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Most items can be requested. If an item you are interested in is not available at your library, ask your librarian to request it or click on the blue "CATALOG" button above to search the catalog and place your own request.


Senior Moments Summer Lineup

Aimee Hackbarth

La Crosse County Library - Onalaska Public Library

June 8, 2018

La Crosse County Library’s popular adult program series, “Floyde’s Senior Moments” is returning for a summer session!

Starting July 11th and running through August 1st, you are invited to attend any or all of our four “over 50” events. Come and listen to our wonderful speakers as they talk about local history and traditions, geographical landmarks and other interesting topics. These fun, informative programs take place at our Onalaska Library every Wednesday at 10 am and last about an hour. Refreshments will be served.

On July 11th our kickoff speaker, La Crescent teacher and author John Steffes, will talk about the historic Armistice Day Blizzard. This ferocious and deadly blizzard occurred in November, 1940. As the day of the storm was unseasonably warm, it was very unexpected. Many, including a great number of duck hunters taking advantage of the warm day, were trapped and in need of rescue. John Steffes’s book “Wings in the Wind” was based on his father’s frightening experience that day.

We will be hosting local historian, Kevin Alderson, on July 18th. He will share his knowledge about the early African American settlers in Vernon County. The cultural and historical significance of this settlement, Cheyenne Valley, as well as the accomplishments of these settlers will be explored.

North of Sparta stands a beautiful, sparkling sculpture built of concrete and shards of glass. July 25th, Norma Schmig, will be here to talk about this landmark, The Wegner Grotto. The history and her familial connection to the Grotto, affectionately known as The Glass Church, will be discussed.

At our final summer event on August 1st , we will be joined by River Valley Raptors and Falcons of the Driftless. Learn about these incredible native birds and how we can help with their conservation. Don’t forget your camera, as there will be live raptors!

We look forward to seeing you at these educational, fun and free programs generously funded by the Ben C. Sias and Floyde J. Sias Library Trust.


Artemis by Andy Weir

Cora Lessard
La Crosse County Library-Holmen Area Library
May 31, 2018

Summer is nearly here, bringing with it a long season of barbeques, family trips, parades and more. If you're like me, a book is an essential companion on these outings or trips, whether you're at the beach relaxing or passing the time in the car. A book I read recently that I would definitely recommend for those dog days of summer is Andy Weir's Artemis.

The author of the 2011 sci-fi hit and survival story The Martian for his latest novel instead takes readers further into the future to the first colony on the moon, "Artemis." Named after the Greek goddess of the hunt and composed of five interconnected domed habitats or "bubbles" further graced by the names of famous astronauts, Artemis is a cosmopolitan city home to 2,000 residents and Earth tourists alike, including our protagonist: 26-year-old Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara. Not unlike Martian's snarky and witty protagonist Mark Watney, Jazz Bashara similarly finds herself in a major bind requiring various scientific improvisations. Unable to make an adequate and legitimate income that would allow her to escape near-homelessness after failing a critical test to become a tour guide on moonwalks, Jazz instead moonlights as a smuggler to pay the bills. Therefore, when she receives a job offer from Norwegian billionaire Trond Landvik to sabotage lunar mining company Sanchez Aluminum in order to pass ownership onto himself, she cannot resist an opportunity to better her circumstances. Not to mention that she would gain major brownie points for helping her client control access to the mining and refining of a substance found only on the moon instrumental in the manufacture of a critical new telecommunications technology.

However, like in The Martian, things quickly go south for Jazz when she accidentally uncovers two murders connected to her initial sabotaging of Sanchez Aluminum mining equipment, including that of her billionaire patron. To make things worse, the assassins are part of a Brazilian crime syndicate and are after her as well as part of a quickly unfolding conspiracy where the power struggle over control of the lucrative Sanchez Aluminum company threatens to destroy Artemis itself.

To survive the assassins after her and save Artemis, Jazz relies on her wits and street smarts along with a diverse cast of characters of friends and foes alike: her estranged father Amarr, business associates Kelvin Otieno and Jin Chu, quirky European Space Agency research scientist Svoboda, tour guides Bob and Dave, her billionaire patron's daughter Lene Sandvik, Artemisian Administrator Fidelis Ngugi, Sanchez Aluminum owner Loretta Sanchez, and Artemis head of security Rudy DuBois. Like The Martian, Artemis is a fast-paced, fun-filled ride perfect for a general audience as well as sci-fi junkies alike, with a cast of intriguing characters, a healthy dose of geopolitical intrigue, and a science-driven story.

At the climax, we find Jazz racing against time to save Artemis from a deadly overdose of chloroform introduced into Artemis's air supply from her own deliberate sabotage of the Sanchez Aluminum smelter. Can she save Artemis in time? Read to find out!

