Walter E. Olson Memorial Library

203 N. Main Street (715)479-8070


The Olson Memorial Library has many formats of material for your reading, listening and viewing pleasure. 

Types of material include:

  • DVD
  • VHS
  • Audio books in both CD and cassette format,
  • Large print,
  • Newspapers
  • and magazines.

Databases and Catalogs

With a library card you have access to the following digital resources:

Merlin Online Library Catalog logo

Merlin is the catalog shared by NWLS member libraries. Your Merlin card number can be used to access your account and place holds, request items from other libraries, renew your items, or check the status your library record.

 OverDrive logo - download eBooks, audiobooks, music and videos The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) offers OverDrive,  a catalog of downloadable ebooks, audio books, videos and music that can be reserved and/or checked out with your library card for devices such as an ebook reader, Kindle, tablet, or smart phone. Visit to browse the collection and get started today! 

BadgerLink provides access to licensed content such as magazines, newspapers, scholarly articles and databases not available through regular search engines such as Google.  These authoritative resources are perfect for students, genealogists and researchers.

Some of the many resources included FREE to WI library cardholders include: 

...and more! *Note that if BadgerLink does not automatically recognize your IP address as a Wisconsin location, you may be asked to log in with a library card number to access the resources here. 
 Ancestry Library Edition Ancestry Library Edition is an extensive genealogy research tool. Ancestry Library Edition includes records from the United States Census; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; passenger lists and more.
**NOTE: This database can only be accessed from our library's public access computers.**

Other Genealogy resources include Newspapers, books, Census & Revolutionary War records, city directories, and articles on historic events
ConsumerReports - your library card gives you full access including ratings and recommendations on thousands of products and services in categories such as appliances, cars, electronics and computers, home and garden, health and fitness, babies and kids, food, personal finance, and travel.

Practice test Free DMV Practice Test, one of the nation's top sites for driver's license practice tests.

Learning Express Library offers a variety of learning tools for all ages.
You will find:

  • preparation tools and skill-building materials for adults, covering subjects like learning about a career and preparing for an entrance or occupational exam.
  •  test preparation tools and skill-building materials for reviewing key college skills.
  • test preparation tools for the ACT, PSAT, and SAT as well as skill-building materials, including how to write a college admissions essay.
  • High School equivalency center containing test preparation tools for the GED, HiSET, and TASC tests as well as skill-building materials, covering subjects like math, reading, and writing.
  • test preparation tools and skill-building materials for children, teens, and adults.
  • A collection of web-based skill-building materials on today’s popular computer programs including Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, and Windows and Mac operating systems.

It's all FREE with your library card. Check it out!

 Wiscat - Catalog of public and academic libraries in the state of Wisconsin WISCAT is a statewide database for borrowing outside our NWLS Merlin catalog system. Click the WISCAT link to access and find the item you are looking for (always check Merlin first, just in case). Once you find the item, use the Request button to place your request.  We will notify you when requested items have arrived..  You can also make inter-library loan requests by email or calling the library (715)479-8070.  Once it is in we will contact you and you can pick up and return the item here. 
 WorldCat - online catalog for public and academic libraries world-wide WorldCat is a worldwide catalog of library collections that includes more than 67 million bibliographic records with items in many different formats. Patrons can access this database at any library or at home with a user-friendly search page.  


Genealogy Resources

  • (from Library)
    With over 1.2 billion records in over 3,000 databases, this is a comprehensive online source of information available for conducting genealogical and local history research.
  • HeritageQuest
    Access to genealogical records. 
  • NewspaperArchive
    Contains millions of searchable newspaper pages, dating as far back as the 1700s, presented in a PDF format that preserves the original context and format of content.
  • Obituary Index
    Obituary archives are available in the Library.
  • Recollection Wisconsin
    Stories from Wisconsin Collections

Plant, Grow, Share


om seed library logo  The Olson Memorial (OM) Seed Library is launching this Spring with plans to continue from year to year, with the help of our community, Master Gardener members and the Seed Savers Alliance of Northern Wisconsin. Our Seed Library is the first lending seed library located in Vilas County!

To join the OM Seed Library, all you need is a valid library card.  Stop by the Seed Library display to pick up a copy of the members checkout form.  

Plant:  Choose your seeds (housed in a lovely vintage card catalog).  Patrons may borrow a wide variety of heirloom and vintage seeds. 

Grow:  As your plants mature, prepare to save some of their seeds.
Share:  Return some of your saved seeds to the library, so that the seeds can be checked out again next year.

OML Seed Library is a place where seeds are offered, preserved and shared for the benefit of everyone in the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to check out seeds?

Not one cent.  All you need to check out seeds is a library card in good standing. 

Where do your seeds come from?

Many of our seeds were donated.  Others were harvested and donated by our library patrons.  Seed packets will be marked with the year of purchase and a special note if they were harvested locally.

