Success requires goals

Freddy's workwork

Though I typically don’t watch sports, I have always watched the Olympics. I’m amazed at the effort that these young men and women put forth. But we only see part of their story when we watch them compete. We don’t see how them get up early to drive to their gym and work out day after day. We don’t see them compete in competitions leading up to the Olympics. We don’t know how much time, and money, their parents spend helping them as they attempt to reach the pinnacle of their dreams. We don’t hear a lot about their coaches who encourage them for years.

When I first moved to the midwest it was to help my in-laws run a 15-cabin resort near Branson. We arrived near the end of the season. The town was mainly built around tourism, so it emptied of people for the winter. Then my in-laws moved into the city where my father-in-law taught and coached. My husband got a job and I was left to do chores at the resort. I emptied the pole of over 100 30-gallon containers of leaves. I raked five acres of additional leaves. I painted the steps and balconies of the cabins. This was during the Olympics. I was inspired by the competitors, so I filled my work hours as though I was in training. I had rather boring work to do, but the goal to complete it gave me the drive to do so.

It was like that when we decided to move from our old building to the new library location. We had a goal and a plan. It was a tremendous amount of work to pack the thousands of books and equipment. We had to coordinate the packing while remaining open for all but two weeks. We had to physically move all but the heaviest items, which were moved by a Ft. Scott company. Prior to our actual move, Theresa Miller and a revolving crew of workers raced to complete the renovations at our new location. In the photo above, you can see Theresa’s husband, Freddy, retrofitting paneling from Thelma Parker’s former home.

Beyond the goal-setting and planning, this was all very physical work and required a team effort of numerous employees and volunteer supporters. It was not a four-year effort as it would be for Olympians, but it was a big effort for non-athletes. Yet, we were able to accomplish it because we had a goal. Once we reached that goal, we created more goals. It’s still a physical job to maintain the building and exterior. I’ve written that this takes many people to do this. But the result is a library of which we can be proud. Out ongoing goal is to provide an attractive, clean, friendly environment with fun and educational resources for our visitors. No medals involved, but we welcome appreciation!

Apply online

No, we don’t have any positions open at the library. This column is about the trend to have all your official transactions move to the internet. Almost daily, we are asked to help a patron with a detail of the process to apply for employment, or print from an attachment that disappears when they try to open it. Few of us are computer illiterate these days and yet, our online lives seem to get more complicated all the time. It is explained to us that this is to make our lives easier. But how many still believe this?

Most of us have figured out it’s just the opposite for us. More believe it means we are being subjected to the whims of the government or corporations. Many of the support processes for this trend are shipped overseas. This is not a rant against the system, just a commentary on how much our lives have changed in recent years. Each of these transactions are different, and many are personal. So it’s difficult for librarians to stay informed about every online transaction that must take place. But we do the best we can, or contact technical support at our district library if we must.

We often wish we could afford a full-time computer technician. There are so many upgrades to the system, the software and content of online processes that we struggle to keep up. Like the rest of life, the library world has changed considerably from the time I worked in my hometown public facility. I shelved books, read to children, and stamped due date cards. Now I’m on the computer the majority of the day researching information, tracking transactions, and ordering materials. Clerks at the circulation desk also provide online support in addition to actually conversing with patrons.

The speed with which we can find information online is astounding, and will no doubt increase in years to come. But we’ve already seen the effect our dependence has had on our communication skills. We find it difficult to carry on a conversation with young people who are on their phones more than looking us in the eye and speaking. It’s disconcerting to us who were raised to greet someone we meet or from whom we need to get information. So next time you see us on the street, or in the library, please say, “Hello,” and look us in the eye. We will be reassured you’re a real person and not a robot!

It takes a community



Those of us employed at your library are proud of the building and the services we provide. We work hard and are recompensed for our efforts. But there are times when others step in to help. Some of these are planned, as in the fundraising efforts of our Friends of the Library. Shirley Smith and Sherry McCulley and her family bake items to sell, staff the Scholastic book sales for hours at a time and plan additional fun events to help support the library. There are chili feeds on General Pleasanton Day and candy sales throughout the year.

The Pleasanton Junior High students have visited two years in a row with several instructors to help build and maintain our entry garden. Theresa Miller directed their efforts this year, and returns on occasion to attempt to tame the corkscrew willows that try to engulf the library.

