Nature Reach visits the library

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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.

There’s reading going on

The Summer Reading Program is underway at the library and we’re encouraged by the number of children visiting for books. They’ve already been returning for their prizes and anxious to read more books. We’re not limiting the encouragement to children this year, but to teens and adults as well. As incentives, we have two whole display cases of items to choose from as readers meet their goals.

Don’t know what to read? Each of us who work at the library have different tastes in books and can suggest authors and titles for you. Parents might even encourage their children to read by offering a movie as incentive for completing a book.

We began registering readers May 10, but it’s not too late to begin. Our program continues through mid-July, so there’s plenty of time to catch up. In addition to racing toward the goal finish lines that readers set for themselves, we have other challenges they can meet. With this summer’s theme of On your mark, get set, READ! It’s only natural that we’d include some games as incentives. We have several reading bingo games for all ages, and readers can review the books they’ve read for additional prizes.

Our scheduled activities began this week, with a special art project that will hang on the wall for all to see. Each child had the chance to show off their artistic side by painting their part that will be added to the others to create a masterpiece. In addition, they were involved in motion activities to keep their blood pumping. You know, it’s hard to sit still when you’re a little one! After all that activity, there was a healthy snack to enjoy.

Next Tuesday, our craft will be kite decorating (and flying, wind permitting), and more healthy snacks. As the weeks go by, we’ll continue to let you know what’s coming, so you won’t miss a thing. You’re welcome to visit the library for a schedule to plan in advance.

Along with all these activities, we’d like to let you know there will be some new faces working at the library this summer. The first is Megan Sabine, who began work last week as a summer clerk. She’s a bright, busy girl who can barely fit us into her schedule. She’s been looking forward to working here for the last several years, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to have her join us for a few months. Be sure to come in and welcome her when you can.

Megan-small

We continue to seek donations of all sizes to provide activities for the community this summer. Any amount is appreciated, large or small. Donors who got in the game early include Erica Kern, Labette Bank, Tina’s Place, Farmer’s State Bank, Lil’ Gals Closet, Conely Sales, Casey’s Convenience Store, Mercy Hospital, Ken Baugh, Food Fair, Ellis Construction, Florine O’Rourke, The Barn Antiques and Florine O’Rourke. We thank each of them, and would love to add your name to the list of supportive folks. They all believe literacy helps win the race. Readers succeed!

On your mark, get set, READ!

After a lovely weather weekend for graduation and parties, we began the week with light rain to wash school parking lots clean. Work will continue through the summer at the schools as janitors polish floors, make repairs and clean.

All this behind-the-scenes activity goes on just as our summer activities at the library begin. We’re enticing the students to stay busy over the next few months. Reading during their school break will help them this fall. It’s proven that students who read while school is out will return to classes in the fall with no loss of momentum.

Encourage your children to read this summer. It keeps them entertained, gives you a break from them asking, “What can I do, I’m bored,” and can be lots of fun! If they need some suggestions about what to read, send them to the library. We have lots of ideas! We’re always on the hunt for new series and stand-alone titles that will interest even the most discerning reader. If we don’t have a title, we can borrow it from other libraries in southeast Kansas, and beyond.

We’re not just about reading this summer. We also have some exciting activities planned. This year’s Summer Reading Program theme is, “On your mark, get set, READ!” Our weekly get-togethers will focus on physical activity, healthy eating and having a great time! Our program begins early this year, on May 24, and runs through mid-July. Students should have received a schedule of activities on their last day of school. But if they missed them, we’ll have copies at the library.

Some of the highlights include music by a local guitar teacher, a traveling percussionist, a program on healthy food choices with the K-State Extension office presenters, and a visit from K.C. Wolf! Many of the activities will take place on Tuesday afternoons at 1 p.m., but there are a few exceptions. We’re even planning some lunch and learn classes for teens that will take place on Wednesdays.

It will be fun to have the library full of children again. Even if they choose to play video games and board games while they’re her, we’ll enjoy their presence. We know they’ve been looking forward to summer, and we’ll help keep them busy. We will encourage them to read with prizes for their efforts, so don’t be too surprised if they bring home a book or two. We love reading, and hope to pass along that interest as well. We look forward to seeing all of you while school’s out!

Spring Cleaning

Every year, after the excesses of the holiday season, we’re programmed to review how much we own. We begin “spring cleaning” which often means divesting our homes of things we no longer want or need.

At the library, we see evidence of this in the number of items people donate. Recently, we were gifted numerous bags of VHS tapes. We also receive boxes of books that include everything from 20-year-old textbooks to romance paperbacks. There’s even a variety of items people think we might use in the library. For example, framed prints, furniture and even two large fish tanks, complete with all the necessary equipment.

These items are donated with good intention, and also because donors don’t want to see them go to waste. We utilize what we can, store some in case we might need them, and try to find new homes for those we can’t use. In the case of books, we follow simple guidelines: Do we already have the book on our shelves? Is the donation in better condition? If so, we process it to keep. We check the publication date. If it is a current book visitors might read, we process it. If it’s in good repair, we place it on our sale rack for a very reasonable price. A few books are set back to use for craft projects in the library. If the item is heavily damaged (has been wet, or needs repair) we recycle it.

