Friday, June 28, 2013

180. Bloomer, WI, Public Library

The welcome here starts before you enter, with two very nice sculptures of kids reading (love the girl with her sandals beside her on the branch, bare feet dangling) and a very placid mallard duck sitting on a nest in the corner by the door. It's clear she's at home there and accustomed to the foot traffic nearby, as she didn't so much as twitch when we walked by.

A plaque inside says that this is formally the G. E. Bleskacek Family Memorial Library, built in 1987. I think communities are very fortunate when they have (had) someone who cared enough to ensure that they have a library.

There are summer reading programs for every age: The Rubber Ducky Club for infants through 35 months, Dig into Reading for age three through entering grade five, Tween 2 Teen for those entering sixth through 12th grade, and Groundbreaking Reads, a raffle for adults. The "Dig into Reading" theme is expressed in other ways, like a Mud Party! (sorry I missed that) and Worms & Mud! (not sorry that I missed the worms). There's also a Junior Gardeners program. This is clearly a library that is not afraid to dig in, at least on Tuesdays: "Book Bites: Children and caregivers, join us for a messy good time as we read stories and have some messy thematic fun. Wear old clothes or swim suits, and pack your towels and lunch! Water to wash off will be provided."

The inside of the library is fun, too. The children's area features a sturdy reading/playing loft. There are a few tables with chairs, a large soft chair, and some bean bags, plus a large TV for Wii games. Recorded books are showcased with a Seussian poster and rhyme: "On a train or on a plane, In the car, from near to far. Listen, listen, here they are!" Next to the service desk is a brown-paper volcano with red crepe paper lava flowing down its sides: Mount Biblioteca, erupting at a library near you. It's clear that this library has an energetic and creative staff.

The picture book shelves greet the user with a sign "Welcome to Picture Book Place." Picture books are shelved by topic, not by author. This practice seems very effective for a mid-sized collection. Spines are labeled with P for Picture Book and the category, for easy shelving: PANIMALS, PTRANSPORTATION, for example. And there is also a general category for those books that just will not be sorted. On the wall is a poster from the Indianhead Federated Library System that points out the scary statistic that a child who hears 11 million words per year knows about 1116 words by age 3, while a child who hears only 3 million words a year knows only about 525 words by age three. The message is clear: READ AND TALK TO KIDS!

OK, the library is for older patrons, also.  There are four public computers, a large window by a browsing area, YA books with the poster "US of YA," showing YA books with stories based in each of the 50 states. Adults can enter a raffle each time they read a book this summer. First prize, $100 gift card to Menards. Second and third prizes, $50 gift cards ditto. (For those not in this area, Menards is similar to Home Depot.)

The very good news about this library is that it's perhaps the busiest I've seen in my travels. The bad news is--it was so busy, I didn't have a chance to speak to anyone on staff. I left a note about this blog, and I hope it was found.

For more information, go to Do take a look.

6/28/2013, car, with NJ

See the raised flower bed by the door? The duck has her nest in the corner. Here's a duck from another year, with her ducklings, thanks to Meagan. A bit more of the story is in the Comments below.

And here is this year's Quackers with her second brood, recently hatched. Doesn't she look proud of herself?! Thanks, Meagan!


  1. Hi Ellen,

    I'm sorry it was so busy you were unable to speak with any of us. We all loved your post about our library!

    The duck actually moves in to that spot almost every spring and has one to two nests full of little ones. She's on her second nest for this year.

    The statues that you mentioned were donated by our Friends Group a couple of years ago.

    Again thank you for your lovely comments and visit.

  2. Does your duck have a name? How do you know it's the same duck? Where and how does she get her family to water? I assume it's a scene out of Make Way for Ducklings! If you have a picture of her, and you sent it to me, I'd be happy to add it to the post. You could send it to (Yes, I should have taken a picture when I was there. Mea culpa!)


    1. The following was received via email from Bloomer staff. The picture has been added to the post. EM


      We don't actually know that it is the same duck, but we assume that it is or maybe it is one of the babies that has be hatched over the years.

      In 2010 we had a name the duck contest and the winning name was (drum roll)

      Quackers (which wasn't a big surprise).

      I've included a picture of Quackers with her babies from a previous year. This is also the attachment.

      There are several creeks, streams, and a lake nearby that she could go to. We're not sure which one she picks. But usually when she goes across the street it is early morning and someone comes in later during the day to tell us they stopped traffic so that she and the babies could cross whichever street she chooses (usually it seems that she heads towards the elementary school.


Comments are welcomed, and I will generally respond to them. Please be tasteful; comments that are in poor taste will be deleted.
Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.