Category: Director’s Notes

We Need Your Help!

We Need Your Help!

MPL staff and I have started an exciting process of re-envisioning our first floor public area. We have reached a point where I feel it is important to step back, analyze our spaces and collections, and develop a layout of our first floor collections and space which takes into account our current needs and future needs 5-10 years down the road. I’d like to see consistency and stability after implementing this first floor plan. A committee of nine staff members were chosen (all staff were encouraged to apply to be a member of this committee) to look at our first floor, develop a long range plan for its layout and use, and finalize a plan to be presented to the Board of Trustees. Our goal is to complete this process sometime this fall. We are taking into consideration needs of our community, barriers for our staff, and ideas from other libraries around the area. As part of this process, we want to hear feedback from our community. We are currently conducting a SWOT analysis which looks at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within our current space. The committee has spent time developing our ideas thoroughly in each area. We’ve also sought input from the whole library staff. Now, we’d like to hear from you.

Starting April 17, we are asking patrons to be our “secret shoppers”; to take an adventure and share with us your results. We have put together several scenarios which cover normal, everyday reasons one might use our first floor space. Our request: take a scenario, walk through each step or as far as you can get, and share with us how it went: where is there improvement needed; where are we already exceeding expectations; and how can we continue to improve? Completion of these secret shopper surveys will be immensely beneficial as we move forward with this process. Are you up for the adventure? If so, please stop by anytime, or several times, between April 17-30, pick up one of our scenario sheets which will be accessible in the lobby. Completed sheets can be dropped off at our first floor service desk. Thank you in advance for all those who help us move forward with this analysis. If you have any questions about the general process or how we plan to move forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me using the form below.


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Parents Teach Reading

The computer age is here and reading skills are as important as ever.  At Manitowoc Public Library we emphasize the importance of developing early literacy skills for children every day.  Activities for children and parents at the library use the following guidelines so that the children in Manitowoc have the opportunity to become readers.

  • Talking

Talk to your children and grandchild to increase vocabulary and comprehension

Share pictures and have a conversation about what they see

  •  Singing

Songs help children develop listening skills

Clapping along to rhythms helps children improve motor skills

  •  Share Books 

Reading together with a child is the single most important way to help them get ready to read

Talk about the meaning of the words as you read

  •  Writing

As children scribble and draw, they practice eye-hand coordination and exercise the muscles in the fingers and hands

  •  Playing

Make your home a learning zone

Pretend play helps children develop oral language skills

Parents and caregivers are the children’s first teachers.  They are in the best position to help their children develop early literacy skills.  Manitowoc Public Library is here to help the parents, help the children.

Cherilyn Stewart

Library Director

Source: Every Child Ready to Read @ your library


Drugs in Our Community Recap

The information sessions focusing on drug issues in our Manitowoc community drew over 750 people over 6 evenings.  The conversations included suicide, prescription medication abuses, generational abuse issues, crime related problems, incarceration, rehabilitation facilities, prevention programs, alcohol abuse, heroin addiction, drug court and recovery.  There were emotional voices of concern looking for answers and ways to cope with this far-reaching community problem.

People in the community are trying to find strategies to treat drug addiction.   During the 6 weeks, many people asked about drug treatment facilities that would help either themselves or a loved one.  Susan Beattie, founder of “Pathways to a Better Life” shared her story of her daughter’s addiction.  Both Beattie and Lt. Dave Remiker, Metro Drug Unit Officer, spoke of addiction as disease and the need to treat the disease.  Remiker advises that treating addicts like people not criminals is a better strategy than incarceration.

The conversation during the information sessions often turned to the topic of obtaining a drug court in Manitowoc.  A drug court is a strategy that keep addicts away from incarceration and treats the addiction not as a criminal act.  This is a strategy that handles addiction as a problem-solving treatment.  Nonviolent offenders are offered treatment to address the drug addiction that is the underlying cause of the criminal activity.

The conversation on trauma informed care had to be canceled because of scheduling conflicts. But this intervention technique is being discussed and researched throughout the community by a variety of agencies.  A trauma-informed approach to behavior problems stresses that a person’s ability to cope can be the result of chronic conditions such as childhood neglect or domestic violence.  This treatment attempts to find the root cause for the individual and establish a collaborative partnership in therapy.