How much of each seed variety do you have?

The number of packets of seeds varies from plant to plant, depending on the quantity purchased/harvested.  Seeds are available on a first come, first served basis.  Once a particular variety is gone, we won't be getting more until the harvested seeds are returned in the fall.

I have some extra seeds at home.  May I donate them?

Yes!  We are happy to accept donated seeds.  Place dried seeds into a sealed envelope, and label the envelope with your name, the name/variety of plant, and the year the seeds were purchased or harvested.

What happens if my plants don't grow or grow poorly, and I can't save seeds?

We recognize that our patrons have no control over growing conditions.  If you are unable to save seeds due to poor plant performance, there is no penalty for not returning the seeds.

Looking for some great gardening books to check out? 

We can help with that!  Stop by the library to browse our collection, or search Merlin to see which books are available throughout the Northern Waters Library System.

Quick Links

Quick Reference and Fast Facts

Almanacs | Automotive | Biographies | Calculation and Measurement | Calendars/Time Zones | Countries | Dictionaries/Language | Encyclopedias | Etiquette | General Reference | GED/Education | Health Care | History |
Job Search | Law/Legal | Maps and Locators | Newspapers | States and Cities | Statistics and Profiles | Stock Quotes| Translators | Weather Forecasts/History/Road Conditions 

General Reference
Librarian's Index to the Internet
New York Public Library Reference Links


Information Please Almanac:  Brief facts on many topics, searchable by subject or keyword.
InfoPlease -This Day in History:  Significant events by date, searchable by month, date, and year.


Auto Repair Reference Center:  The step-by-step procedures are written specifically for the auto repair do-it-yourselfer, but comprehensive enough for professional technicians. Auto Repair Reference Center contains information on most major manufacturers of domestic and imported vehicles, with repair information for most vintage makes starting as far back as 1954.


Wisconsin History:  The dictionary gives brief lives of more than 2,000 famous Wisconsin people (and many not so famous).
Biographical Dictionary:  This biographical dictionary covering 28,000+ personalities has advanced search capabilities.
Virtual Reference-Science & Technology- Biographical Sources:  A directory of biographical information about scientists and mathematicians.

Calculation & Measurement

Fast Food Facts: For fast food products.
Financial Planning Toolkit: Financial Calculators:  Calculators for loan rates, mortgages, refinancing comparisons, amortization, debt consolidation, and more.
The Inflation Calculator
What is a Dollar Worth?

Calendars/Time Zones

Calendar Zone:  Links to hundreds of calendars, including celestial, event, cultural, daily, and interactive.
Virtual Perpetual Calendars:  Includes calendars for every year in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as holiday dates, leap year information, and more.  Offers a variety of calendars and clocks for reference or personal use.
World Time Server:  See current time and deviation from GMT for all countries and many large cities. 


Global Road Warrior:  The Ultimate Guide to the World.  Use Library card number for access.
Flags of the World:  Each country's flag is pictured in color, with a description of the significance of the colors and symbols, and a brief history.  NationMaster is a central data source to graphically compare facts about nations.
Nations of the World :  Provides links to each country's constitution and selected legal guides along with access to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
Library of Congress American Historical Information:  Profiles of books on American politics, arts, culture, architecture, etc..  


FSI Language Courses: This site is dedicated to making these language courses freely available in an electronic format.
BBC Language Courses: Audio and video courses for beginners and intermediates in 36 languages.
Acronym Finder  Find quotations, poetry, English language style and usage, thesauri, encyclopedias and much more in this comprehensive reference resource.
Merriam Webster's Dictionary:  This easy-to-use dictionary includes multiple meanings (including British usage), as well as etymology and pronunciation of words.
On-line Medical Dictionary
Wordsmyth:  A dictionary/thesaurus with exceptional searching capabilities for hard-to-spell or frequently misspelled words and over 50,000 entries.  Links to 1,500 dictionaries covering 230 separate languages, from Afrikaans to Xhosa, plus specialized dictionaries, multilingual dictionaries, verb conjugators, translators, thesauri, synonyms and homonyms, quotations, etymology, and more. 


Encyclopedia Britannica:  Links to Encyclopedia Britannica articles and similar web sites, by general category or specific search topic. 


The Knot:  Wedding etiquette. 


Comcourse GED program: The Comcourse's GED program is available for free for students seeking to enter college. The system provides a complete course of study in all of the subject areas. It is self-paced and requires only an Internet connection. It is open to anyone.
Northland Pines School District

Health Care

On-line Medical Dictionary
Health Finder:   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sponsored source for reliable health information.
Medicine Plus:  Trusted health information sponsored by U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
Medscape Medical Search:  Articles, News, Conference coverage, Clinical overviews and drug reference.
American Recall Center: Provides drug and medical device recall information alongside practical healthcare information and support.
Clinical Trials: is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. Marshfield Clinic Health Information Center:
Eldercare Planning / Long Term Care:
Contained here are 34 in-depth chapters, totaling over 690 printable pages, from 9 experts and covering all areas of long-term care planning, or as it's more commonly called, elder care planning. 