Each year, numerous community members agree to visit the preschool classes with a picture book to participate in Kansas Reads to Preschoolers week. Allene Campbell began her volunteer efforts that way, and now returns monthly to teach craft skills to the children on a one-on-one basis. This year she also assisted with the preschool graduation tea party, hat and all.

Alexis Swearingen and Brialee Lowe began the summer as volunteers at the library, organizing and shelving books, watering plants and painting chairs. We enlisted the help of others during the Summer Reading Program. Mary Kay Smith welcomed newcomers, while Taryn and Jessi Cox and their friend, Hailey, helped run the Fun & Games Party.

There were many others who just stepped in to help whenever they saw a need. They carried heavy boxes, changed the occasional light bulb, moved tables, or just held a door as someone entered or departed. They included the rotating LDS Elders, and Sterling Pennington. Josh Ralle was enlisted to help with the Xbox, as its inner workings were beyond our capability.

Sometimes are patrons left their own projects to help with ours. Our north door leaked cold air until Bill Peterson added weather-stripping. Then Dale Pennington re-adjusted the hinges and switchplate to try to make it easier to open and shut. Bill Bundy took on the maintenance of our Little Free Library, trimming the base, sealing cracks and touching up paint to weatherproof the structure.

We also appreciate book donations from local residents and the sale of these help us buy new books for all to enjoy. When those books, and others we’ve culled from our system don’t sell, they are donated to local organizations including Concern. We appreciate their volunteers who help unload the boxes we take them.

Our gratitude to all our helpers runs deep, as it means the community supports our efforts to maintain a viable library that everyone can proud of, and enjoy for years to come. Thank you all!

It’s cool in here

Abree Trudell-small

As soon as temperatures began to rise, the number of people visiting the library to escape the heat followed. It’s a great place to sit in our many comfortable seating areas to chill out. Whether you visit to check out some summer reads, share your summer vacation photos via Facebook, or just pop in for a cold drink of water, we look forward to seeing you.

Now that our Summer Reading Program has ended, our normal routine will return. No drums or cheers for K.C. Wolf, but hopefully children’s voices will continue to be heard when they visit. The city pool will continue to be a draw. But when it’s raining and they want a movie to stay inside and watch, we’re a good place to stop. We can even host a small group of children to watch a movie here. We’d love to experiment with our new projector and show a film on the wall in the children’s area. Is there one your kids haven’t seen? Let us know and we’ll pop the popcorn!

We have quite a few local residents who bring their visiting grandchildren in during the summer. Those who return year after year have been growing like weeds, and it’s always great to reconnect. As they transition away from Easy Readers, we have a great selection of Junior Fiction and Young Adult books for them to choose. Many local adults have been enjoying the latter as new and popular authors have begun writing in that category.

Not sure what might interest your kids, just ask us for suggestions. The same goes for adults who need a new author to read. We often hear that your favorites don’t write sequels quickly enough. Let us find you a similar author while you wait for your favorite writer to catch up with you. Reader’s Advisory is one of our favorite things to do, and we can point you in a similar, or exciting new direction.

Teachers love to have extra time to read in the summer, and we’re always glad to see them come in for a stack of books. Retirees are kept busy as we order books by the dozens from other libraries far and wide through our Interlibrary Loan system that spans the state and beyond. If we don’t have that new or unusual title in our library, we can likely find it elsewhere and you can have it in about a week.

Babysitters, having trouble keeping your little charges entertained? Visit us for picture book suggestions. We have hundreds of new ones, plus many old favorites. Let us know in advance, and we can even arrange to read to them and give you a little break.

Those with laptops can bring them in and sit in our cool kitchen with a big ice tea for a break from the temperatures outside. We look forward to seeing all of you as you escape the dog days if summer. No wet bathing suits, please!

Party at the Park

Our Summer Reading Program is almost over, and each week has been so much fun! Our last scheduled event will be an activity at Dunlap Park on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. It will likely be a warm day, so please remember to dress cool. We’ll have bottled water to stay hydrated as the kids play a variety of games. They’ll probably work up an appetite, so we’ll have a light snack as well. Please remember to bring a blanket or chairs for extra seating.

Those who attend and participate in the games will have the chance to win some great prizes. There will also be some give-a-ways for those who join us that day. Since our theme of Get ready, get set, READ! was all about healthy eating and activity, we’ve tried to keep the kids moving and making the right food choices throughout our summer program.

