The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


By Tim Krenz
February 28, 2015


A dovely wing, bore strong the hope, a distant, sad bird-a-song, and the noble poet copes. Peaceful realms altho' winter round, the one head the other heart, too far—too far—our star to star, sadden there and there apart.

When doves, like swans and other fowls, close not a distant farewell sorrow, a-winged please take you to seashore calm and me my winter garden flowers. If doves leave you 'n 'orbit an icy, dark and lonely moon, I sail my sole ship 'cross ocean night, your star a guide I rescue soon.

'Til last in time narrows, tyranny's hours then a minute's instant redeems, I thank a heaven, and my worldly craft, that me, like doves, can dream.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Review of: Frederic Public Library

Review of: Frederic Public Library
From: Select Guide to Libraries of the St. Croix Valley
By: Tim Krenz
Date: February 4, 2015

Now found in a renovated main street movie theater in Frederic, Wisconsin, the Frederic Public Library began in the village council rooms on February 18, 1936. Similar to several other libraries in the St. Croix Valley, the local Woman's Club did the heavy work starting the public library with 260 books, and the Woman's Club did dedicated service to keep it functioning through the Great Depression. Raising $153.42 in 1936 for the library work, the library ended that year with a positive balance of $22.67. (Information from a library document; author unknown).

From such humble and modest beginnings, in a time of great national distress, founded on an intention to serve the greater good of a community, Frederic's library grew with the ages to become what any institution ultimately wants to become, that of an asset important to healthy socieies. If a library succeeds, as Frederic's has, it becomes a clothing, reflecting local tastes and values, that a community wears with security and confidence into the chillier uncertainty of the future.

The Frederic Public Library moved several times over nearly 8 decades. In 2004, it moved into the new quarters, the depression era movie house, that previous to the library's residence, functioned as a warehouse. As part of the remodeling for the library, a strikingly nice, curved theater marquee hangs over the main street sidewalk, painted a cream brown with mauve, almost purple trim. Above the $60,000 purchase of the building, and $28,000 to raze a garage for a handicap-accessible parking lot, the remodeling and rehabilitation of the building cost a modest $380,000.

Like that magnificent marquee outside, the library interior has a modern and excellently practical and warm design, retaining its authentic feel as an old-town cinema stage. The entrance lounge exudes a feel as though one would purchase a nickel ticket, popcorn, soft drink, and candy for a Saturday matinee, as reviving a lost Midwest small-town custom. In the main room past an area of public space furniture, front desk and office spaces, one finds thousands of items, normal for the size of this library, in stomach high book shelves, like seating rows in middle and side aisles, beneath the high vaulted ceiling of a open-theater space. The direction leads one toward the imaginary “movie screen” along the back wall, which now houses a multiple purpose work room and children's section to the left. Where in past times audiences would sit in the belief of make-believe film, the library offers old and young a cinema-like imagination-of-mind in books, movie d.v.d.s, magazines and story-sharing with real life people acting a role of real living.

Chris Byerly, the library director, one of four paid-staff (two of then part-time), pointed out one of the main features of the modern library movement, the concept of the “community living room.” The meeting place of a library builds relationships between patrons who come to the library, each for their own various reasons, yet eventually creating common cause. The partnership between municipal government and a library goes far beyond the necessary, and very proper, standards for libraries in State of Wisconsin law. “People should have basic expectations in any library they visit,” Byerly says.

Libraries take great efforts to build. From the perspective of 79 years of history, and with 21st Century challenges ahead, maintaining libraries and keeping them relevant with present and future technology stands a most critical question for all societies. Do libraries provide a luxury in local services as the information age progresses, or will they remain as fundamentally important to civilization as they have shown for the past 2300 years, since the founding of hundreds of libraries by Alexander the Great?

In addition to its proud collection of a local history items, Frederic offers its citizens a library of above-normal expectations, of both normal offerings and some extraordinary ones. Chris Byerly, in an interview, touched on that critical question of how libraries everywhere will maintain and build relevance to their communities in the future. Kids always have a great time in libraries, she mentioned, but as adults grow older, they seem to find it harder to integrate themselves into things the library offers. Those who care about libraries should not look at that as a threat to the future of local libraries, but take it as a challenge, and one which Frederic's historic building can instruct. For adults to engage in their community, to reintegrate fractured societies from nose deep into the technology of anti-social media, no place offers a better opportunity than a library—to find neighbors, and discover a richer sense of living, where all can play life's performances, on the stage-theater of living history. Libraries. . .libraries. . .libraries. . . we need them, and always will.