To check-out or request Artemis and other materials, as well as to find information about library programs and services, check out the La Crosse County Libraries website at or visit any of our locations in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska, and West Salem.


Sportacular Summer

Karen Kroll
Youth Services - La Crosse County Library
May 24, 2018

Hundreds of students enter their school gym. Before them is a large, painted backdrop festooned with colored lights, an arched sign declaring “Wheel of Reading!”, a mini basketball hoop, an upside down bicycle, a “Wheel of Fortune”-style secret message, a scoreboard, and more. A visitor from La Crosse County Library is there, darting about the entering audience, selecting one volunteer here, a few more there, and then spiriting the volunteers away behind the backdrop. The students settle in their seats, excitedly murmuring in anticipation. They know they are about to be treated to high entertainment, as they see a dramatic, slam-bang library presentation at this time every year. The excited voices quiet as the library visitor, her back to them at first, whips around, and with arms pointing and face grinning, strides across the stage and intones into the microphone:
“Look at this school! Filled with fabulous kids! Full of fabulous…stuff: A mysterious gameboard… strange sports equipment…and a spinning wheel that looks suspiciously like an upside-down bicycle. And even a ‘Secret Prize’?”

“Yes, ladies and gentlemen, as you fantastically smart kids have probably guessed, THIS is the super, the stupendous, the surreal, ‘Sportacular Summer…’” And then the library visitor – either myself or one of our other Youth Services staff -- pushes the pedal on the upside-down, light-bedecked bike, and the clicking wheel spins, a bright arrow attached to the spokes, as we finish … “Wheel! Of! Reading!” Game Show!” I tell them I am their game show host, Coach Karen. At other schools the scene is repeated, with “Coach Carol” and “Coach Katherine” doing presentations.

And so begins this year’s summer library program promotional school visits by La Crosse County Library to over 6,000 area school children. Teachers and students alike say they look forward to it every year. “What are we doing this year?” the students query me excitedly as I haul in load after load of props from the County van and trek them down the halls to the gym. It’s a lot of fun for our Youth services staff, and boy, is it worth it! The kids come flocking to the library to sign up for the summer program every year, sometimes that very same day after school.

This year’s presentation features a game show format, with the student body divided into three teams: the “Frogs,” the “Cows,” and the “Chimpanzees,” complete with appropriate team cheers (“Gimme a ribbit!). Some volunteers become pompom-shaking cheerleaders and a whistle-blowing referee. Others, including both students and teachers, became contestants, spinning the (bicycle) wheel of reading, answering questions about sports and the library, and playing “Hot Shot” games in which they have to putt a golf ball with their eyes closed, make a basket while standing backwards, or twirl a hula hoop around their neck. Then there is one more important volunteer: the feather-boa clad “Banana White,” who uncovers letters on the board to reveal an important message. The audience plays along, cheering for their team (“Moo!” “Hoo-hoo, ha-ha!”), and calling out “Wheel Of! Reading!” each time the wheel is spun. Extra delight is taken in cheering for their teachers, especially when they have to shoot a basket or twirl the hula hoop.

Through the contestants’ questions, the audience learns that they can all “play” the “Sportacular Reading Game” at La Crosse County Library this summer, writing down books they read to earn a wide variety of motivational prizes: free meal certificates and bowling games, sports tattoos and small toys, and playing weekly “Hot Shot” games. They also learn that they can earn “Sportacular Trading Cards” to spend at the Library’s Pro Shop, and that Grades 7-12 can win big by reading books in the annual “Teen Reading Raffle.”

More questions deal with “Designer and Author Galleries,” in which they can design a game or playground or write a story, for which we ask, “This year, what can your story for the library be about?: ‘a. Students taking over the school; or b. Sports or games.’” The answer is “b”, but the humorous boos of the students to it not being “a” always prompts me to add, “But if you want to write about kids playing games…WHILE they take over the school, that’s okay, too,” after which good-natured cheering ensues.

The great library events come up as well: a former world yo-yo champion, the science of sport,s and many more quality entertainers for all, as well as Rookies story time, All Stars Lunch Bunch, and Major League Library Club, and Teen Nights.

The climax arrives when Banana reveals the message and the audience yells the message out: “Sportacular Summer!”, and the “Secret Prize” is revealed to be two bicycles (donated by the fabulous Friends of the Onalaska Library) that participants can try to win in a drawing.

Banana White and I also reveal that sign-up for all the free fun starts Tuesday, May 29. Then we all cheer for their teams, for their school, and for reading at La Crosse County Library! To find out more visit us at our locations in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska, or West Salem.









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