We send out a big thank you to the City of Pleasanton for allowing us to use the park, and to all our generous donors for their support. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to provide all the activities and performers who visited the library this summer. We hope we made some great memories for your youngsters and for parents and grandparents who attended as well. An extra big thank you goes out to Angelia (Miss Lia) Duckwall for all her efforts in planning, promoting and presenting our Summer Reading Programs.

Just a reminder for children, tweens and teens – be sure to complete your reading records and activity sheets by Tuesday, June 12 to be eligible for the terrific prizes on display in the library. There are some wonderful ones to choose from, so you won’t want to miss out.

Our Teen Cooks had so much fun last week making their healthy dish with Carolyn from the Marais des Cygne Extension office. We hope to have additional classes in August, so let us know if your teen might be interested in continuing this fun activity. Call us at the library, 913-352-8554.

Here comes K.C. Wolf!

KC Wolf-small

The official mascot of the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs will don his costume and visit Pleasanton Lincoln Library on Wednesday, July 6 at 11:15 a.m. K.C. Wolf, first introduced in 1989, was named after the Chief’s “Wolfpack,” those boisterous fans in the temporary bleachers at Municipal Stadium.

His main claim to fame are his duties during the football season. But during the last 13 years K.C. Wolf averaged 350-400 appearances a year. These included visits to major and minor league baseball games, community activities, conventions, grand openings, parades, and libraries! The man beneath the costume is Dan Meers, who has portrayed the mascot since its inception and is known as one of the most recognizable mascots in sports. He was also the first NFL mascot inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006.

A year later, Meers helped the stadium’s security guards stop a fan who entered the field. He followed that assist with a display of bodybuilding poses. He dances, imitates Elvis and performs hilarious routines that guarantee lots of laughs and smiles. Not content to appear just around Kansas City, K.C. Wolf entertains fans of all ages at ballparks throughout the United States and other countries.

All are invited to visit the library to greet the K.C. Chiefs’ lovable mascot!

Nature Reach visits the library


Tuesday, June 28 at 1 p.m., a presenter from Pittsburg State University’s Biology Department will come to Pleasanton Library with a hands-on experience for attendees. This interactive program will engage children, get them thinking and asking questions. Looking closely and touching is highly encouraged.
In keeping with our Summer Reading Theme, “Get Ready, Get Set, Read!” we invited Nature Reach and asked them to bring their most active critters of all — raptors! These powerful hunters of the sky have intrigued humans for years. Students will be amazed as they get a close look at these live predators, learn about their importance and learn why many are endangered.

Nature Reach is partially supported by Pittsburg State University, and also by a generous donation that allows them to offer free programs to schools and libraries. We look forward to their Raptors, Birds of Prey visit!

On Wednesday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to noon, we’ll hold our second Teens Can Cook! Event in the library’s Cafe. Attendees will learn basis cooking skills to make and then sample a healthy lunch. This program is provided by the Marais de Cygne Extension Office, located in Mound City. The teens who participated last week had a wonderful time, and even went home and recreated the dish they learned to make.

The Extension Office is prepared to hold a Family Night on Tuesday, July 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. There is no charge, but registration is required in order to provide enough food. The event will be held at Labette Bank in their spacious finished basement. Call Pleasanton Library at 913-352-8554 for more information.
Our Summer Reading Program continues into July, so there’s still time to join us for the remaining programs we’ve scheduled. It’s nice and cool in the library, and we’ve got great books for all ages. Fight the “summer slide” and start back to school with no lapse in learning this Fall. Teachers — this is a great time to catch up on the reading you’ve meant to do this year, too!

Drum roll please!

Percussion Magic will visit Pleasanton on Tuesday, June 21 at 1 p.m. Johnny and Adam Pierce have been shaking and rattling, clapping and stomping, singing and drumming all around the Kansas City area and beyond with their interactive rhythm and music show. Experience the magic of community rhythm-making with Percussion Magic!

Absolutely no musical experience is needed and all ages are welcome to participate — young and old, pre-school to old-school. They provide all the drums and percussion instruments and sessions are typically 30-60 minutes in length. Everyone is welcome; this is truly fun for all!
With the guidance of a Rhythm Facilitator, everyone participates in fun rhythm activities, songs and games, and learns cool rhythm grooves.

Group drumming promotes stress relief, relaxation, rejuvenation, communication, cooperation, teamwork, togetherness and much much more. Not to mention the opportunities for socializing, making new friends, laughter and just plain fun!

