Holiday storytime

We’re planning to hold storytime during the school’s holiday break. We have not set a time yet, and will ask visitors if they have a preference, as well as on Facebook. We’re thinking mornings around 10:30 on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, but we’re open to suggestions.

Computer Access

The library has free Wi-fi access. We have seven computers with Internet access available for patron use, plus two computers designed for children over three years of age. Our newest children’s computer is an AWE tablet, containing 60 games that maximize your child’s early literacy learning.

Please remember our computer use policy limits time for patrons to 30 minutes, with a maximum of one hour. If you have a library card, you may be asked to show it so we can check for overdue materials. Computers shut down 10 minutes before closing. We no longer provide headphones for patrons use, though you may purchase ear buds at the circulation desk for $1.50.

National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 18-24

This week is National Friends of Libraries week. We’d like to thank those folks who brave cold weather to sell baked goods to raise funds for the library. They help with book sales and sell candy throughout the year to garner monies to purchase new books and make improvements to your library. We appreciate all they do, and are grateful for their efforts. You are welcome to join their efforts. Call Shirley Smith, 352-6840 or Sherry McCulley, 352-6294 to learn more.

Our board and employees also work hard to improve your library. Every time an employee or board member learns something new about our field, we try to implement it. Even in some small way, we utilize what we’ve learned in an effort to make the library a better place. This week, we’ll host our library consultant as she introduces a webinar to train the board about fundraising. These programs are free to us through our district office, the Southeast Kansas Library System in Iola.

This same organization piloted the Applied Public Library Education program several years ago to teach new rural library directors to become better informed about running their libraries. The process included a couple of intensive, two-day training sessions, plus a minimum of 60 credit hours of additional courses. I was honored to be part of this pilot program, which I completed in 2014. Since that program was piloted, it has been expanded statewide.

That doesn’t mean my education ended. Across Kansas, we are encouraged to attend additional classes each year to stay current with changes in the library world. Library board members are also able to increase their knowledge by viewing webinars, and are invited to join me at the annual meeting in Iola each June for programs.

Libraries have changed considerably since my early teen years. I worked as a volunteer, then an employee at my hometown library. I read to children, shelved books and later, helped at the circulation desk. Life was simpler then. All we had to checkout were books, but there were about 20,000 of them. We were not automated. There were no computers, video games, audio books or DVDs. Yet the library was crowded with people visiting to check out books for their children and themselves. Students spent afternoons at tables researching for school papers, and completing homework.

Today, there are many more options at the library. In addition to those mentioned above, we have author programs, summer reading events and meetings are held in the board room at the back of the library. It’s still a busy place, and not nearly as quiet as my hometown library. That’s fine with us, as we are happy to see the library being used to enlighten and brighten the lives of those in our community. The library is a valuable resource and we appreciate the support of those who care about its future. Help us wish our wonderful volunteers Happy National Friends of Libraries week!

Board of Trustees Meeting

Pleasanton Lincoln Library will hold its next board meeting on Wed., Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. The library is located at 752 Main St. in Pleasanton.

Mine eyes have seen the glory …

You may know this year is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Perhaps you caught an episode of Ken Burn’s “The Civil War” on National Public Television. Maybe you attended “Heritage Days” at our Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site this past weekend. It allowed visitors a glimpse of how life was lived at the time of the Civil War. A number of artisans demonstrated period skills, including camp cooking. A small hole was dug in the ground to burn wood and heavy pots were buried or hung from sturdy iron braces. If you stood near the site, you came away smelling of wood smoke. But the result was homemade biscuits and apple butter, or cornbread and beef stew.

In addition to feeding soldiers, there had to be other supporting efforts. Also in attendance Saturday were a blacksmith, a wood carver, a rope maker, leather worker and others. A number of visitors brought their children to experience the work of these craftsmen and women. Inside the museum a documentary, “The Lost Battle of the Civil War: Battle of Mine Creek,” was shown. It explained why it was a little-known battle. Since there was no nearby city at the time, only a creek, the battle was named for Mine Creek. It was the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War west of the Mississippi, but it was a fluid battle. Soldiers were on the move, the battle lasted only 30 minutes, and they continued south toward Ft. Scott. Created by Ken Burns, the film can be checked out at the library or purchased at the museum.

If you and your children want to learn more about the Civil War and the time period in which it was fought, we have many books and DVDs at the library. Some are non-fiction, but there are also historic fiction books on our shelves that are based on the era. When most people think of the Civil War, they likely imagine the soldiers and battles. But many others were affected by the war, including wives, sons and daughters, nurses and doctors, merchants and animals. You can read stories about these supporting members of society during war time. While times were much different than our own, there are still similarities. They didn’t have internet to communicate, but might send messages by courier. Our drive-ins were like their scavenging local farms and fields for food to survive.