Items on our sale rack include books, as well as movies. We rotate new items on a monthly basis, so visitors can return regularly for fresh inventory. Those remaining at the end of the month are sorted. Large print books and selected magazines are donated to the Residencies and Walnut View Estates assisted living facilities. Some magazines are given to the school for reference and art projects. Children’s VHS and DVD movies might be given to Southeast Mental Health Alliance. Some books are shipped to other libraries or Ethiopia Reads. Some go to Concern for resale to the public, and they have locations beyond their store that use them as well.

In addition to donated items, we regularly review our shelves to locate items no longer checked out. We want to make space for the latest books patrons want to check out, so weeding these older books and movies is a necessary step. If we didn’t perform this process, we’d quickly be out of room. Culled items go on our sale rack and many are still in great shape. If you’ve made space in your home after your own spring cleaning, you might stop by at the beginning of each month to see if we have something you want or need for your own collection. Don’t want to keep it after you’ve read it? You can always return it to us to continue the cycle of reuse.

You have such a nice library

We moved into our new space just over three years ago, and other librarians told me we’d receive a “bounce” in numbers. We would see more people and more items would be checked out than ever. They said enjoy it while it lasts. We did see that bounce and loved it! While those numbers leveled off we continue to have visitors tell us how much they like the library.

Having been located in a space of about 1,000 square feet, we thought our new space of 4,800 square feet was a cavern. We figured we’d never be able to fill the bookshelves. Yet, here we are a short time later wondering how in the world we ever squeezed into the smaller space. The answer was easy – we weren’t able to purchase many books, or have much furniture. There was a tiny children’s area, no area for tweens and teens, and no privacy for computer users.

What a difference a few years made. We now have seven computer stations for adults, a children’s computer and tablet, and free WiFi for anyone inside or out. Our meeting room is used by numerous local organizations, and “school” has been held there for the past year. Every spring, volunteers from AARP Tax Aide help people file their taxes. Appointments fill up fast, but we also schedule some at nearby libraries. Head Start groups have met in our children’s area since our move, and court-appointed visits are possible in our public spaces as well.

We provide outreach to the preschool and volunteers visit daily during Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week. Our Friends group provides chili and bake sales to help fund books for the library, and prizes during our Summer Reading Program. We work with our district library to bring in special presenters during summer, and had record numbers for our programs. Our fire station visit last year entertained over 60 children, and we were told their tour was better than four they had attended in Kansas City!

This year we’ll work in conjunction with the Extension office in Mound City to provide programs for children, teens and adults that help them make healthy eating choices. A Family Night Meal is planned, so watch for details about time and place.

We continue to stock our Little Free Library outside our front doors, and maintain our raised bed gardens for all to enjoy. There are picnic tables in the former loading dock where you can enjoy the sunshine and have a bite to eat. If the weather is too warm, you can visit our Cafe to work on your laptop while you sip a cold soda.

Best of all, we have a much larger selection of books, audio books, DVDs and magazines than ever. Ready to visit and read or relax? We welcome you to join us in Pleasanton’s “nice” library. Let us know what you think about the improvements to your local library.

April showers bring May flowers

Coleman & James small

Ever since we received a grant from the Friends of Kansas Libraries last year for entryway improvements, we have had gardens on our minds. It all began with Pleasanton school students visiting to help us prepare to put in raised beds at our west entrance on their Community Work Day. 17 students and 6 teachers arrived that morning. The teachers not only instructed the students as they went about their tasks. They also got down on their hands and knees to work alongside them. What great role models they were for the students, and we were appreciative of everyone’s efforts.

They plan to return this year, and we look forward to their help. This time they won’t be carrying buckets of gravel, hauling away dirt removed from the trench for edging blocks and moving concrete planters. This year they’ll have the opportunity to work with the plants we planted. They’ll learn which ones are weeds to be removed, and which ones over-wintered. They’ll learn how to enhance the soil by adding worm castings, and remove unwanted grass using rock salt, rather than chemicals.

Depending on the weather, which was perfect last year, they should enjoy the day. They’ll not only be outside the classroom learning about the natural world. They’ll be learning about providing community service, giving back to their hometown and accomplishing something of which they can be proud. They’ll even learn a little about caring for the Earth, which is in desperate need of their concern. For they will be the ones making the decisions about how she fares in years to come. They’ll be voting on issues that concern us all.

Here at the library, we would like to keep these young people involved. We would like them to grow up to be thoughtful, intelligent adults ready to face the larger world. They have much to learn and though much of it can be learned in their classes, even more can be learned outside them. They don’t have to go away to college, or travel the world to do this. That helps, but isn’t necessary. What is important is that they learn all they can about the world by learning how to care for it. That can be done in their own backyards, in the town where they live, even if it is a small town. They are young, and seem to be totally distracted by electronics. But it’s the real world they should see. Their Community Work Day is an excellent way to begin, and so appropriate for it to be held near Earth Day, April 22.

National Library Week

Drop everything small

National Library Week is observed this week April 10-16 with the theme, “Libraries Transform.”

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 12, 2016), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; and National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 13, 2016), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

History
In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”

National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship.

Credit: American Library Association website

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