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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.

New Research Databases at the Library

Kelly Timmerman-Circulation Clerk, West Salem 2/14/19

It’s common knowledge that the library is a community’s one-stop shop for the latest books, movies, and music. However, even regular users may not realize that their library cards provide access to an abundance of electronic resources; and just as our physical collections continue to grow and expand, so does the number of online materials patrons can access. In fact, the La Crosse County Library system has recently acquired three new online resources for patron use: Ancestry, Mango Languages, and ReferenceUSA.

First launched in 1996, “[brings] together science and self-discovery [to help] everyone, everywhere discover the story of what led to them.” It is one of the world’s premier genealogy databases, with an average of two million records added to its catalog each day. Users can search for family history with collections focused on immigration, military, and annual census data, or even make an account to create and save individual family trees. Beyond basic genealogy searches, the site now also offers researchers guidance through Ancestry Academy – a collection of expert-developed instructional videos that help improve users’ understanding of historical records as well as their ability to successfully find the information they need. By continually updating and expanding its information, Ancestry hopes to “give everyone a greater sense of identity, relatedness, and their place in the world.” (Please note that is available for use in-library only.)

With over 71 languages from which to choose, running the gamut from Arabic to Yiddish, Mango offers users the ability to study language without limits. “Lessons include strategically placed memory-building exercises to help users remember what they are learning in addition to critical thinking exercises, which help them to intuitively understand the language and adapt it to similar conversations.” In addition to its core language-teaching courses, Mango provides classes on special areas of cultural interest including medical Spanish, French wine and cheese, and Russian slang (just to name a few), as well as access to over 20 feature-length foreign language films. And, because the software is available on any device with an internet connection, you can take Mango with you on long trips or sneak in a quick session while finishing your laundry on a Sunday afternoon at home.

ReferenceUSA provides access to millions of business and consumer records. Explore information on jobs and internships through the site’s partnership with, which combines a “state-of-the-art mapping tool…with detailed business profiles.” Or, find the best-qualified physician for your family using the healthcare database. Looking to start a new business or find economic information for a school project? Utilize ReferenceUSA’s market research on consumers and new businesses. If you need to save a search for future use, simply create an account with your own unique profile. The website also provides webinars, training guides, and videos to help users get the most out of their search.

If you’re interested in using one of these (or our many other) online resources, simply go to the homepage. Have questions on the best way to implement them in your research? Contact any one of our branches for extra assistance.




Judy Brodale-circulation clerk at Holmen Public Library

As we start out the month of February, I can’t help but realize how many holidays and events occur during the month with the least amount of days in it. From Groundhog Day to Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day in between, not to mention the Super Bowl, plus it is Black History month, there always seems to be something going on and no time to relax.
Unless, of course, you come to the library and check out some of your favorite books, magazines, or videos. You can even sit by the cozy fireplace and read a bit before checking out. What is even better is that you can win a little prize just for reading. Our “Hot Reads for Cold Nights” program is going on until March 2nd. All you need to do is grab a handout at the circulation desk, read the books you were going to check out anyway, write them down and when the handout is complete, and bring it back to us. You earn a small prize, plus get automatically entered in a drawing to win a $50 dollar Wal-Mart card. Pretty easy, huh?
So whether you like the romance novels of Nora Roberts, the mystery novels of Lee Childs and Michael Connelly, or if you’re like me and like the suspense thrillers of Paul Cleave and Dean Koontz, you can stop by the library and check out our “Hot Reads for Cold Nights” program, curl up with a good book, and just relax!
You can come to any of our five La Crosse County Locations in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska, West Salem.


2019 Award-winning Books For Children

Karen Kroll, Youth Services Coordinator for La Crosse County Library (all 5 branches) 1- 31-2019

Drum roll, please! The 2019 award-winning books for children have been announced!
This is always an exciting time for those of us in library youth services, when the American Library Association announces the best of the best of youth books. Which they did. On Monday, January 28. At 10:00 am. Excitement reigns in the youth book-lovers’ world!
These books win awards for a reason – they are fabulous. Sometimes they’re just great entertainment, and sometimes reading them can be a life-altering experience. It’s not just kids who read them -- adults: I’m guaranteeing that these books will nourish your reading soul. They’re that good.
This year’s time-honored Newbery Award, given for the children’s literature since 1922, went to books that transport readers to other times and cultures. The top award went to Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina. Merci’s Cuban American family works hard to send her to a private school. She struggles socially, worries about hiding her wandering eye, and is upset about her beloved grandfather’s struggle with dementia.
The sparkling illustrations of Hello Lighthouse,by Sophie Blackall won the Caldecott Award, with a story told from the lighthouse’s point of view.
There are more exciting awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award for African American books, the Printz Award for young adult literature, the Schneider Family Book Award for books highlighting the disability experience, the Batchelder Award for translated books, the Sibert award for informational book, the Stonewall Award for books relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience, and the Geisel Award for beginning readers, and more.
I was delighted when Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram, won the Morris Award for new authors AND the Asian/Pacific American Award! Sometimes, you find a book, and it’s just…you, you know? So what would I, an old librarian, have to do with teen-age Darius, from a Persian-American family? Well, he enjoys the art of making tea. (Yes! I actually have a room in my house that I call… ahem, the “Tea Room.”) He calls the tea-boiler at his job “Smaug,” because he is a Tolkien fan. (Okay, in hobbit heaven, here.) And -- here it gets really good – he is a Trekkie, watching an episode every night with his dad. (Who would do that? Are you looking at me?) Also, as a person who loves to travel the world, but who likely will never make it to Iran, I loved having this window into Persian family life.
What this book is really about is bullied Darius being uncomfortable with his Persian heritage, traveling to Iran to meet his dying grandfather, and meeting a Ba’hai boy who teaches him about real friendship. It made me both laugh and cry. (Lots of laughing, which is important. If a book can make me laugh out loud, it’s worth its weight in gold.)
All of these winners and more can be found on display at the La Crosse County Libraries in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska and West Salem. Or check us out at
Speaking of boldly going where no one has gone before (sorry, the Star Trek thing again), that’s what I’m doing now. Well, at least I’m going where I, personally, have never gone before: I am retiring. By the time you read this I’ve already embarked on that journey. I am more than a little sad to leave the excitement of being the Youth Services Coordinator for La Crosse County Library for the past 29 years. I’ll miss my awesome coworkers and my beautiful library children and their families. I have watched those little children grow up, and then bring children of their own to my story times about dragons, and tiger pancakes, and three little pigs in life-size pig houses.
I try to remember the words of a character in a book by Ray Bradbury. In Death Is a Lonely Business, a character says there is only one way we can try to win out over Death. We can only live one life, he says, so to cheat Death, he lives multiple lives. Don’t just do one thing. Do many things. Multiple lives.
So here comes another one of those multiple lives for me. Good-bye! And…I miss you already.
































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