Sunday, January 26, 2014

New intern at the library

New intern Matthew Knutson on his first day at the Augusta Public Library
There's a new face at the Augusta Public Library: Matthew Knutson will be interning here every Friday and Saturday during his spring semester.

Matthew was born and raised in Eau Claire and, true to his roots, is a student at UWEC. He's currently a senior with a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Library Media; he'll complete his library internship in June, and he anticipates graduating in December 2014.

Books were what drew Matthew to his Library Media minor. "I have always enjoyed reading and the feeling of being surrounded by books," he explained. "When the high school counselor said to take what I like most and look at career applications, this seemed like a good choice."

The internship will provide Matthew with a lot of valuable hands-on training for working in a library, but he especially looks forward to, in his words, "meeting and getting to know other avid readers."

The staff of the library is pleased to welcome Matthew, and we're glad to be among the many avid readers whose acquaintance he'll make during his sojourn here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014



Monday, January 20, 2014


Don't forget the Superhero Storytime at the library on January 24 at 1:00 p.m.! This fun Family Storytime will feature stories and activities involving superheroes. Like all library Storytimes, this event is free and open to the public. (Please note that children should be accompanied by parents or guardians at the Storytimes.)

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Youth Librarian Cassie Banaszak at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1000 Books and Lots of Stories

Alexander displays some of the many books he's read.
Most four-year-olds love reading stories; unlike most four-year-olds, Alexander can prove exactly how much he loves it. Alexander recently completed the “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program at the Augusta Public Library, which began in September through a “Building Readers” mini-grant from the Wisconsin Department of Education.

On January 9, Alexander claimed his prize for reading 1000 books. It was, of course, a book: No Kisses Please by Hans Wilhelm.

In addition to the “Building Readers” program, the Augusta Public Library offers many other educational opportunities for youngsters like Alexander. These include the annual Summer Reading Program and special events throughout the year, and children can attend a Preschool Storytime at the library every Friday from 9:30 to about 10:30 a.m.

Youth Librarian Cassie Banaszak plans each Storytime around a different author or theme, incorporating a variety of activities as well the stories themselves. She works hard to make her programs fun as well as educational. “If the Storytimes aren’t interesting for me, they’re not going to be interesting for the children,” she observed.

Alexander is a frequent Preschool Storytime participant. When asked what he likes best about the Storytimes, he replied, logically enough, “Books!”

His mother, Cathryn, also appreciates the educational aspect of the Storytimes. “It’s great because he learns stuff,” she remarked.
Alexander poses with Toby the Library Dog and his mom Cathryn in the Storytime Room.

The Preschool Storytimes are free and open to the public, as are all Augusta Public Library programs. They will take place almost every Friday through April 10, with the exceptions of January 24 and March 21.

On January 24, the library won’t offer the regular morning Preschool Storytime; instead, it will host a Superhero-themed Family Storytime from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. There will also be a special program on March 20. Please note that all children should be accompanied by parents or guardians when attending library events.

Anyone interested in more information can call the Augusta Public Library at (715) 286-2070 or send an e-mail to

(This article also appears in the January 15, 2014, issue of the Augusta Area Times.)

Cassie reads to Alexander as Cathryn looks on.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Young Architects' Seventh Creation

Joe and Storm present their seventh creation, The Side of Awesomeness.

Preschool Storytimes are back in session!

If you have a preschooler (or multiple preschoolers) and some hours to fill on Friday mornings, the Preschool Storytime is for you! Each session features fun, age-appropriate stories and activities related to a specific author or theme. Best of all, the Preschool Storytimes are free and open to the public.

Preschool Storytimes take place in the library every Friday from 9:30 a.m. to about 10:30 a.m. Don't worry if you can't make it every week; all children and parents are welcome to attend whenever their schedules permit. Please note that all children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the Storytimes.

There will be no Preschool Storytime on January 24 due to a Family Storytime at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon, which all children are welcome to attend. There will also be no Storytime on March 21; instead, there will be a special program on March 20.

If you have questions or would like more information about the Preschool Storytimes, please contact Youth Librarian Cassie Banaszak at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Superhero Storytime

Calling all Superheroes! There's a Storytime coming up that's just for you. You'll hear stories about Superheroes, make a Superhero mask, and even run a Superhero obstacle course.

The Superhero Storytime will take place on Friday, January 24, at 1:00 p.m. in the Augusta Public Library. It's free and open to any child who's interested. (Please note that all participating children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.)

If you have questions or would like more information, you can e-mail Youth Librarian Cassie Banaszak at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January Book Club Selection: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie


The Augusta Library Book Club for Adults discussed The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis at their January 8 meeting. In general, members seemed fairly ambivalent about this book; while most agreed that it was well-written, especially given that it was the author's first novel, many considered the characters to be too unsympathetic, their lives too bleak, and their stories too loosely connected.

Nevertheless, it generated lively discussion on several fronts: what motivated some of the characters and to what degree their hardships exonerated their poor decisions; how some of their relationships might have evolved in other circumstances; how much a role race played in the unfolding of their stories; and how Hattie's treatment of her children compared to real families' treatment of children at the time.

Overall, while The Twelve Tribes of Hattie probably wouldn't rank among most members' favorite books, most seemed to consider it worth reading.

The Book Club's next meeting will take place in the library at 6:30 p.m. on February 12. Members will discuss The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian. Copies have been ordered for current Book Club members, but people interested in reading and discussing The Sandcastle Girls can either request the book on their own accounts or contact the library to have a copy requested for them.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014