715-261-7250 | Mon.- Fri. 8-5pm help@librarieswin.org

Hi all! The holidays are upon us again and I wanted to take this time to talk about inclusive holiday celebrations. Most people love holiday time! Adults flutter around busily preparing for festivities and children are abuzz with excitement. While we should have an opportunity to learn about and share information about the important holidays and celebrations in our lives, celebrating specific holidays in a library environment may exclude someone. Some people, based on religious or personal beliefs, do not celebrate holidays or birthdays. That doesn’t mean that holidays have to be forbidden! By connecting holiday themes, you show that holidays are an expression of cultural and religious pride, and help with understanding the commonality of certain human feelings, celebrations, etc. You might look at the way lights are used in the holidays of Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Santa Lucia Day and Diwali, for example. As a reminder, the use of religious symbols such as a cross, menorah, crescent, Star of David, crèche, symbols of Native American religions, the Buddha, among others, that are part of a religious tradition is permitted as a teaching aid, provided such symbols are displayed only as an educational example of the culture and religious heritage of the holiday and are temporary in nature and should not be used as decorations. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my updates and being on this path of learning. I wish you all the happiest of holidays and look forward to seeing you in the new year!



  • CSLP Inclusion Resources:

  • Native American Heritage Month: Teachers Must Also Be Seekers : DPI blog featuring an interview with David O’Connor, American Indian Studies Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. This covers what is evolving in the ways we talk about and teach Native American heritage, Native American history, present, and future. Even though Native American Heritage Month was last month, indigenous peoples and cultures are important 365 days a year.

Continuing Education:

  • Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative, December 6, 1 pm : The Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative aims to remove some of the barriers transgender individuals face accessing information and to provide more equitable access to services and collections. The presenters will share their needs assessment, the collection development process, their promotion and outreach, and some best practices they learned along the way. They hope that others are inspired to adapt what they learn here to serve their local transgender community, or modify the initiative to serve other historically marginalized populations in their area.

  • Multiple Provenance, Indigenous Data Sovereignty & Archival Protocols, Wed 7 Dec @ 11:30am  Register today!

Abstract: How can archivists and archivists be more responsive and accountable to Indigenous peoples and communities? This open classroom explores this question in relation to a variety of archival principles-based guiding documents, and the project based out of McMaster University, “The Challenge of Reconciliation: What We Can Learn from the Stories of the Hamilton Mountain Sanatorium and the Mohawk Institute Residential School.” Read more

  • Remember Your Patrons Living with Memory Loss, December 7 2 pm : Join this webinar to hear practical advice on choosing reading materials uniquely suited to each individual, following the tenets of person-centered care. Presenters will share simple ways to create more dementia-friendly libraries and provide examples of literacy activities and programs hosted at libraries and memory cafes around the world, including oral reading, browsing through books, singing, choral reading of poetry, and word games.

  • Harm Reduction Strategies for the Workplace – December 13, 11 am : The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board (NWWIB) and Wisconsin Health Literacy have partnered on an upcoming free virtual workshop that will focus on helping you understand what is and is not harm reduction. You will hear the benefits in hiring and supporting employees who are in recovery, and once complete, you should be able to identify and execute proper usage of Naloxone to prevent death. For more information about this workshop and the Support to Communities program, please feel free to contact Scott Schultz at (715) 201-8493 or sschultz@nwwib.com. Visit www.nwwib.com/events to register.

  • Neurodiversity in Libraries Series:

  • Classes from UW Madison’s iSchool:

    • Trans-Inclusive Librarianship, Feb 20-Mar 19

    • Navigating Book and Program Challenges for Public Libraries, Mar 20 – Apr 30

    • Designing for Accessibility, Mar 27 – Apr 30

    • Services to Homeschoolers, Apr 3 – May 1

    • The Next Chapter: Programs and Services for Older Adults, Apr 17 – May 14

Diverse Holidays in December:

December is:

December is Universal Human Rights Month. This month people all across the globe are encouraged to come together and stand up for equality, justice, and the dignity of all humans. The Universal Month for Human Rights started in 1948 when the United Nations wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

December 1: World AIDS Day, commemorating those who have died of AIDS, and to acknowledge the need for a continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, designed to raise awareness in regards to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.

Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā Jayantī is the date that Lord Krishna revealed the Bhagvad Gītā to Prince Arjuna while on the Kurukshetra battlefield. It is recorded in the epic Mahabharata and as a sacred text of its own. It is celebrated annually on Shukla Ekadashi, the 11th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of Margashirsha.

December 8: Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the solemn belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

December 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.

December 15: Bill of Rights Day, the national celebration of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which spell out our rights as Americans.

December 16-24: Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating the trials Mary and Joseph endured during their journey to Bethlehem.

December 19-26: Hanukkah, also called The Festival of Lights, commemorating rededication of Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem at time of Maccabean Revolt

December 21: Yule Winter Solstice, celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans. The shortest day of the year represents a celebration focusing on rebirth, renewal and new beginnings as the sun makes its way back to the Earth. A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.

December 23: Festivus, a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.

December 25: Christmas Day, the day that many Christians associate with Jesus’ birth.

December 26: Boxing Day, a secular holiday celebrated in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa.

December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.

December 26: Zartosht No-Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra), a day of remembrance in the Zoroastrian religion. It is a commemoration of the death anniversary of the prophet Zoroaster, or Zarathushtra.

December 31: Watch Night, a day for Christians to review the year that has passed, make confessions, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving.

Sherry Machones
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Director – Northern Waters Library Service