The time period is still fresh in the minds of many descendants of the war, and feelings can run high. But it was explained to me the symbols of the war, such as the Stars and Bars of the south, represent pride in southern ancestry and lands. Flying these colors at the battlefield Saturday was such an expression. Thankfully, our nation’s flag flies on the pole in front of the battlefield museum, signifying the most important result of the war – that of a unified nation.

Like your library? Let us know

Since moving from 904 Main St. to our current location at 752 Main St., we’ve received so many wonderful comments from those who come in regularly. In addition, visitors to the area have been generous with kind statements when they come to the library. Recently, these comments have been shared with library board members, but we thought you’d like to read a sample as well.

“You all have sure done a nice job in here. I especially like this area [the old-fashioned reading area in the front corner].” “That little [free] library is a great idea. I took a book out, read it and brought it back so someone else would read it ’cause it was so good. Then I took another one.” “I love the way you guys have changed the library. I’m glad you moved.” “For a little library, I like this the best.” “There are so many things for kids here.”

“It’s BEAUTIFUL in here.” “You’ve got the best selection of movies of any library I’ve ever seen. I really like the way you’ve got the whole place set up in here.” “Your library is so comfortably set up. I’m going to enjoy using it.” “My, this is a beautiful library, I just love all your reading nooks.”

“This is such a sweet library. It’s people like you who keep this community going.” “Hey, your flower boxes really look great out here.” “That [recycled wood] up on the wall is the neatest. And your outside stuff is looking great.” “This is a very homey library. Our local library is quite nice, but not homey like this.” “This is MORE than a library.” “The Keurig machine for patrons to buy coffee is a great idea.”

“Your library is romantic.” “This library is very well-organized. I love it.” “It’s so nice to come someplace to cool off on a hot day.” “The library is a magical place.” “This is the most inviting library I’ve ever been in. It’s so cute.” “I love this library! It’s the best library I’ve been in. I’m serious. I don’t know why, but this library feels like home. I’ve never been in a library like this.”

We enjoy knowing that the fruits of our labors are appreciated. We listen to every positive comment, but are also open to suggestions. If there is something you’d like to see in your library … more programming, different hours, etc., let us know. We’ll share your ideas with the board. Though we can’t promise your dreams will all come true due to budgetary constraints, we’ll do our best to make this a library of which we can all be proud.

Making a list and checking it twice

Anyone who frequents the internet may notice the proliferation of links to a variety of lists, for example “20 of the Best Places to Retire,” or “The Worst Cities to Live In.” One recently caught my eye, Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. The list spans 200 years of literature, along with a wide range of genres and intended audiences.

I reviewed the list to see how many of them were on the shelves at our library. Then I looked at other book lists on the “List Challenge” website, where you can find lists for nearly everything.

Here are those lists mentioned in the article. You can find many of these books at, or through, our library.

Books to Read to Be Considered Well Read – Contemporary or classic novels, plays, poem and short story anthologies, that any serious reader should read at least once in his or her life. From Goodreads

Reddit’s 35 Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once in Their Lifetime – In honor of World Book Day, Reddit users were asked what book everyone needs to read at least once in their life. Reddit is an entertainment, social networking, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially an online bulletin board system. Wikipedia

NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books – The winners of National Public Radio’s Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy survey are an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary titles.

Goodreads’ Best Books Ever – Voted on by the general Goodreads community. Goodreads is an Amazon company and “social cataloging” website. It allows individuals to freely search Goodreads’ extensive user-populated database of books, annotations, and reviews. Wikipedia

BBC’s The Big Read – Best Loved Novels of All Time – A 2003 survey on books carried out by the British Broadcasting Company where over three quarters of a million votes were received from the British public to determine the nation’s best-loved novels of all time.

Flavorwire’s 50 Great Books You’ll Never Read in School – There’s nothing wrong with literary classics, but there’s much more out there. One-third of high school graduates never read another book the rest of their lives, so they should have more to go on than “The Great Gatsby.” Flavorwire is a publication of Flavorpill Media, a network of culturally connected people, covering events, art, books, music, film, TV, and pop culture worldwide. Flavorwire features global cultural news and commentary, and original reporting.

50 Books to Read Before You Die – Fifty classic literary works from the world’s great writers. From Barnes & Noble

100 Fiction Books All Children Should Read – Books all children should read before leaving secondary school – according to teachers.

Newsweek’s Top 100 Books: The Meta-List – A list of lists, made by compilation of many another top lists – for example, Modern Library, the New York Public Library, etc.

Inspired author to visit library

Marcel & Friends

Thursday from 3-6 p.m. at the Pleasanton Library, author Marcel Normand will introduce his new book. Titled “The Lucile James Story: Portrait of a Remarkable Teacher,” the informal biography gives an account of an extraordinary woman who always intended to teach. She changed his life as well as that of his family. Normand will also provide a formal presentation about writing the book at 5:30 p.m. in the library’s meeting room.

Normand first met Lucile James when they were hired in 1969 to teach at Fort Scott High School. James was born in a Pleasanton, KS family with solid Midwestern values. By the time Normand met her, she had already taught in three other high schools, whereas he was young, and only had a year of teaching experience under his belt.

