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Fun with Food! Learning Corner

Once again this year, we are excited to be working with Carolynn Cochran from the Linn County Extension Office staff to provide fun and educational programs during our Summer Reading Program. Our next program, is for all children and will be held Tuesday, June 27 at 1 p.m. in the library children’s area.

The Linn County office in Mound City is in the Marais des Cygnes District of the K-State Research and Extension. Their goal is to make a difference for Kansas families. Local educators help create an environment where families have the information, skills and assets needed to improve their quality of life and contribute to their communities.

Choosing Healthy Foods
Our library programs help children learn about nutritious and safe food selection and preparation. In addition to our ongoing Tweens Cook! events held on scheduled Wednesdays, we’ve added the program mentioned above for younger children. Healthy snacks will be provided by the extension office.

We enjoy working with the staff of the extension office, who also provided our Kick-off event at Mine Creek Battlefield on June 5. The group of knowledgeable staff members are a joy to work with, and attendees respond to their enthusiasm. Please join us for the program next Tuesday.

Construction equipment rodeo

Children are fascinated by big trucks and similar vehicles. But do they know how they work? Next Tuesday, June 20 at 10 am join us at MSR Mid State Rental at 11231 Tucker Road, just north of Mercy Clinic as we “round-up” some construction equipment. A representative will guide the children around the property and share the uses of the various equipment used in building homes, at businesses and in farming. The ladies from the Methodist Church are providing little truck snacks and we’ll have bottled water for those attending. It’s all a part of our “Building a Better World” Summer Reading Program.

Another way we hope to build a better world is by holding a food drive at the library. Items that are collected will be split between Harvesters in Prescott and Concern Inc. in Mound City. Children are encouraged to bring canned goods and boxed items that will be used to “build” a city skyline in the children’s area. As these items come in, they can watch the skyline grow, and see how their items can help feed those in need.

We’ll continue holding weekly program throughout the summer months. You can pick up a schedule at the library, watch the Linn County News Week at a Glance for updates, and check our Pleasanton Lincoln Library Facebook page for details as well.

A favorite program that returns from last summer our the Tweens Cook! Programs with Carolynn Cochran from the K-State Extension office. Those attending will help fix a healthy meal and then reap the rewards of their efforts by eating it! The program is open to boys and girls alike, but limited seats are available. Registration is necessary in order to provide enough supplies to make the meal. Those interested are welcome to register at the library.

Over the next few months children can also read books toward prizes on display in the library. Our display case is filled with colorful books and toys meant to encourage them to meet their reading goals and avoid “summer slide” so they can be ready to go back to school in the fall and pick up right where they ended the school year. We look forward to seeing you, your children and grandchildren at the library!

Teach your children well

Next Tuesday, June 13 at 1 p.m. our Summer Reading Program features City Administrator Erica Kern. She will join us for fun and games to teach children what can, and can’t be recycled locally. please bring your children for our Recycle, Upcycle, Bicycle? Program next week. If you live nearby, you might even consider walking or biking to the library to teach your little ones how to save energy.

Those raised in agricultural areas learned early on how to maintain what they owned, and reuse what they had. The Depression era taught our parents and grandparents the same thing. Hardly anything was thrown away if it could be patched, mended, or otherwise saved. If you didn’t experience this yourself, you may have heard stories about turning worn shirt collars and cuffs to make them last a little longer. Many dresses and quilts of the day were made of feedsack cloth. Farmers fixed their own equipment to make it last as long as possible.

Our ancestors valued what they built, what they owned and were good at caring for the Earth and its blessings. If they had not been, we wouldn’t see old barns still standing, and even being used. History museums would have fewer items that were passed down for future generations so they could learn about days gone by.

We hear about efforts in our “modern” days to reuse and recycle, and believe we invented them. We only need to look back to know we’re just trying to emulate those who came before us. They knew how to take care of the planet that fed them, the clothes that were handmade for them, and the things they hoped to pass on to their children.

