New County Library series features UWL faculty

Programs set for Holmen, West Salem

UW-La Crosse faculty and staff will bring their expertise to Holmen and West Salem this fall.

The Learning Library Series at the Holmen Public Library and Hazel Brown Leicht Memorial Library in West Salem will feature eight presentations over as many weeks with topics ranging from self-driving cars to nature journaling.

Chris McArdle Rojo, La Crosse County Library Director, says the idea for the series came from a recent community survey which found an interest in more enrichment programs for adults in the county libraries outside the city of La Crosse. With successful programming for adults at the county’s Onalaska site, they focused on extending programs to Holmen and West Salem.

Rojo says with UW-La Crosse’s new strategic plan looking to increase community engagement, it was only natural to ask if faculty and staff were interested in presenting. “We were delighted to find great support from the university’s Provost Office connecting us to speakers on an array of topics from interested faculty and staff,” she says.

UWL Provost Betsy Morgan says many faculty members were excited to share about their research and expertise. “The response was phenomenal,” she says.

The result is eight different faculty and staff members presenting on a wide variety of topics during an eight-week period beginning in September.
Rojo expects the programs to not only bring more people into the libraries, but also see their expanding roles.

“We hope the programming will not only meet the needs of our users and increase the out-county library location use, but also generally expand the traditional role of the public library which has always been to provide materials and resources,” Rojo explains. “Now we hope to be viewed beyond that to serve as community centers to bring together residents for social opportunities to create a greater sense of community.”

If the run of fall programs is well received, Rojo says she hopes to build upon the programming and create a greater opportunity for community engagement and education.

“The Coulee Region reaches beyond the City of La Crosse,” she notes. “We hope our county library locations, in partnership with the organizations that create such a foundation in our area, like UWL, can play a significant role in bringing information and education together to serve a larger number of out-county residents and provide a sense of greater sense of community.”

The complete series —

Library Learning Series

1:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays: Holmen Public Library, 121 W. Legion St., Holmen

1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursdays: Hazel Brown Leicht Memorial Library, 201 Neshonic Road, West Salem
Programs are free and open to all

Sept. 18 and 20 —
Scott Cooper, Biology, “Hibernation”

Sept. 25 and 27 —
Adam Driscoll, Sociology, “The Environmental Consequences of Industrial Agriculture”

Oct. 2 and 4 —
Mai Chao Duddeck, School of Education, “Bridging Understanding Through Art and Storytelling”

Oct. 9 and 11 —
Natalie Eschenbaum, English, “Poetry and Disgust”

Oct. 16 and 18 —
James Szymalak, Political Science, “Self-Driving Cars: Ethical Issues and the Need for Regulation”

Oct. 23 and 25 —
Jan Wellik, Environmental Studies, “Nature Journaling”

Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 —
Robert Allen, Mathematics, “Where (or what) is Infinity?”

Nov. 6 and 8
Kate Lavalle, Communication Studies, “Sports and Communication in the Digital Age”

Get more information on the series.

Find out more about La Crosse County libraries.