National Archives Footnote: For genealogists, history buffs, and even the average Web passerby. 
History of the Great Lakes: An online library on over 1300 items; including books, journal articles, maps and more.

Job Search

Job Hunt
Neuvoo -  job search engine that indexes jobs directly from companies' career websites, placement agencies and job boards.  


Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ):  This resource is designed to assist you with information covering all aspects of the role of the Department – from legal services to consumer help for seniors to crime prevention and law enforcement services, victims rights and environmental enforcement.
Wisconsin Court System for the Public:  Wisconsin Court System designed this web site for use by people representing themselves in divorce/separation, complaints against judges, complaints against interpreters, lawyer regulation, and more. 
Wisconsin State Law Library
Wisconsin State Legislature and Statues
Wisconsin Judicare: Equal access to justice

Maps & Locators

Google Street Maps:  Physical and geographic country maps.
Atlapedia Online:  Physical and geographic country maps, complete with statistics and factoids.
How Far Is It?:  This easy-to-use site calculates distance (as the crow flies) between any two points in the world and includes a map for further reference.
MapQuest!:  Interactive street atlases of the continental United States gives you mileage, door-to-door or city-to-city, and street maps with driving directions.
National Atlas:  Create your own maps based on information such as agricultural production, crime, geographic features, population, and more.
Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection:  Historical, countries and world.
TerraServer-USA:  Free public access to a vast data store of maps and aerial photographs of the United States."
Topozone:  Every USGS topographic 1:100,000, 1:25,000, and 1:24,000 scale map for the entire United States.
Topographic Map Symbols:  Help in interpreting the maps.
United States Geography:  USGS geographers monitor the changes on the land surface by observing the Earth with remote sensing satellites, studying the connections between people and those changes with careful geographic analysis, and providing society with relevant science information they can use to manage the consequences of those changes.
Google Earth:  Google Earth puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information. Free program that must be downloaded but worth the effort. High speed internet access and a monitor resolution of at least 1024 by 768 is needed. 


Vilas County News Review:  News for Eagle River, WI and surrounding communities.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wall Street Journal

States, Cities and Counties

Vilas County: Government Services
Wisconsin State Government:  Links to Wisconsin State offices, public services, state facts and more.
50 States and Capitals: Information for all fifty states and seven territories, including state flags (picture and description), state symbols, political and geographical information, and a direct link to the state's official web page.
Official City Sites:  Links to official state and city web pages in the U.S. and several European countries.
Sperling's Best Places:  Compare over 3,000 U.S. cities in housing, costs of living, crime, education, economy, health and climate.
Townhunter:  Compare over facts about U.S. cities.
United States Gazetteer:  Locate a city, township or county by name or zip code. Brief data includes 1990 population, as well as an interactive map of the area. 

Statistics & Profiles

Consumer Price Index:  Get the most current CPI press release, or look at an overview of CPIs from 1913-present.
Wisconsin Labor Market Information:  Access statistics about the Wisconsin work force, including the county snapshots,
Wisconsin Office of Economic Advisors:  The Office assists economic data users to better understand the relationships between labor markets and other economic and demographic specifics.
FedStats:  Statistics from 70 U.S. government agencies, searchable by keyword and agency.
United States Census Bureau:  Searchable site with many statistics for the U.S.
State and Metropolitan Data Book
Fact Finder: Contains, under "Other Official Statistics," links to state and international data centers, and the department of commerce. For the latest 1990 census reports see:
Census 2000 Gateway
U.S. State Fact Sheets:
  Basic and agricultural statistics on every state in the U.S., compiled by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Wisconsin Blue Book:  The Blue Book contains facts and statistics on Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Health Statistics:  Statistics on Cancer, Health Care Providers, Health Surveys, Health Insurance, Population, and Vital Statistics (Births, Deaths, Marriages, Divorces, Life Expectancy). 

Stock Quotes

Big Charts:  Provides interactive charts for stocks and mutual funds, as well as current and historical quotes.  Thorough and detailed quote coverage. 


Free Language Translation
WorldLingo: (Translation, Localization, Globalization)  Common symbols from a variety of cultures are searchable by graphic element or meaning. 

Weather Forecasts/History/Road Conditions 

National Weather Service Point Forecast
National Weather Service Radar Image
Historical Climate Summaries:  (Midwest Regional Climate Center)  Historical highs, lows, and precipitation records from weather stations around the Midwest.
Wisconsin State Climatology Office
Wisconsin Road Conditions:  From the Dept. of Transportation. Not updated during the summer.
Wisconsin Construction and Detours

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