As America became more industrialized, goods were produced more efficiently and prices dropped. Electricity was delivered to rural areas in the mid-1930s and products that used it made lives a little easier. As people became more prosperous, more goods were manufactured and advertisers encouraged buying the latest version of everything. Consumerism changed us into the Throwaway Generations.

Things began to change in the 1970s when we realized Earth’s resources were limited. Efforts began tho turn the tide of “trashing” our planet. We still have a long way to go, and we should make every effort to teach our children to care for the Earth. This can happen everyday, and not just on Earth Day.

During next week’s Summer Reading Program, we’ll make this fun. We’ll also tell attendees about making items for our STEAM FUNk show August 8 at Labette Bank. In our library Maker Space, they can upcycle clothes and accessories to display or wear in the fashion show in August, and keep to wear again. They can also create on art projects to display during the show. We encourage the projects be made of recycled items, and we’ve been gathering materials they can reuse to create something new. Let’s pass on the knowledge that repurposing can be better than buying everything new, and it can be fun!

Board of Trustees Meeting

The next meeting of Pleasanton Lincoln Library Trustees will be held May 24, 2017 at 5:15 p.m. The library is located at 752 Main St. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting.

Walk among the Wildflowers

It’s almost here! Our Summer Reading Program kick-off event, “Walking among the Wildflowers,” will take place on the Mine Creek Battlefield grounds on Monday, June 5 at 10 am. In the spirit of our theme “Build a Better World,” it’s in collaboration with Tami Neal from the Mine Creek Battlefield, Abbie Powell from the K-State Extension office, Ginny Clark and Linda Wunderly from the Mound City Library, Wendy Morlan and Lia Duckwall from Pleasanton Library.

The two libraries have created a StoryWalk© for the children to view and read. Ginny Clark chose the story “Chicks and Salsa.” Abbie Powell will provide a wildflower walk and talk on the battlefield grounds near the museum building. She will also help the children mix soil and amendments to plant a container garden with seeds to grow into salsa ingredients.

The StoryWalk© pages will be attached to bright yellow corrugated plastic board, posted on metal stands and scattered near the battlefield museum. These pages will later be rotated for display in storefront windows of both Mound City and Pleasanton businesses. Brochures will indicate locations where readers can view the book’s pages while getting some exercise. This widens the collaborative scope to include local businesses.

Throughout the summer, we will have other collaborative programs that include nearby businesses. Stay tuned for more information about these library programs, or pick up a schedule at the Pleasanton Library. Hope to see you next Monday!

The importance of summer reading

The American Library Association (ALA) writes, “Research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers. Libraries play a key role in their communities, disseminating early literacy information to parents, child care providers, educators and decision makers. Libraries make a major contribution to children’s path to reading, through both books and technology.”

While some of us remember spending a lot of time reading when we were young, there are many more distractions these days. Why pick up a book when you can watch DVDs, play video games and spend hours online. But literacy is still important in today’s world. It will help your child do well in school, and in their adult life. To encourage summer readers, many libraries hold Summer Reading Programs. There are a variety of programs over the summer to encourage children to learn while having fun. They vary from library-to-library, as do the times and duration these programs are held. Watch this newspaper and check flyers, newsletters, library websites and Facebook pages for more information.

In addition to the programs, many register children so they can set reading goals, track their progress and gain recognition for their efforts. They may get their photo and name on a wall, receive a certificate, or win a prize. While the incentives may vary, it’s the end result librarians are after … help little ones learn to read, and keep young readers reading to prevent summer slide. When they return to school in the fall, they won’t have lost what they learned during the school year and they’ll pick up right where they left off in the spring. If your child is not yet reading, you may sign them up for Family Reading, where you read to them and the books are still counted toward a goal.

At Pleasanton Library, registration for Summer Reading began May 8, and registrants began tracking their books on May 20. Their books must be checked out at the Pleasanton Library. After they finish the books, they will receive a stamp, or a punched card. When they’ve met their goal, they can choose a prize from our collection in the display case.