The collaborative work that organized this series of information sessions will continue with new partners and an increased focus on bringing the elements of trauma-informed care principles to our community.   The goal of the committee reaches beyond providing information and will continue to find answers and solutions that help individuals and families heal from the pain and prevent the spread of the disease of drug addiction.

Committee; Jean Biegun, Katie Wilsman , Phil Duket, Healthiest Manitowoc County, Tracy Geenan, United Way of Manitowoc County, Kelyn Netz, The Crossing, Becky Rice, Marco Services, Heidi Simonar and Cherilyn Stewart, Manitowoc Public Library.

Survey Results Available

The results of the library use survey in July are tallied and available at

Thanks to the 367 people who completed the survey and no one skipped the first question.

Here are a few brief highlights.

What is your primary reason for visiting the library ?

Answer Choices Responses
Find a book 76.80%


Find a movie 26.13%


Read newspaper/magazine 5.87%


Attend a program or event 9.07%


Use a study room 8.00%


Take a child to a story time 7.73%


Use the Internet/WiFi 12.80%


Meet a friend/hang out 3.20%


If the library received a monetary donation, what segment of the population should the funds benefit?

Answer Choices Responses
Children 44.92%


Teens 20.90%


Adults 34.18%


Library to Library Fun Walk

logo for fun walk Event Date: Saturday August 22, 8: 00 am

Starting Location: Manitowoc Public Library

Ending Location: Lester Public Library

Shuttle will be provided to return from 9-12:30 pm

Participant Fee: $15 adults and $5 for children

Make checks payable to Friends of Manitowoc Public Library

for more information call 686-3000

Gala a Hit

The Library was transformed on Thursday April 16 for the “Nothing Quiet About It” fundraising event.
Thanks to Co-Chairs, Marlene Dramm, Bernie Zimmer and Dolly Stokes.
Many thanks to Kathie Bundy of KP Productions and to all the performers.
Lee and Eileen Kummer donated delicious wine.  On behalf of the Manitowoc Public Library community, thank you.

beginningcrowdsingersLee K

Community Creation Room coming to Manitowoc Public Library

business computing

The Manitowoc Public Library has received a grant award from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) fund.  This fund is administered through the Department of Public Instruction.  The grant project awards, $8,840 to build a “Community Creation Room”.  This will be a space in the library equipped with the latest pieces of Apple computer equipment to record and produce digital content.  Library staff will provide assistance and instruction to help users create logos, music and video.  During the first year of the grant cycle, the services will be marketed to small businesses and entrepreneurs who may not have access to the latest pieces of digital creation equipment.

For more information please contact Library Director Cherilyn Stewart, 686-3037

IRS Changes Service to Public Libraries


If you use paper to file your taxes, it may be more difficult for you this year.  The Internal Revenue Service has changed the service to public libraries this year.

The IRS will no longer provide paper copies of the instruction booklets for:

  • 1040
  • 1040A
  • 1040EZ

You may order them by calling 1-800-829-3676 or downloading instruction booklet at

For library customers, it would cost about $19 to print one booklet.  Please be advised this is not within the perimeters of our available resources.  If you rely on the printed instruction booklet to file your taxes you may have to allow extra time to obtain a copy of the booklet.

Cherilyn Stewart

MPL Library Director


Digital Homework Service

tutor logo

Connect with an online tutor. Get your work done.

With your Manitowoc Public Library card:

Student Center by

Students in grades K-12, entry level college and adult learners can receive specialized one-to-one tutoring help in the areas of math, science, English, social studies and writing.  This service is also available in Spanish. Professional tutors are available online from 4 pm to 11 pm through any internet-enabled computer or mobile device.

Career Center by

Receive one-to-one, real-time assistance with your job search. Online tutors are available to help navigate online job sites, complete applications, write/review resumes and cover letters and even practice for an interview.  Assistance is available online from 4 pm to 11 pm through any internet-enabled computer or mobile device.