Tales from the Castle


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Hello and Welcome!

By Sarah Mayzum, Program Manager

Hello and welcome to the Wagnalls Memorial Library’s new blog Tales from the Castle. We hope this blog will help you get to know our staff, keep up to date on library events and be a place for you to visit for reading recommendations and more!

I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Sarah and I am the Program Manager here. I am so excited that we will soon be able to have in-person programming again. I would love to hear your ideas about programs you would like to see at the library. Maybe you have a special skill or interest and would like to present a program? Please email me with any and all ideas! My email is smayzum@wagnalls.org.

To kick off the blog, I would like to talk about one of my favorite programs we hosted here at Wagnalls - the Bigfoot presentation. Marc DeWerth, a local Bigfoot expert, had approached me about hosting a Bigfoot presentation at Wagnalls. He was particularly interested in our rural location and gathering any stories from local residents that might have had encounters. I am a huge fan of unexplained phenomena and immediately said yes! We advertised the program, not knowing what to expect in terms of attendance. The big day finally came and people started showing up over an hour early to get a good seat. People drove in from all over the state. Many of them had Bigfoot t-shirts. I learned there is quite the community of Bigfoot enthusiasts! We had set up chairs for 100 people and there was standing room only by the time the program started. Marc is an amazing performer: he is a true expert and hilarious to boot. He spoke of his own Bigfoot sighting as well. Then he opened the floor for questions. Many in the audience had come to share their own encounters. It seemed like were happy to be validated in their stories and hear that others have had similar experiences. Marc even left a gift to the library - a plaster cast of a footprint from the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot sighting film.

I recently read the novel Devolution by Max Brooks, who is also the author of World War Z. Devolution is about a Bigfoot attack in a remote community cut off from communication with the outside world due to the explosion of Mt. Rainier. It is told through a diary that is a firsthand account of the attack. It is a very suspense, tension-building story. You can feel the residents becoming more and more desperate as the Bigfoot community gets closer and closer to their homes. It is a fast-paced book that is very different than the books I usually read, but I enjoyed it a lot.

If you are looking for a lighter read, consider Bound to Bigfoot by Ellen Fritz. This book, found in our teen section, portrays Bigfoot as a shape shifter who can appear in human form. There is romance in the book, reminiscent of the Twilight series.

Finally, if you are interested in a more scientific approach, try Cryptid Creatures: a Field Guide by Kelly Milner Halls. This book examines the scientific evidence that exists for many types of mysterious creatures, from Bigfoot to the Mothman.

More Tales from the Castle

Monday, 03 May 2021


Mary Ann Johnston Collection

Check out the Mary Ann Johnston Collection! One of our library’s unique collections focuses on herbs, yoga, alternative medicine, diet, holistic medicine, macrobiotics, and more thanks to the generous bequest of Mary Ann Johnston.

Monday, 26 April 2021


A New Book Club is Coming to Wagnalls!

About four years ago, I was asked to take over the Adult Book Club, because Carol Gaal wasn’t able to continue overseeing the group. I said sure, then I panicked. I’d never been in a book club. What did they do at those monthly meetings? How did they pick their books? What if they found my leadership unacceptable? What if, what if, what if..

Tuesday, 20 April 2021


Happy Birthday Mabel!

On April 20th, we celebrate the birthday of our founder, Mabel Wagnalls Jones. Even though she was born in Kansas City, to the village of Lithopolis, she will always be “Our Mabel.” Both of Mabel’s parents were born here, and Mabel grew up visiting Lithopolis and hearing her mother say she wanted to do something special for the little town that had never had anything done for it. The Wagnalls Memorial was born of this dream.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021


Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the Wagnalls Memorial Library’s new blog Tales from the Castle. We hope this blog will help you get to know our staff, keep up to date on library events and be a place for you to visit for reading recommendations and more!