In addition to the reading program, we have a summer of programming lined up for interested children. Our kick-off party, Walk through Wildflowers, will be held at Mine Creek Battlefield on June 5 from 10 a.m. to noon. Watch for more information about that program soon.

In the meantime, encourage your children to sign up for our Summer Reading Program, and consider setting an example by registering as an adult. We have prizes for you as well!

Making memories

This past Saturday, a small number of seniors graduated in Pleasanton. I wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, as I was working at the library. But I know many members of their family and friends were there to watch them walk across the stage to accept their diplomas. Because of the education and support they’ve received over the past twelve or more years, they will go on to do wonderful things. If they chose to attend college, they will be doing plenty of course-related reading. They may not have much time to read beyond studying and writing papers. If they are away from home, the only writing they’ll do may be texts on their phones. I wish them all well in their endeavors.

Their experiences during adulthood may vary. Some will finish college and go on to successful careers in their chosen field. Some will join the Armed Services to help protect our country and earn educational benefits. Others may chose to work for a time, then begin raising children of their own. The important thing for each of them is to make an effort to find happiness in their lives. Whatever they choose to do, they should open their hearts and minds to making good memories.

As we all know, life can throw many curves. But the important thing is to keep going, to continue toward our goals, even if they must be adjusted. It may mean two steps forward, one step back. But the important thing is to try. Then when they look back on their lives, they will know they are successful.

Even the folks who provide Facebook know memories are important. They remind users of posts they entered in previous years, and invite them to share them again. Many of those users post images of happy family times like weddings and get-togethers. This was true this past weekend, not only with graduation celebrations, but Mother’s Day. For many whose mothers are no longer with us, this can be a bittersweet time. But seeing others share the sentiment of missing their mothers lets us know we are not alone in our loss. It reminds us of the many wonderful times we had with our mothers. They are precious memories.

Now that school has ended for the summer, we invite you to bring your younger children to the library. Help them maintain the learning they gained over the past school year by continuing to read and learn. We have many new children’s books they can enjoy whether you read to them, or they read on their own. Our Maker Space is filling up with books and projects on a daily basis. They can join their friends there creating art, building structures with all sorts of materials, or repurposing items for our August show. All the while, they’ll be making memories with their other young friends.

Adults can soon begin reading toward prizes this summer as well. We continue to purchase books from the New York Times bestseller list, and others recommended by our district library. We’re holding another Music on Main! Jam Session this week. Join us Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. to make some new friends or bring one of yours along to enjoy the tunes played by some wonderful musicians. It’s a memorable occasion!

Refreshing new reads

Each January, popular magazines include articles about de-cluttering and starting out fresh with new colors, clothes and goals. At the library we’ve long-since packed away Christmas decorations, and begin planning Summer Reading programs. Outside, dried plants and grasses are trimmed to make way for fresh growth, and the lawn is regularly mowed. Inside, we “weed” books to make room for new ones. Books that are damaged or no longer checked out are removed. New books are displayed to entice readers.

It’s been said that there are over 600,000 new books published annually. How do we decide what books to buy? We can’t read them all and must rely on outside guidance. We accept suggestions from our readers. We pore over “Book Page,” which contains reviews, author interviews and book blogs. We receive dozens of promotional catalogs, e-mails from book companies and authors, and samples of new books hitting the market. We track the “New York Times” bestseller list, and some of the “Best of” lists that are published. We listen to author interviews on NPR, and read others in magazines. Our Southeast Kansas Library System sends a newsletter that recommends books. We read as many of the new books hitting the market as we can. Thankfully, we all enjoy reading so this is not a chore.

I made a New Year’s Resolution to read books by diverse authors. A few recent personal favorites include “The Underground Railroad” by Colston Whitehead, which recently won a Pulitzer Prize, and was also a National Book Award Winner. Amazon describes it as “a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.” That was followed by “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi, which also won numerous awards. It tells of two West African half-sisters, whose lives diverge when one becomes the wife of a British slaver, and the other is taken as a slave. “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith takes place in modern times and shares the story of two young friends whose lives also diverge as they follow their dreams to become famous dancers.

