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!