She once shared with him that teaching was one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre! Along with her inexhaustible passion for teaching, she endured life’s two greatest killers: successful heart surgery in the 1970s and brain cancer in the 1980s, that unfortunately took her life at age 77.

It’s a beautiful and inspiring story, that concludes with several testimonials from former students and friends, followed by a group of family photos. Normand’s personal life is woven in, as seen through the lens of their friendship. It is written on a timeline to allow the reader to follow various school events. Many students and staff from this 25-year period, are mentioned throughout the narrative. Some of Pleasanton’s residents will recognize Normand’s name, and remember him as a former teacher when they attended Fort Scott Community College.

Normand will be available to sell and sign his book before and after his formal presentation. All are welcome to attend this free program.

Making and sharing memories

first shift

This past weekend was a great time to share memories with classmates and make new ones with family and friends. Early registration for the Pleasanton Alumni multi-year school reunion was held at the library on Friday. We had 160 people visit the library that day and it was wonderful to see them greet each other and visit for a few minutes. Volunteers from the Friends of Kansas Libraries-Pleasanton were available to serve ice cold water, coffee and homemade cookies. Visitors took a few minutes to wander around the library and all seemed pleased with the changes since their visits five years ago. One woman shared, “This is more than a library,” while another commented, “This is so homey and filled with personal touches.”

Our newest employee, Sandy Lash, greeted the visitors like family and many of them were! We gave up trying to keep them all straight, but enjoyed her big smile all day. Those who came in to register traveled from far and wide to get here and our parking lot was filled with an assortment of vehicles. One of the couples arrived in a beautiful mid-50s Dodge truck painted in turquoise and white. We also spotted a gorgeous gold Can-Am motorcycle near our entrance.

In addition to the reunion activities, many photos were taken and shared of families enjoying Fourth of July gatherings and fireworks. We have been doing something similar this summer with our weekly Summer Reading Program. Moms, grandmothers and day care owners have been bringing their children to the library on a regular basis. The kids range in age, with older children assisting with the babies and younger ones. Most of our presenters are local professionals who agreed to talk with the children about their jobs as everyday heroes. They shared tips to help keep kids safe and answered many questions about their jobs. We wouldn’t be surprised if some of the children weren’t inspired to become firemen, policemen or nurses. We thank them all for their time and hope they had fun during their visits.

Our program ends next week with a big Super Hero party at 1 p.m. There won’t be a presenter that day, as Superman and Batman are busy protecting the world. But we’ll have snacks, activities and prizes for kids who attend. It’s been a great summer, with lots of photos taken and memories made. It would be great to know how many of these children will meet again to greet their friends as adults at reunions in the future!

Local heroes keep us safe

“Every hero has a story” continues as this year’s Summer Reading Program theme. We’ve had fun having our local heroes visit to share their stories. Ron Howard told the children about how his service dog, Autumn, allows him the freedom to extend his life beyond the bounds of his home. His diminished vision could keep him homebound. But traveling with Autumn gives him the opportunity to travel throughout our community to do chores and exercise safely.

Singer Alan Cunningham shared stories to teach young children about heroism through the humorous songs he’s written. He encourages kids to think of themselves as heroes when they act kind and help others. His easy-going demeanor made the children comfortable enough to join him in song and stand up and dance.

Our local firemen Rob Dent, Travis Laver and Jeff Wisdom shared information about their work to keep citizens safe when fires occur. They talked about their protective clothing, let the kids try on jackets and helmets. A few of the bigger kids even hoisted a 37-pound tank on their backs for a glimpse into the efforts firemen must endure when fighting fires. A visitor from Kansas City shared that her children had visited Kansas City fire stations and our local tour was more informative and extensive than any of them!

Last week, Jennifer Spence shared stories about her varied nursing career. She admitted the most difficult part of her job wasn’t giving shots, but losing older patients who passed away. Jennifer not only works at our local school, but also at Prescott Country View Nursing Home.

This week, Chief of Police Tanner Ogden and Officer Tristan Snyder visited our library with bicycle safety tips for youngsters. Our “Bike In, Book Out” program encouraged those who attended to ride their bikes to the library and check out at least one book. We offered bright yellow backpacks to help drivers see the children as they ride their bikes around town.

Our presenter next week is Rafael Murillo, a Heartland Electric Cooperative supervisor, who shared safety tips with our young audience. Many children don’t realize the danger electric linemen face in order to restore power after storms, maintenance and accidents. Next time your children complain that they want power back on for video games, remind them someone is working hard to help them, at grave danger to themselves.

The Summer Reading Program will end with a Super Hero party on July 14 at 1 p.m. We’ll have games, snacks and prizes for all attendees. We know the children enjoy reading and watching movies about their favorite super heroes. But we also wanted them to realize real heroes are not those in tights with spider webs streaming from their arms. The real heroes are everywhere around us, putting their lives in danger to help keep us safe!

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