Two non-fiction books followed. “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” is described by Amazon: “Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.” Next I read, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi. As described by Amazon: “This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?”

I followed with a light-hearted fiction book, “Lillian Boxfish Take a Walk: A Novel” by Kathleen Rooney. The book was loosely based on the life of Margaret Fishback, a well-known copy advertising writer and poet. Amazon’s description: “A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Visit soon to pick up a fresh take on life with one of our new books at the library!

Music heals the soul

By now most of you have heard about the unfortunate accident that took the life of Jennifer Shaw, a young mother who lived in Pleasanton. She and her four children were regular visitors to the library and we grew fond of all of them. Jennifer ensured care of the children should anything happen to her. They are now living with Marsha and Morgan Brown, former owners of Brown’s Farm Supply. When the Brown’s closed their business and auctioned the contents, the empty building came on the radar of one of the library’s observant board members. The board had considered renovating our old building at 904 Main Street, but the cost to do so was exorbitant.

The library board agreed the building at 752 Main Street would be an ideal location for a larger space for our library. Through a lease-purchase loan at Labette Bank, the library board was able to obtain the building. The renovation of the former Masonic Lodge would not have been possible without the vision and physical efforts of designer Theresa Miller and her family.

This all occurred four years ago, and many compliments have followed since that time. After a successful invitation-only evening fundraiser, and a public open house and ribbon cutting, we were on our way. We are proud to announce the loan on the building is now paid.

Five months ago, I met Morgan Brown at Labette Bank as we waited in line for a teller. He introduced himself, and I excitedly told him I’d heard about the jam sessions he’d held in his former business. I’d wanted to have such events there for over a year, and he agreed to help us resume them. They are held on the third Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. and are open to musicians as well as listeners.

I asked if Morgan would allow us to promote next week’s regular jam session as a fundraiser for the Shaw family, and he agreed. We invite anyone who believes that music helps heal the soul will join us. You can hear some wonderful music, from bluegrass to blues, Thursday, April 20 at the library. Please invite a few friends, offer a donation for the children’s care, or bring canned goods or other food staples. Our hope is that your hearts will receive more in return than what your hands give. Thank you!

Ah, spring!

After two straight weekends doing yard work, we might confirm spring is God’s way of telling us we didn’t exercise enough over the winter. With a few odd days of warm weather, we also had a lot of wind. Those were not a good time to rake those oak leaves. So, when the first couple of days without rain and little wind arrive, we hurry outside with our rakes and wheelbarrows and garden gloves. We set out with much optimism, hoping to accomplish everything on our to-do list. Alas, our out-of-shape bodies resist early in the process. By the end of the day, we’re dragging our feet to the brush pile, and returning our tools to the shed. We dig through the medicine cabinet for a tube of pain cream and plop back down on the couch.

We almost pray it will rain the following weekend, so we can just relax and do something indoors. If it doesn’t rain, maybe we’ve worked hard enough to earn a break. How about a walk on the trails at Mine Creek Battlefield? It will open for the season in a couple of weeks, though the trails are open most of the year. Or, perhaps spring breezes will allow us to visit one of the nearby lakes to fish or fly a kite with our children.

If your allergies protest the outdoors this time of year, you can always visit the library and find a good book or movie. Perhaps the easiest way for you to enjoy spring is sitting near a window with a new book and watching the birds and squirrels. If allergies don’t affect you, there’s always the chance to get a book about sports or other outdoor activities. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try photography and you finally have a chance to enjoy the scenery.

School is in session for another month and a half, but it’s not too early to encourage your children to register for our Summer Reading Program. They can begin counting the books they read on May 22 to work toward winning some great prizes. Our weekly programs will begin Monday, June 5 with a visit to Mine Creek Battlefield for a program about wildflowers, a Story Walk and a chance to plant a salsa garden. Stay tuned for more information about that and our other programs and special activities for ‘tweens in future columns and online.

For now, sit back in your easy chair and dream about all the fun things you can do this spring, and begin planning a summer of reading. Maybe you’ll even have a chance to take your book to the beach!

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