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Menomonie Reads, our annual community-wide read, kicks off in January.  This year we’re reading Wisconsin author Michael Perry’s new collection of essays Montaigne in Barn Boots:  An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy.  Montaigne in Barn Boots weaves the thoughts of the Renaissance French thinker and father of the literary essay Michel de Montaigne into Perry’s own musings on a wide variety of topics.  The Perry wit shines through in all of these essays as Perry works his way through ideas from faith and marriage to art and sex with Montaigne looking over his shoulder.   The library will have ample copies of the book available for check-out as we kick off the reading January 2.  Other events include Perry himself speaking to us on February 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Memorial Student Union Ballroom Room 239 on the UW Stout campus.  On February 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the library, Monica Berrier, Professor of Philosophy at UW Stout will help us dive deeper into Montaigne’s philosophy and apply his practical words of wisdom to our own lives–both inside and outside the barn.  Menomonie Reads is made possible by financial support from the Friends of the Library.

Jim Swanson, outdoor writer and educator will be speaking about his many canoe adventures on January 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the library community room.  Jim has logged over 30 trips to the Boundary Waters, an 800 mile canoe trip in the arctic and has paddled the Red Cedar River enough to consider it part of his backyard.  Following Jim’s presentation join us for a discussion of the book Crossing the Driftless led by members of the Tainter Menomin Lake Improvement Association.

On January 27 at 1:00 p.m. in the library community room you are invited to meet the Chippewa Valley Local Authors group.  This is an open invitation to writers wishing to publish and market their own books.  The Chippewa Valley Local Authors formed in July 2015 in western Wisconsin under the direction of founding members, Jim Alf and Dennis Miller.  The organization is a collaboration of local published and emerging authors focused on enhancing exposure and awareness of their literary work in the Chippewa Valley.

There will be a panel discussion on writing and publishing in the Chippewa Valley

  • Ask the people who have written and published their writing.
  • Gain from the experience of successful authors.
  • All genres of creative writing represented.
  • Ask any question

 Steve Nelson – Moderator – Western Fiction

CeCelia Zorn – Young Adult Fiction

Sheila Wilkinson – Children’s Literature

Sandra Stanton – Self Help Non-Fiction

Have you ever heard of “speed friending?”  No?  If so, you’re not alone, neither have I.  Based on the concept of speed dating, speed friending works the same but you’re meeting people to make friends.  Based on successful trials at the Robert S. Swanson Library on the Stout campus we are giving it a try here on February 18 between 1 and 3:00 p.m.  You can drop in during that time and speed friend your way to meeting new friend.  Free and open to all ages.

Our regular winter film series on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. starts January 2 with The Beguiled.  In this series we show award-winning feature films you may not have seen in theaters.  Popcorn is free as always.  For a complete list of upcoming films check the events calendar on the library web site.

Our Sunday film series runs on the first and second Sundays of the month at 2:00 p.m.  In this series we are featuring adult action films.  Atomic Blonde is January 7 and Baby Driver is January 14.  For a complete list of upcoming films check the events calendar on the library web site.

Regular winter storytimes start January 9.

  • Learning Together for children birth and older with a caregiver or parent.
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00-10:30 a.m.
    • Wednesdays 9:30-10:00 a.m.
    • No registration required.
  • On My Own for children 3-5 years old
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:45-11:15 a.m.
    • Wednesdays 10:15-10:45
    • Children attend on their own.

Books and Beyond, the library’s popular book club for boys and girls in Kindergarten – 5th grade, meets weekly on Mondays at 4:15 p.m. starting January 8.

I hope you will visit the library to take advantage of one of these programs or to utilize our collection of books and media, log a computer session, or enjoy free wi-fi.  We’re here for you seven days a week:  M-Th 9am-9pm; Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 10am-5pm; and Sunday 1-5pm.