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.

Board of Trustees Meeting

Pleasanton Lincoln Library’s Annual Budget Meeting will be held Monday, September 16, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. in the library located at 752 Main St.

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!


“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.” ― Peter Golkin

If you’ve never ridden your bike to the library, next Tuesday is the day to do it! Our special Every Hero has a Story Summer Reading Program will be about policemen. Police Chief Tanner Ogden will visit to talk with the kids about bicycle safety, and how policemen can help protect those in the community.

Everyone who rides their bikes to the library that day and checks out at least one book, will receive a backpack with our BIKE IN, BOOK OUT logo. It was created especially for this event and its bright yellow color will make it easier for drivers to see children on their bikes.

If you have multiple children in your care, you might walk (or ride) along with them. When your children arrive, the bicycle rack may be full. But we’ll have cones and caution tape nearby so there will be plenty of room for everyone. Please be careful as you bring your children to the library, obeying all the rules of traffic.

Many children ride their bikes during the summer months, and some are unaware of the rules of riding around town. This is a great time for them to meet a policeman who cares about their safety and will help them learn how to stay safe and have fun.

There are so many negative stories about policemen in the news these days. This will be a good opportunity for children to be reminded not to be afraid of policemen. Here in Pleasanton, they can be counted on to help us in times of need.

Join us Tuesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. for this fun and educational event.

Every Hero has a Story

This year’s Collaborative Summer Reading Program’s theme is “Every Hero has a Story.” While libraries are free to choose how they conduct their programs, many are focusing on Super Heroes this year. Children are attracted to the colorful characters they see on television and in the movies. We’ve purchased a number of books about super heroes. But in addition we’ve added books about Everyday Heroes, like policemen, firefighters, EMTs, doctors and nurses, veterinarians and service dogs.

Our weekly Tuesday afternoon programs will acquaint children with special people in our town who are considered heroes. We began with local service dog Autumn and her owner Ron Howard. Autumn helps Ron live more fully despite being legally blind. You often see them walking in Pleasanton, enjoying the outdoors. During his program, he told children they shouldn’t be afraid of Autumn because of her size. They also learned when he is out walking with her she is on the job and it’s critical she be alert and not distracted in order to help protect him. Autumn is definitely an Everyday Hero for Ron!

Last week singer-songwriter Alan Cunningham visited our library to entertain a large group of children with songs he’d written. He reminded them they could be heroes, too. The audience got in on the action by singing along and throwing their arms in the air having fun. They also enjoyed snacks livered by volunteer Mary Kay Smith.

Yesterday afternoon Volunteer Fireman Travis Laver brought a school bus for a trip to the fire station to talk with children about what firefighters do on the job and offered pointers about fire safety in their homes and at school. As Superintendent of Pleasanton Schools, Travis holds fire drills so children and their teachers are prepared for a variety of emergencies.

Tuesday, June 23, School Nurse Jennifer Spencer will join us at the library to talk with attendees about her job as a medical professional. Each week, we also offer take-home coloring sheets specifically about the Everyday Heroes of the week.

On June 30 will be a bicycle safety program given by a member of our police department. Each child who travels to the library by bicycle and checks out a book will receive a free bright yellow string backpack to take home. Carrying materials in a backpack is the safest way to travel to keep their hands free to steer their bikes.

July 7 we’ll have a visit from Heartland Electric Cooperative employee Rafael Murillo, who will share great information about electrical safety. Electric employees are also heroes, as they help keep our power turned on and protect us from downed lines.

On July 14, we will end our program with a big Super Hero party. There will be games and activities, and children will receive snacks and prizes. What a great way to finish our Heroic Summer Reading Program!

Author’s visit a success


Saturday’s visit by author Lorraine Robinson drew a crowd that filled the children’s area of the library. Those who arrived early were anxious to purchase her book and lined up to get her signature. After a brief introduction, Robinson began her presentation about how the book came to be written. Starting with the groundwork her mother began, Robinson continued researching the case that became her recently published book, “Deadly Affair: A Linn County Scandal.” The book, based on a true story, does not attempt to lay blame for the 1923 murder of of a La Cygne shopkeeper’s wife. Instead, it tells the story using the information Robinson found in area newspapers and court documents.

While this might sound mundane, Robinson enlivens the information by imagining the daily lives of the characters. This allows the story to transition over the years the trials occur. In addition, she creates one character who adds depth to the book and leaves the reader to wonder “what if …”

Those who attended the presentation were fascinated by the story and had many questions. They were anxious to read the book and many were purchased. The library owns a copy with a waiting list of those interested in reading it. Parker Library plans a Book Club reading of the book which should generate much discussion. La Cygne Library will have Robinson return to Linn County for a second presentation toward the end of June.

This was Robinson’s first author presentation and she invited friends and family to attend for support. It seems there are local descendants of the families involved in the historic court case of this infamous crime still living in this area. Readers, we will let you be the judge of how, and if, the case was resolved.

Deadly Affair: A Linn County Scandal

This event might be ripped from today’s headlines in any big-city newspaper. But this story was drawn from a crime that occurred over 90 years ago in the small town of La Cygne, in Linn County, Kansas.

Elleanor Scott, wife of a grocery and meat market owner, was shot to death in her kitchen late one summer evening in 1923, after she and her husband returned home from an outing. Her husband, Ellison Scott, was charged with the murder after an investigation led to no suspects other than him. He maintained that a rail rider had been seen in town the same day of his wife’s murder, and he felt this stranger must have killed his wife while robbing their home. While authorities investigated Ellison’s claims, much evidence was found of illicite [sp] affairs, and behaviors that centered around Ellison having been the culprit in his wife’s murder. This is a true story considered the crime of the century in Kansas at that time.

Author Lorraine Robinson will be presenting her book and offering insight to the story she published in late 2014. Robinson is a native Kansan, born in Moran in 1951. She lived with her family on a farm near Blue Mound until she was seven years old. Her family moved to Stafford, Kansas and eventually to Hutchinson, Kansas, where she graduated from high school. Shortly after, she moved to Topeka and worked for AT&T, where she was employed until 1987. She married in 1979 and had a son in 1981. In 1991 she and her husband travelled to Romania to adopt a daughter who was then 6 weeks old. She spent the next several years raising her children. She has been a portrait artist and illustrator since high school, and enjoys this talent. Deadly Affair is her first book. She enjoys reading and tried to write this story the way she would like to read it. Robinson said, “It’s a story that needed to be told.”

Relive this scandal through the words of Lorraine Robinson when she visits Pleasanton Lincoln Library on Saturday, May 30 at 1 p.m. All are invited!

Text excerpted from publisher Mira Digital Press.

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