Pleasanton Lincoln Library is part of the Southeast Kansas District Library System (SEKLS), based in Iola. There are many benefits to being a part of the system, including help with our Summer Reading Program. While we receive some State Library funding for children’s programming, it is barely enough to cover new children’s books. Due to ongoing budget cuts, this amount continues to decrease annually. That makes district library participation all the more important.

Early this year, SEK district libraries were invited to welcome a performer as part of our summer activities. Though there is a fee, it is partially covered by the district. This allows smaller libraries to offer a wonderful activity for local children. We have participated in this collaboration for a number of years, and are always pleased with the result. There have been magicians, singers and jugglers that have traveled the SEK area visiting libraries to entertain children during the summer.

We thank the SEK district system and our generous local donors for their support in helping provide this wonderful event. We look forward to welcoming Percussion Magic to our community!

Fun with Food!

In keeping with our efforts to keep kids healthy this summer, we’ve partnered with the Marais des Cygnes Extension District, part of K-State Research and Extension. Next Tuesday, our Summer Reading activity will be provided by their Nutrition Assistant from the Mound City office. She will provide a 30-minute program and explain to children how to choose the healthiest foods.

This is more than a lecture, because it includes a hands-on activity and children will share a simple snack. Attendees will also receive a handout to take home with basic information as well as the recipe for the snack that was shared.

A hand-washing station will also be available to teach children about properly washing their hands before eating. We want everyone to stay healthy this summer here in the library, and at home. Children of all ages are invited to participate in this activity.

On Thursday, June 15, ten lucky registrants (ages 11-14) will visit with Extension office staff to learn some basic cooking skills. They’ll help make a light, healthy meal and best of all, get to eat it! We still have a few openings for this class, so if you’re interested call soon.

We still have schedules available for those who want to plan to visit in the weeks to come. There are some exciting activities coming up that you won’t want your kids to miss!

Our on-going book sale continues, with a new selection of items in two locations. Many of these are hardcover books that need good homes, so swing by to see what you might not want to miss.

The entryway gardens have really enjoyed our recent rains, and are growing like crazy! The help we received from students in April made a big difference in maintaining this feature of our library. In addition we had assistance from one of our patrons, Bill Bundy, who provided his skills to maintain our Little Free Library. We appreciate all our patrons who respect this wonderful community library and look forward to making it even better. If you have ideas you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them. Here’s wishing you all a great summer!

Reader’s Bingo

This summer, we’ve added a fun new game for readers. It’s a Bingo-style sheet that includes a variety of book genres. You can choose whether to go down, across, or diagonally, reading the type of book in each square. When each square is completed, we stamp the space and you move on to the next. As you complete each line, you receive a prize. It’s been very popular with teens and tweens, who often choose several books in a row with each visit. As it gets hotter outside, it’s a good time to sit in the shade to read, or hang out in the library’s air-conditioning with a good book. Don’t know a good book in each genre? Just ask one of the librarians for some suggestions. We all read every chance we get!

When you read this, we’ll have held two Summer Reading activities already. Each one is separate, so don’t worry about missing the first two, or any, as you travel for vacations. Just pop in throughout June through mid-July for some exciting programs. Next Tuesday is Rock Your Socks! We’ll host local guitar instructor, Val Ventro, as he entertains attendees. Kids, be sure to bring a pair of socks to decorate. All are invited for this program.

We have copies of our schedule at the counter, for those who need to plan ahead. They are also posted around town, and can be found on our Pleasanton Lincoln Library Facebook page.

There are still a few spaces left for tweens and teens, ages 11-14, to participate in our Teens Take the Kitchen programs. The chance to learn basic cooking skills and then eat the items created will be conducted by K-State Research and Extension office staff. There is no charge for these programs, which take place Wednesdays, June 15 and June 22 between 11 a.m. and noon. You must register in advance for this program.

Our ongoing book sale continues in the library with lots of new items placed on the sale shelves monthly. We have regulars who visit to select books and movies for their collections, all at very reasonable prices. The funds raised are used to buy new books for the library.
Depending on what time you visit, you might see two more new faces working for us this summer. Currently volunteering for us are Alexis Swearingen and Brialee Lowe. These two bright young ladies are squeezing in some time in their busy schedules to help us with tasks around the library. Be sure to say hello when you visit.

Our big project this summer is to replace the cantankerous north side door. As the temperatures change, the metal heats and swells, making entry difficult. Please excuse our progress if you find you must enter the front doors as construction occurs.

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