always welcome. We hope to see you there!

Library: Martin Luther King
Date: Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Be A World Book Night Giver!

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world book night 2014.jpg Want to be a World Book Night book giver on April 23, 2014, in support of literacy and community? It's Shakespeare's birthday and 25,000 volunteers will go out on one day and give a half million specially-printed paperbacks to light or non-readers across America. Apply to be a book giver! Go to, read up on the guidelines and list of books, and then apply!

This year, Milwaukee Public Library will act as a distribution center for people who sign up to be book givers. You can help by handing out the free books in your community on World Book Night. If you would like to be a part of the fun, simply go to the World Book Night website, choose three books you would like to hand out, and select the Central library as your distribution center. Deadline for applications is January 5th, 2014. Help us spread the love of reading throughout our community. Sign up to be a giver today!


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2013 is the previous archive.

January 2014 is the next archive.

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