Sunday, November 17, 2013


Are you A) craft-oriented B) cheap C) in desperate need of Christmas gifts or D) one or more of the above?

If so, you might want to attend the DIY Gifts workshop at the Augusta Public Library on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 4:00 p.m. You'll get a plethora of gift ideas as well as a plethora of websites with yet ANOTHER plethora of gift ideas.

No one you know need go ungifted this Christmas, and YOU need not go broke in gifting them!

Questions? Contact Samma Johnson at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Children's letters to Santa generally go unanswered, but not this year! From November 25 through December 14, children may drop a letter in Santa's special mailbox at the circulation desk at the Augusta Public Library.

Children will receive responses during the week of December 16.

Please limit letters to one per child and provide the child's full name and mailing address in order to receive a reply.

For more information, please contact Youth Librarian Cassie Banaszak at (715) 286-2070 or
Great House

The Augusta Public Library's Adult Book Club (again, just to clarify, Book Club that's FOR adults, not one that reads adult books) discussed Great House by Nicole Krauss at their last meeting. This is the book's summary as posted on Goodreads:

Great House
A powerful, soaring novel about a stolen desk that contains the secrets, and becomes the obsession, of the lives it passes through. For twenty-five years, a solitary American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet's secret police; one day a girl claiming to be his daughter arrives to take it away, sending her life reeling. Across the ocean in London, a man discovers a terrifying secret about his wife of almost fifty years. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer is slowly reassembling his father's Budapest study, plundered by the Nazis in 1944.

These worlds are anchored by a desk of enormous dimension and many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or give it away. In the minds of those it has belonged to, the desk comes to stand for all that has disappeared in the chaos of the world-children, parents, whole peoples and civilizations. Nicole Krauss has written a hauntingly powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.

While the summary was intriguing, most Book Club members found the novel decidedly less so. The general consensus was that while the novel wasn't without merit--it had some poetic passages and psychological insights (there was a fairly intense discussion about what kind of spiritual pain the desk might represent)--it had, in the words of one member, "way too many words." The novel was so (unnecessarily) lengthy that most Book Club members found it difficult to get through; in fact, several didn't finish it. The novel's cast of joyless, alienated, generally unlikeable characters did nothing to make reading Great House any more enjoyable.

If you're in the mood for some heavy but insightful reading, you might be interested in Great House. If not, though, you might enjoy the December selection, A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg. This book is sweet, seasonal, and (best of all) short.

Copies of A Cup of Christmas Tea are available at the library's front desk. The Book Club will be discussing it on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Augusta Library. The Book Club is free, and new members are always welcome.

Please contact the library at (715) 286-2070 or if you would like more information.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Be faithful to your library!

Do you really love the Augusta Public Library? Do you REALLY want to help it out but don't have a lot of time or money to dedicate to the cause? Good news--there's an incredibly easy way to help your library with absolutely NO time or money required from you! All you have to do is remain faithful to your library.

Most people don't realize that if they have an Augusta Public Library card, any time they go to another library and check out materials, our library is charged $2.00 to $3.50 per item. It may not sound like much, but consider this: Say you're out shopping in Eau Claire, and you swing by the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. You grab two books from New Arrivals, three movies, and four or five children's books. As a result, the Augusta Public Library gets charged more than $25.00.

"But wait," you may ask. "What if Augusta doesn't have what I want? Am I doomed to read only the books within its walls?"

Never fear! You still have access to any item in the MORE Consortium (the group of Wisconsin libraries to which Augusta's library belongs). Ordering is simple and can be done either at the library itself or in the comfort of your own home. Simply go to the website and search for the item you want. You have many search options (title, author, subject, etc.), and you can limit the search to one library or search everything in the system.

When you find the title you want, click the "Request Now" button, then enter your name and library card number. Make sure to select "Augusta" for your pickup location; otherwise, your item might accidentally be sent to Amery or Baldwin.

If you're having trouble with the site or don't have Internet access, you can always call the library during its normal hours, and a staff member will gladly help you order the item you want.

Ordering items and having them delivered to the Augusta Public Library is easy, convenient, and best of all, OUR LIBRARY DOESN'T GET CHARGED FOR THEM. You might have to sacrifice a little instant gratification if you find something in Eau Claire that you really, really want, but hey--you've just helped the library!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Paranormal activity at the Augusta Public Library

Author and paranormal investigator Terry Fisk speaks at the Augusta Public Library.
Halloween may be over, but patrons at the Augusta Public Library were able to revisit its eeriness when paranormal investigator and author Terry Fisk spoke there on November 6. Fisk covered many of his experiences while researching unexplained phenomena, and he shared numerous stories about allegedly haunted locations throughout Wisconsin.

Fisk was inspired to begin his unusual career when a picture his brother took of him in a cemetery revealed a strange white shape hovering above him. Fisk was puzzled because the camera had never created such an anomaly before, so he took the image to many different experts in order find an explanation for it. No one who saw it, not even the most ardent skeptic, was able to adequately account for the odd white shape.

