Friday, April 4, 2014

Sun Prairie Public Library patrons now have free access to Consumer Reports online, the website of Consumer Reports magazine. Smart shoppers can save money by checking consumer reviews, product rankings, and product comparisons for the best and most reliable products. The website provides searchable, full-text copies of the monthly Consumer Reports magazine. In addition, it also gives access to exclusive online-only reviews, videos, and other information for thousands of products. can be accessed from the Databases tab at, both within the library and remotely by Sun Prairie cardholders.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mark Loftus Woodcarving Display

 Mark Loftus started woodcarving thirteen years ago.  His dad, Milo, who was in his 80s, was taking a carving class through MATC.  He told Mark that he was going to quit because he didn't like driving at night.  Mark suggested that he could pick up his dad after work and they could both take lessons.  They carved together regularly until his father's death.

 Mark bought a dried gourd at a farmer's market about ten years ago.  It sat in his workshop for several years collecting dust until his wife, Barb, asked if he was ever going to do anything with it.  He took the hint and wood burned and painted it.  They both liked the result and Mark has done several dozen since then.

Mark's words of advice are to find something that you enjoy and get a good teacher.  You never know where it might lead you.  He now has pieces in collections throughout the United States and several foreign countries.

Mark will be donating art pieces to the Sun Prairie Public Library Spring Gala again this year.   The Gala will take place on April 26, and Mark encourages you to join the fun!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sun Prairie Genealogy

Attention Sun Prairie genealogists! 
Sun Prairie Depot

Have you ever searched the Sun Prairie Death List only to find a page number in the search results that doesn’t link to anything?  The library now has a digital copy of the obituaries attached to those page numbers available for public use, courtesy of the Sun Prairie Historical Museum.  For access to those obits, please inquire at the Information Desk.

For another terrific resource on Sun Prairie genealogy compiled by local historian, Clem Batz, visit

Monday, June 10, 2013

Jan Holmes Awarded Paralibrarian of the Year Award

We are happy to announce that Jan Holmes, Computer Technician, has received the Wisconsin Library Association distinction of Paralibrarian of the Year!  As such, Jan receives free tuition towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree at UWM through their School of Information Science.  This award recognizes the essential role of paralibrarians in providing excellent library service in Wisconsin and places special emphasis on efforts to further the role of paralibrarians and library support staff in the library profession.  Jan has been working at the library for over 20 years and has helped make the transition into the digital age fun and exciting for staff and patrons.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Muslim Journeys Grant

Grant explores ‘Muslim Journeys’ through books, videos

 With the goal of familiarizing residents with the people, places, history, faith, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world, Sun Prairie Public Library is participating in a grant project called the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf.

 Sun Prairie Public Library is one of 840 libraries and state humanities councils across the nation selected to participate in the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. Through the grant, the library has received:

·         a collection of 25 books that highlight the pluralism of cultural forms and traditions within the Muslim World;

·         three documentary films, with public performance rights;

·         a one-year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online, which gives libraries access to primary source documents and current works of scholarship; and

·         bonus resources to support programs for public audiences including thematic essays, discussion questions, podcasts, and proprietary film and Internet content.

The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.

This grant presents an exciting opportunity for residents to learn more about the history, faith, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.  This is an amazing program that can foster greater cultural and religious understanding.

The library will use the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf materials to conduct programs during 2013, and the books and videos also will be available for the personal use of local residents.

The 15 participating libraries are: Alicia Ashman Branch (Madison), Baraboo, Brodhead, DeForest, Fitchburg, Marshfield, Monroe, Pinney Branch (Madison), Portage, Sequoya Branch (Madison), Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee, and Wisconsin Dells.

   Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Local support is provided by the South Central Library System, which wrote and submitted the grant application.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Best Books of 2012

American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar
A poignant debut by former Wisconsinite Ayad Akhtar featuring complex characters growing up as Muslim-Americans in Milwaukee.  A great book club choice.

Oddly Normal: One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality by John Schwartz
An extraordinary, well-written book on a topic on which we sadly find too few reads.  Essential reading for everyone.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Siddhartha meets Forrest Gump in this delightfully quirky romp through the English countryside.  

 The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.  An intriguing look at old-school Hollywood silent film star, Louise Brooks, and her chaperone on their trip to New York City.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: the Epic Life and Immmortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan.  Born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, he went on to become the famous photographer of American Indians, at great personal cost.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  Like everyone else, we couldn't put down this thrilling page-turner.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  Always on the lookout for humor, this one had just the right amount of satire and quirkiness to make our list.

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.   At least one-third of us are introverts, and there's enough here to bolster our cause.  Even extroverts will enjoy this one.

 Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson.  An homage to our world melting pot as well as an ode to familial love, this one is simple delectable.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life.  Oh, and did we mention that the cover glows in the dark.

Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Freeman.  Meet octogenarian, retired memphis cop, Buck Schatz, and his frat-boy grandson, Tequila.  LOL funny, we can't wait for the sequel.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers.  A painful beauty, rendered all the more gut-wretchingly raw via a juxtaposition that pits linguistic lyricism against the atrocities of war, "Yellow Birds" deserves the gold star amongst all our glorious Top 12 of 2012 contenders -- and its a debut no less...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Safe, warm, happy holidays!

Wishes for safe, warm, happy holidays
from the Sun Prairie Public Library!