Although Fisk has never gotten to explanation he sought, he did come up with something better; in the course of his research, he made the acquaintance of paranormal investigator Chad Lewis. The two men teamed up to conduct their research into unexplained phenomena. Over the years, their collaboration has yielded numerous TV and radio projects as well as a website,

Although the pair generally brings equipment on their investigations, Fisk said, “I usually rely more on psychics and mediums than on cameras; they provide so much more detail.”

He’s worked with several, among them Allison DuBois, who inspired the TV show Medium. Fisk cited several examples of eerily accurate information DuBois provided about sites she had never previously visited and people she had never previously met.

Lewis and Fisk’s investigative work has required them to travel to numerous allegedly haunted sites, many of which were in obscure locations that were difficult to find. Fisk recalled that after getting lost so often, “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there were a road guide to haunted locations?’ Then we realized that WE could write it.”

That thought led to the Road Guide to Haunted Locations series, each book of which features an array of reputedly haunted sites in a different state as well as the results of Lewis and Fisk’s investigations into them. The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations was among the first they wrote, and Fisk’s presentation covered many of the sites the pair investigated.

Among those sites was the Green Eyes Bridge in Augusta, where numerous people claim to have witnessed glowing green eyes. When Lewis and Fisk investigated these claims, they found glow worms that seemed to account for the sightings, although Fisk did point out that many witnesses claimed to have seen the eyes in winter, when the glow worms wouldn’t be active.

Fisk’s extensive investigations have convinced him that “there’s something to” claims of supernatural activity. “It’s the one universal belief,” he explained. “In every culture throughout history, there have been stories about ghosts.”

It’s not just anthropology that convinces Fisk, though. When interviewing people about their sightings, he observed, “You could tell they weren’t making it up; their hands would be shaking, and they would be clearly terrified. I’ve had some strange things happen myself. Sometimes my wife thinks I bring my work home with me” because of strange phenomena they’ve experienced in their house.

In one case, both he and his wife were in their living room when they witnessed a glowing orange orb and saw a heavy door swing open on its own.

Lewis and Fisk wrote the Road Guide series so that people interested in supernatural phenomena would know where to begin fulfilling their curiosity. However, Fisk recommends not going to the haunted sites alone. “If something does happen, you want someone else there so you know you’re not crazy.”

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet tells his friend, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Anyone listening to Fisk’s presentation would most likely agree.

Terry Fisk speaks about his work with medium Allison DuBois, pictured on the screen.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Get ready to get ghostly...


If you're suffering from post-Halloween boredom and still needing some supernatural excitement in your life, never fear--Terry Fisk is almost here. Among many other things, Fisk is a paranormal investigator, a noted authority on death and the afterlife, a shamanic Buddhist practitioner, co-host of The Unexplained radio show, and director of The Unexplained television series. He also co-wrote many books about unexplained phenomena, among them the Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations. He'll be coming to the Augusta Library tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 6) at 6:00 p.m. to talk about paranormal activity in Wisconsin. We hope to see you there for an eerily entertaining evening!

Please contact the library at or (715) 286-2070 if you would like more information.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Holiday Bazaar Features a Variety of Local Artists and Vendors

Joanne Vest sells an array of bags, purses, and wallets at the Holiday Bazaar
A variety of local artists and vendors displayed their wares at a Holiday Bazaar at the Augusta High School on Saturday, November 2. Shoppers could find everything from jewelry to cleaning products to knitted scarves as they browsed through a wide array of products. Along the way, they could also make donations to the Augusta Public Library and to a fund that helps breast cancer patients. They could also purchase a delectable array of baked goods from students who were raising money for FCCLA. It was a great way to support local businesses and organizations while getting some Christmas shopping done in the process.
Artists and vendors who participated in the Holiday Bazaar were: Ken Dunlap of Ken's Scrollsaw Creations; Karen Luedtke of Karen's Unique Collectibles; Kris Crowe of Out of My Gourd Creations; Marty Rugotzke, Jean Peissig, and Mary Hoferman selling a variety of homemade fleece , quilt, and glass products; Emily Patton selling Scentsy products; Mary LaRose and her niece selling homemade jewelry and raising funds for breast cancer patients; Andrea of Designs by Andrea selling homemade jewelry; Kelly (Beenken) Austad selling Mary Kay products; Judy Dorf of Jazzy Jewels selling original jewelry creations; Jeannie and Mark Hofer selling goat milk products, homemade jewelry, and taking appointments for Healing Hands Reflexology; Judy Huettel selling Norwex cleaning products; Jean Roles selling a variety of knit products; Pat Gabler of Whispering Winds Art Gallery; Joanne Vest selling a variety of bags, purses, and wallets; Sugi Nelsen selling an array of quilted products; Berogin Nelson of Berogi's Paracord with her husband Chris of Portraits by Chris; Amanda Johnson selling Jamberry nail products; and Pam Baader of Decorations to Go. Karen Winter-Norris provided information about the Friends of the Library organization and took donations for it. Megan Palomaki and Taylor Opperman sold baked goods on behalf of FCCLA.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Time to write!!

The first NaNoWriMo Write-In is tomorrow!!! Come to the library any time during normal Saturday hours to bond with fellow writers as you begin your novel writing journey.

Questions? Contact Samma Johnson at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.